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Table 1 Sensitivity, precision and number needed to read (NNR) of the 15 search queries in OvidSP EMBASE with the highest sensitivity (see the complete list in Additional file 1)

From: Search strategies to identify reports on “off-label” drug use in EMBASE

Queries Number of relevant records retrieved Number of records retrieved Sensitivity/full set (%) Sensitivity/EMBASE set (%) Precision (%) NNR
off label*.af. 3150 3577 77.5 81.9 88.1 1.1
(off adj2 label*).mp. 3131 3589 77.0 81.4 87.2 1.1
(off adj1 label*).mp. 3130 3567 77.0 81.4 87.7 1.1
off label*.mp. 3128 3555 76.9 81.3 88.0 1.1
off label.af. 3119 3542 76.7 81.1 88.1 1.1
(off adj1 label).mp. 3119 3544 76.7 81.1 88.0 1.1
(off adj2 label).mp. 3119 3547 76.7 81.1 87.9 1.1
off label.mp. 3117 3540 76.6 81.0 88.1 1.1
"off label*".ab,ti. 2306 2696 56.7 60.0 85.5 1.2
off label.ab,ti. 2293 2679 56.4 59.6 85.6 1.2
"off label*".ab. 1882 2224 46.3 48.9 84.6 1.2
off label.ab. 1870 2208 46.0 48.6 84.7 1.2
(drug adj2 label adj2 us*).af. 1587 1719 39.0 41.3 92.3 1.1
(drug adj1 label adj1 us*).af. 1581 1710 38.9 41.1 92.5 1.1
"off label drug us*".af. 1580 1677 38.8 41.1 94.2 1.1
  1. ADJn is a positional operator to retrieve records that contain the terms (in any order) within a specified number (n) of words of each other. The adj1 operator finds two terms next to each other in any order. The adj2 operator finds terms in any order and with one word (or none) between them.