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Table 5 Performance of the health-evidence.ca SR search filter compared to the PH search filter in retrieving systematic reviews in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL

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

MEDLINE     
Search filter Sensitivity Specificity Precision Number needed to read
health-evidence.ca SR search filter†     
Development 86.8 (75.2, 93.5) 99.2 (99.2, 99.2) 1.1 (0.9, 1.2) 91.6 (85.0, 105.9)
Validation 89.9 (85.0, 93.3) 98.9 (98.9, 98.9) 1.4 (1.3, 1.5) 71.4 (68.7, 75.5)
PH search filter‡     
Development 86.8 (75.2, 93.5) 96.5 (96.5, 96.5) 0.3 (0.2, 0.3) 384.4 (356.0, 446.8)
Validation 92.3 (87.8, 95.2) 96.0 (96.0, 96.0) 0.4 (0.4, 0.4) 244.9 (237.1, 258.0)
EMBASE
Search filter Sensitivity Specificity Precision Number Needed to Read
health-evidence.ca SR search filter     
Development 72.7 (55.8, 84.9) 99.1 (99.1, 99.1) 0.6 (0.4, 0.7) 171.6 (146.7, 224.6)
Validation 87.9 (80.2, 92.8) 98.2 (98.2, 98.2) 0.5 (0.5, 0.6) 186.0 (176.0, 208.9)
PH search filter     
Development 48.5 (32.5, 64.8) 99.0 (99.0, 99.0) 0.3 (0.2, 0.5) 294.7 (219.4, 444.1)
Validation 63.6 (54.1, 72.0) 97.9 (97.9, 97.9) 0.3 (0.3, 0.4) 311.5 (273.6, 368.0)
CINAHL
Search filter Sensitivity Specificity Precision Number Needed to Read
health-evidence.ca SR search filter     
Development 86.1 (71.4, 93.9) 98.1 (98.1, 98.1) 1.6 (1.4, 1.8) 61.3 (56.1, 74.3)
Validation 89.9 (93.5, 94.0) 97.6 (97.6, 97.6) 1.8 (1.6, 1.8) 57.2 (54.7, 61.7)
PH search filter     
Development 86.1 (71.4, 93.9) 98.5 (98.5, 98.5) 2.1 (1.8, 2.3) 46.7 (42.7, 56.5)
Validation 37.2 (29.4, 45.8) 98.2 (98.2, 98.2) 1.0 (0.8, 1.2) 107.8 (86.8, 138.6)
  1. Values are in percentages (95% confidence intervals).
  2. †, ‡: see additional files for full search strategy.
  3. Abbreviations: SR – systematic review; PH – public health.