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Table 3 Relative recall of search strategies to identify trials included in previous systematic reviews

From: Electronic search strategies to identify reports of cluster randomized trials in MEDLINE: low precision will improve with adherence to reporting standards

      Number (%) of trials retrieved
Publication Setting Review Period Sources searched # Trials Simple strategy Taljaard highest sensitivity Taljaard highest precision
Donner et al. [5] CRTs of non-therapeutic interventions Jan 1979 -Aug 1989 The Lancet, NEJM, AJE, International Journal of Epidemiology 16 16
(100%)
16
(100.0%)
8
(50.0%)
Simpson et al. [6] CRTs in primary care 1990 - 1993 AJPH, Preventive Medicine 21 15
(71.4%)
20
(95.2%)
15
(71.4%)
Eldridge et al. [9] CRTs in primary care 1997, 2000 CENTRAL 145 140
(96.6%)
142
(97.9%)
121
(83.4%)
Isaakidis et al. [10] CRTs in sub-Saharan Africa Before Nov 2001 MEDLINE, CENTRAL, African Published Trials Register 51 45
(88.2%)
48
(94.1%)
33
(64.7%)
Puffer et al. [7] CRTs Jan 1997 -Oct 2002 BMJ, Lancet, NEJM 36 36
(100%)
36
(100%)
33
(91.7%)
Varnell et al. [8] Group randomized trials Jan 1998 -Dec 2002 AJPH, Preventive Medicine 60 54
(90.0%)
59
(98.3%)
51
(85.0%)
Eldridge et al. [11] CRTs in primary care 2004 - 2005 BMJ, BJGP, Family Practice, Prev Med, Ann Intern Med, JGen Int Med, Pediatrics 34 34
(100%)
34
(100%)
32
(94.1%)
Total     363 340
(93.7%)
355
(97.8%)
293 (80.7%)
  1. Abbreviations: CRT = cluster randomized trial; CENTRAL = Cochrane controlled trials register; NEJM = New England Journal of Medicine; AJPH = American Journal of Public Health; AJE = American Journal of Epidemiology; BJGP = British Journal of General Practice; IJE = International Journal of Epidemiology; Prev Med = Preventive Medicine; Ann Intern Med = Annals of Internal Medicine; J Gen Int Med = Journal of General Internal Medicine.
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