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Table 6 Performance of three filters for locating articlesa reporting sex-specific evidence: SSS, SS MeSH and M&S

From: Locating sex-specific evidence on clinical questions in MEDLINE: a search filter for use on OvidSP™

Disease Filter Number of articles Recall Precision
   Reference set Retrieved by the filter Retrieved and reporting sex-specific evidence   
   (X) (Y) (Z) (Z/X) (Z/Y)
Alzheimer's disease SSS 29 57 28 97% 49%
  SS MeSHb 29 15 10 34% 67%
  M&Sc 29 39 16 55% 41%
Asthma SSS 69 68 53 77% 78%
  SS MeSH 69 23 20 29% 87%
  M&S 69 79 57 83% 72%
Total SSS 98 125 81 83% 65%
  SS MeSH 98 38 30 31% 79%
  M&S 98 118 73 74% 62%
  1. a The filters were applied to articles on original studies of Alzheimer's disease and of asthma in humans, with an abstract, written in English, published in core clinical journals in 2007 and 2008, and included in MEDLINE as of June 13 2008. Thus, 662 articles on original studies were identified, including 219 articles on Alzheimer's disease and 443 articles on asthma.
  2. b Sex-specific MeSH (SS MeSH) include the following MeSH combined with the operator 'OR': sex factors, sex characteristics, sex distribution, sex, sex ratio and gender identity.
  3. c Modification of the filter as designed by Montgomery and Sherif [26]. Included were the MeSH terms referring to sex differences, gender issues and women's health, free text words referring to women and the text word gender (see Table 2); excluded was a search in women's health journals.