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Table 1 Performance of search terms and filters designed for retrieving systematic reviews in MEDLINE

From: An optimal search filter for retrieving systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Search filter Sensitivity* Specificity** Precision Number needed to read
health-evidence.ca
health-evidence.ca SR search filter 89.9 (85.0, 93.3) 98.9 (98.9, 98.9) 1.4 (1.3, 1.5) 71.4 (68.7, 75.5)
Montori, et. al (2005)
Sensitive query 99.0 (96.5, 99.7) 62.0 (62.0, 62.0) 0 (0, 0) 2191.2 (2166.3, 2284.3)
‘Balanced query’ (sensitivity > specificity) 99.0 (96.5, 99.7) 87.6 (87.6, 87.6) 0.1 (0.1, 0.1) 712.4 (706.7, 733.4)
Balanced query (specificity > sensitivity) 87.9 (82.8, 91.7) 98.5 (98.5, 98.5) 1.1 (1.0, 1.1) 94.9 (90.9, 100.9)
Specific query 81.6 (75.8, 86.3) 99.3 (99.3, 99.3) 2.0 (1.9, 2.3) 49.4 (46.7, 53.2)
Shojania and Bero (2001) 85.5 (80.1, 89.7) 99.1 (99.1, 99.1) 1.7 (1.6, 1.8) 57.8 (55.1, 61.8)
Hunt and McKibbon (1997)4 terms 69.6 (63.0, 75.4) 99.4 (99.4, 99.4) 1.9 (1.7, 2.0) 53.9 (49.7, 59.6)
Hunt and McKibbon (1997)8 terms 85.5 (80.1, 89.7) 99.2 (99.2, 99.2) 1.9 (1.8, 2.0) 53.4 (50.9, 57.0)
Boynton, et. al (1998)
Sensitivity maximiser 99.5 (97.3, 99.9) 75.6 (75.6, 75.6) 0.1 (0.1, 0.1) 1395.1 (1387.7, 1437.2)
Precision query (> 70%) 47.8 (41.2, 54.6) 99.6 (99.6, 99.6) 2.1 (1.8, 2.5) 46.7 (40.9, 54.4)
BMJ Clinical Evidence 88.9 (83.9, 92.5) 99.0 (99.0, 99.0) 1.6 (1.5, 1.7) 61.7 (59.3, 65.5)
Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
For inclusion in DARE 92.8 (88.4, 95.6) 95.7 (95.7, 95.7) 0.4 (0.4, 0.4) 262.2 (254.2, 275.8)
Strategy 1 99.0 (96.5, 99.7) 71.2 (71.2, 71.2) 0.1 (0.1, 0.1) 1693.1 (1659.8, 1773.3)
Strategy 2.1 99.5 (97.3, 99.9) 87.4 (87.4, 87.4) 0.1 (0.1, 0.1) 717.5 (714.2, 736.1)
Strategy 2.2 99.0 (96.5, 99.7) 88.9 (88.9, 88.9) 0.2 (0.2, 0.2) 636.0 (631.0, 654.5)
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network Filter 87.0 (81.7, 90.9) 99.2 (99.2, 99.2) 1.9 (1.8, 2.0) 52.0 (49.7, 55.4)
  1. Values are in percentages (95% confidence intervals).
  2. * Validation data set (n = 207).
  3. ** Validation data set (n = 1174817).
  4. Abbreviation: SR – systematic review.