Search strategies to identify information on adverse effects: a systematic review.

TitleSearch strategies to identify information on adverse effects: a systematic review.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsGolder S, Loke Y
JournalJournal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA
Date Published2009 Apr
KeywordsAbstracting and Indexing as Topic; Databases, Factual; Drug Therapy; Drug Toxicity; Guidelines as Topic; Humans; Information Storage and Retrieval; Meta-Analysis as Topic; Periodicals as Topic; Quality Control; Research Design; Review Literature as Topic; Vocabulary, Controlled
AbstractOBJECTIVES: The review evaluated studies of electronic database search strategies designed to retrieve adverse effects data for systematic reviews. METHODS: Studies of adverse effects were located in ten databases as well as by checking references, hand-searching, searching citations, and contacting experts. Two reviewers screened the retrieved records for potentially relevant papers. RESULTS: Five thousand three hundred thirteen citations were retrieved, yielding 19 studies designed to develop or evaluate adverse effect filters, of which 3 met the inclusion criteria. All 3 studies identified highly sensitive search strategies capable of retrieving over 95% of relevant records. However, 1 study did not evaluate precision, while the level of precision in the other 2 studies ranged from 0.8% to 2.8%. Methodological issues in these papers included the relatively small number of records, absence of a validation set of records for testing, and limited evaluation of precision. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate the difficulty of achieving highly sensitive searches for information on adverse effects with a reasonable level of precision. Researchers who intend to locate studies on adverse effects should allow for the amount of resources and time required to conduct a highly sensitive search.
Alternate JournalJ Med Libr Assoc