Databases

Scope: provide the database name(s); add to records where a database rather than a website or interface is discussed

Appraisal of: Golder S, Loke YK. Sources of information on adverse effects. Health Info Libr J 2010;27:176-190.

Short description: 
Research has shown that most systematic reviews of adverse effects rely solely on searches of MEDLINE, even though it is unlikely to be a comprehensive source on adverse effects information. The authors aimed to identify and summarize studies that had evaluated sources of information on adverse effects. No date or language restrictions were applied when searching for studies. The results indicated that Embase, Derwent Drug File, MEDLINE and industry submissions might be the sources of the largest number of relevant references for adverse effects information. In addition, they concluded that searching a wide range of sources might be a useful approach when conducting a thorough search.
Limitations stated by the author(s): 
Studies included in the review were inconsistent in their use of outcome measures. They used different information sources which made direct comparisons difficult. Recent research information was lacking and many of the studies were more than 10 years old. Many potentially useful information sources were not covered in the studies identified (e.g. search engines and industry clinical trial registers). Most studies reported only the number of relevant references retrieved for comparison which is not a sufficient criterion. Also, the cost of searching different sources had not been assessed.
Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): 
No additional limitations detected by the reviewer.
Study Type: 
Review
Related Chapters: 
Comments from the authors:
 
This publication is related to Su Golder’s PhD Thesis “Evaluating and Optimising the Retrieval of Research Evidence for Systematic Reviews of Adverse Drug Effects and Adverse Drug Reactions” from 2013. The thesis is available from http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/4749/

Appraisal of: Golder S, Loke YK. The contribution of different information sources for adverse effects data. Int J Technol Assess Health Care 2012;28(2):133-137.

Short description: 

Research has shown that MEDLINE might not be a comprehensive source on adverse effects information. The aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution of a variety of sources when searching for adverse effects data for a systematic review of thiazolidinedione-related fractures in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The results showed the potential value of searching a variety of sources for adverse effects data.

In this study, the minimum combination of sources required to identify all the relevant references was:

  • GlaxoSmithKline website,
  • Science Citation Index,
  • Embase,
  • BIOSIS Previews,
  • British Library Direct,
  • Medscape DrugInfo,
  • AHFS First (American Hospital Formulary Service),
  • Thomson Reuters Integrity,
  • Conference Papers Index,
  • Handsearching,
  • Reference checking.
Limitations stated by the author(s): 
The results were based on a single case study and are, not necessarily generalisable. It was also difficult to maintain consistency in search strategies when adapting them to different search interfaces and it was, therefore, difficult to make fair comparisons. It was also not possible to perform a cost analysis of searching each source due to different pricing mechanisms used by the database providers.
Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): 
No additional limitations detected by the reviewer.
Study Type: 
Single study
Related Chapters: 

Comments from the authors:

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