Evaluation of five search strategies in retrieving qualitative patient-reported electronic data on the impact of pressure ulcers on quality of life.

TitleEvaluation of five search strategies in retrieving qualitative patient-reported electronic data on the impact of pressure ulcers on quality of life.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsGorecki CA, Brown JM, Briggs M, Nixon J
JournalJournal of advanced nursing
Volume66
Issue3
Pagination645-52
Date Published2010 Mar
ISSN1365-2648
KeywordsDatabases, Bibliographic; Humans; Information Storage and Retrieval; Leg Ulcer; Qualitative Research; Quality of Life; Reproducibility of Results; Sensitivity and Specificity
AbstractAIM: This paper is a report of a study conducted to compare the effectiveness of qualitative methodology search strategies with subject-specific (health-related quality of life) search strategies in the retrieval of qualitative patient-reported data of the impact of pressure ulcers on health-related quality of life. BACKGROUND: Methods to locate qualitative patient-reported health-related quality of life research data electronically have undergone little replication and validation. A major problem in searching for this type of data is that it is reported in accounts of both primary qualitative research as well as mixed methods research. DATA SOURCES: We combined five search strategies with terms for pressure ulcer and searched seven electronic databases from inception to October 2007. METHODS: The sensitivity, specificity, precision and accuracy for each search strategy were assessed. RESULTS: A subject-specific (health-related quality of life) search strategy, developed by us, had a high yield (100% sensitivity), but low specificity (<50%). The research methodology-based strategies had lower yields (sensitivity 72-83%) but high specificity (79-83%). Importantly, subject-specific search strategies identified all studies reporting qualitative patient-reported health-related quality of life data, whereas, research methodology-based strategies did not identify qualitative data reported in mixed method studies, making subject-based strategies more effective in retrieving qualitative patient-reported health-related quality of life research. CONCLUSION: An important consideration in the health-related quality of life field is that qualitative data are reported in both qualitative and mixed methodology research and searching for this type data involves trade-offs between yield, sensitivity and specificity. Accurate indexing of subject-specific outcomes and methodology used in electronic databases and publications is also needed.
URLhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2009.05192.x/pdf
DOI10.1111/j.1365-2648.2009.05192.x
Alternate JournalJ Adv Nurs