Publications by authors named "Anne Eisinga"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Compression stockings for preventing deep vein thrombosis in airline passengers.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016 Sep 14;9:CD004002. Epub 2016 Sep 14.

Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Block B, Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, BT12 6BJ.

Background: Air travel might increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It has been suggested that wearing compression stockings might reduce this risk. This is an update of the review first published in 2006.

Objectives: To assess the effects of wearing compression stockings versus not wearing them for preventing DVT in people travelling on flights lasting at least four hours.

Search Methods: For this update the Cochrane Vascular Information Specialist (CIS) searched the Specialised Register (10 February 2016). In addition, the CIS searched the Cochrane Register of Studies (CENTRAL (2016, Issue 1)).

Selection Criteria: Randomised trials of compression stockings versus no stockings in passengers on flights lasting at least four hours. Trials in which passengers wore a stocking on one leg but not the other, or those comparing stockings and another intervention were also eligible.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion and extracted data. We sought additional information from trialists where necessary.

Main Results: One new study that fulfilled the inclusion criteria was identified for this update. Eleven randomised trials (n = 2906) were included in this review: nine (n = 2821) compared wearing graduated compression stockings on both legs versus not wearing them; one trial (n = 50) compared wearing graduated compression tights versus not wearing them; and one trial (n = 35) compared wearing a graduated compression stocking on one leg for the outbound flight and on the other leg on the return flight. Eight trials included people judged to be at low or medium risk of developing DVT (n = 1598) and two included high-risk participants (n = 1273). All flights had a duration of more than five hours.Fifty of 2637 participants with follow-up data available in the trials of wearing compression stockings on both legs had a symptomless DVT; three wore stockings, 47 did not (odds ratio (OR) 0.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.04 to 0.25, P < 0.001; high-quality evidence). There were no symptomless DVTs in three trials. Sixteen of 1804 people developed superficial vein thrombosis, four wore stockings, 12 did not (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.18 to 1.13, P = 0.09; moderate-quality evidence). No deaths, pulmonary emboli or symptomatic DVTs were reported. Wearing stockings had a significant impact in reducing oedema (mean difference (MD) -4.72, 95% CI -4.91 to -4.52; based on six trials; low-quality evidence). A further two trials showed reduced oedema in the stockings group but could not be included in the meta-analysis as they used different methods to measure oedema. No significant adverse effects were reported.

Authors' Conclusions: There is high-quality evidence that airline passengers similar to those in this review can expect a substantial reduction in the incidence of symptomless DVT and low-quality evidence that leg oedema is reduced if they wear compression stockings. Quality was limited by the way that oedema was measured. There is moderate-quality evidence that superficial vein thrombosis may be reduced if passengers wear compression stockings. We cannot assess the effect of wearing stockings on death, pulmonary embolism or symptomatic DVT because no such events occurred in these trials. Randomised trials to assess these outcomes would need to include a very large number of people.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004002.pub3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6457834PMC
September 2016

What drove the Evidence Cart? Bringing the library to the bedside.

J R Soc Med 2016 Jun;109(6):241-247

Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1W8, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0141076816649883DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908475PMC
June 2016

NOACs versus warfarin for stroke prevention in patients with AF: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Open Heart 2016;3(1):e000279. Epub 2016 Jan 18.

UK Cochrane Centre , Oxford , UK.

Background: Warfarin has been the anticoagulant of choice for the prevention of ischaemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are increasingly used as an alternative.

Objectives: The objective of this review was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the NOACs versus warfarin in patients with AF.

Search Methods: Medline, EMBASE and grey literature search for all phase II and III randomised control trials.

Data Collection/analysis: Two authors independently reviewed abstracts and performed data extraction of eligible full-text articles. Revman V.5 was used for meta-analysis.

Main Results: 12 studies were identified with a total study population of 77 011. NOACs demonstrated a reduction in the composite of stroke or systemic embolic events OR 0.85 (95% CI 0.75 to 0.98), a 52% reduction in intracranial haemorrhage OR 0.48 (95% CI 0.40 to 0.57) and a 14% reduction in mortality OR 0.86 (0.82 to 0.91). The 30-day end of study switch to warfarin demonstrated an in increase in stroke or systemic embolic events OR 2.60 (95% CI 1.61 to 4.18) and an increase in major bleeding OR 2.19 (95% CI 1.42 to 3.36).

Conclusions: NOACs are superior to warfarin for the prevention of the composite of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with AF and an additional risk factor for stroke. There is a significant reduction in intracranial haemorrhage, which drives the finding of significantly lower mortality. During the poststudy switch from NOACs to warfarin there is an excess of the composite of stroke and systemic embolism as well as major bleeding events, which may be of significance in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/openhrt-2015-000279DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4731839PMC
February 2016

Cochrane corner: oral hormone therapy and cardiovascular outcomes in post-menopausal women.

Heart 2016 Jan 9;102(1):9-11. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau), CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2015-308287DOI Listing
January 2016

Hormone therapy for preventing cardiovascular disease in post-menopausal women.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015 Mar 10(3):CD002229. Epub 2015 Mar 10.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK, OX3 9DU.

Background: Evidence from systematic reviews of observational studies suggests that hormone therapy may have beneficial effects in reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease events in post-menopausal women, however the results of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have had mixed results. This is an updated version of a Cochrane review published in 2013.

Objectives: To assess the effects of hormone therapy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in post-menopausal women, and whether there are differential effects between use in primary or secondary prevention. Secondary aims were to undertake exploratory analyses to (i) assess the impact of time since menopause that treatment was commenced (≥ 10 years versus < 10 years), and where these data were not available, use age of trial participants at baseline as a proxy (≥ 60 years of age versus < 60 years of age); and (ii) assess the effects of length of time on treatment.

Search Methods: We searched the following databases on 25 February 2014: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE and LILACS. We also searched research and trials registers, and conducted reference checking of relevant studies and related systematic reviews to identify additional studies.

Selection Criteria: RCTs of women comparing orally administered hormone therapy with placebo or a no treatment control, with a minimum of six months follow-up.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two authors independently assessed study quality and extracted data. We calculated risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each outcome. We combined results using random effects meta-analyses, and undertook further analyses to assess the effects of treatment as primary or secondary prevention, and whether treatment was commenced more than or less than 10 years after menopause.

Main Results: We identified six new trials through this update. Therefore the review includes 19 trials with a total of 40,410 post-menopausal women. On the whole, study quality was good and generally at low risk of bias; the findings are dominated by the three largest trials. We found high quality evidence that hormone therapy in both primary and secondary prevention conferred no protective effects for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, angina, or revascularisation. However, there was an increased risk of stroke in those in the hormone therapy arm for combined primary and secondary prevention (RR 1.24, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.41). Venous thromboembolic events were increased (RR 1.92, 95% CI 1.36 to 2.69), as were pulmonary emboli (RR 1.81, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.48) on hormone therapy relative to placebo.The absolute risk increase for stroke was 6 per 1000 women (number needed to treat for an additional harmful outcome (NNTH) = 165; mean length of follow-up: 4.21 years (range: 2.0 to 7.1)); for venous thromboembolism 8 per 1000 women (NNTH = 118; mean length of follow-up: 5.95 years (range: 1.0 to 7.1)); and for pulmonary embolism 4 per 1000 (NNTH = 242; mean length of follow-up: 3.13 years (range: 1.0 to 7.1)).We performed subgroup analyses according to when treatment was started in relation to the menopause. Those who started hormone therapy less than 10 years after the menopause had lower mortality (RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.95, moderate quality evidence) and coronary heart disease (composite of death from cardiovascular causes and non-fatal myocardial infarction) (RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.96; moderate quality evidence), though they were still at increased risk of venous thromboembolism (RR 1.74, 95% CI 1.11 to 2.73, high quality evidence) compared to placebo or no treatment. There was no strong evidence of effect on risk of stroke in this group. In those who started treatment more than 10 years after the menopause there was high quality evidence that it had little effect on death or coronary heart disease between groups but there was an increased risk of stroke (RR 1.21, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.38, high quality evidence) and venous thromboembolism (RR 1.96, 95% CI 1.37 to 2.80, high quality evidence).

Authors' Conclusions: Our review findings provide strong evidence that treatment with hormone therapy in post-menopausal women overall, for either primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease events has little if any benefit and causes an increase in the risk of stroke and venous thromboembolic events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD002229.pub4DOI Listing
March 2015

Search strategies to identify diagnostic accuracy studies in MEDLINE and EMBASE.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013 Sep 11(9):MR000022. Epub 2013 Sep 11.

School of Social and Community Medicine, Canynge Hall, 39 Whatley Road, Bristol, UK, BS8 2PS.

Background: A systematic and extensive search for as many eligible studies as possible is essential in any systematic review. When searching for diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) studies in bibliographic databases, it is recommended that terms for disease (target condition) are combined with terms for the diagnostic test (index test). Researchers have developed methodological filters to try to increase the precision of these searches. These consist of text words and database indexing terms and would be added to the target condition and index test searches.Efficiently identifying reports of DTA studies presents challenges because the methods are often not well reported in their titles and abstracts, suitable indexing terms may not be available and relevant indexing terms do not seem to be consistently assigned. A consequence of using search filters to identify records for diagnostic reviews is that relevant studies might be missed, while the number of irrelevant studies that need to be assessed may not be reduced. The current guidance for Cochrane DTA reviews recommends against the addition of a methodological search filter to target condition and index test search, as the only search approach.

Objectives: To systematically review empirical studies that report the development or evaluation, or both, of methodological search filters designed to retrieve DTA studies in MEDLINE and EMBASE.

Search Methods: We searched MEDLINE (1950 to week 1 November 2012); EMBASE (1980 to 2012 Week 48); the Cochrane Methodology Register (Issue 3, 2012); ISI Web of Science (11 January 2013); PsycINFO (13 March 2013); Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA) (31 May 2010); and Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA) (13 March 2013). We undertook citation searches on Web of Science, checked the reference lists of relevant studies, and searched the Search Filters Resource website of the InterTASC Information Specialists' Sub-Group (ISSG).

Selection Criteria: Studies reporting the development or evaluation, or both, of a MEDLINE or EMBASE search filter aimed at retrieving DTA studies, which reported a measure of the filter's performance were eligible.

Data Collection And Analysis: The main outcome was a measure of filter performance, such as sensitivity or precision. We extracted data on the identification of the reference set (including the gold standard and, if used, the non-gold standard records), how the reference set was used and any limitations, the identification and combination of the search terms in the filters, internal and external validity testing, the number of filters evaluated, the date the study was conducted, the date the searches were completed, and the databases and search interfaces used. Where 2 x 2 data were available on filter performance, we used these to calculate sensitivity, specificity, precision and Number Needed to Read (NNR), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We compared the performance of a filter as reported by the original development study and any subsequent studies that evaluated the same filter.

Main Results: Ninteen studies were included, reporting on 57 MEDLINE filters and 13 EMBASE filters. Thirty MEDLINE and four EMBASE filters were tested in an evaluation study where the performance of one or more filters was tested against one or more gold standards. The reported outcome measures varied. Some studies reported specificity as well as sensitivity if a reference set containing non-gold standard records in addition to gold standard records was used. In some cases, the original development study did not report any performance data on the filters. Original performance from the development study was not available for 17 filters that were subsequently tested in evaluation studies. All 19 studies reported the sensitivity of the filters that they developed or evaluated, nine studies reported the specificities and 14 studies reported the precision.No filter which had original performance data from its development study, and was subsequently tested in an evaluation study, had what we defined a priori as acceptable sensitivity (> 90%) and precision (> 10%). In studies that developed MEDLINE filters that were evaluated in another study (n = 13), the sensitivity ranged from 55% to 100% (median 86%) and specificity from 73% to 98% (median 95%). Estimates of performance were lower in eight studies that evaluated the same 13 MEDLINE filters, with sensitivities ranging from 14% to 100% (median 73%) and specificities ranging from 15% to 96% (median 81%). Precision ranged from 1.1% to 40% (median 9.5%) in studies that developed MEDLINE filters and from 0.2% to 16.7% (median 4%) in studies that evaluated these filters. A similar range of specificities and precision were reported amongst the evaluation studies for MEDLINE filters without an original performance measure. Sensitivities ranged from 31% to 100% (median 71%), specificity ranged from 13% to 90% (median 55.5%) and precision from 1.0% to 11.0% (median 3.35%).For the EMBASE filters, the original sensitivities reported in two development studies ranged from 74% to 100% (median 90%) for three filters, and precision ranged from 1.2% to 17.6% (median 3.7%). Evaluation studies of these filters had sensitivities from 72% to 97% (median 86%) and precision from 1.2% to 9% (median 3.7%). The performance of EMBASE search filters in development and evaluation studies were more alike than the performance of MEDLINE filters in development and evaluation studies. None of the EMBASE filters in either type of study had a sensitivity above 90% and precision above 10%.

Authors' Conclusions: None of the current methodological filters designed to identify reports of primary DTA studies in MEDLINE or EMBASE combine sufficiently high sensitivity, required for systematic reviews, with a reasonable degree of precision. This finding supports the current recommendation in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy that the combination of methodological filter search terms with terms for the index test and target condition should not be used as the only approach when conducting formal searches to inform systematic reviews of DTA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.MR000022.pub3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7390022PMC
September 2013

Two-thirds of methodological research remained unpublished after presentation at Cochrane Colloquia: an empirical analysis.

J Clin Epidemiol 2012 May 2;65(5):493-6. Epub 2012 Jan 2.

UK Cochrane Centre, National Institute for Health Research, Summertown Pavilion, 18-24 Middle Way, Oxford OX2 7LG, UK.

Objectives: To determine the extent to which abstracts of methodology research, initially presented at annual meetings of The Cochrane Collaboration, have been published as full reports and over what period of time. A secondary aim was to explore whether full publication varied in different methodological subject areas.

Study Design And Setting: The Cochrane Methodology Register (CMR) was searched for all abstracts reporting methodology research, presented at the 11 Cochrane Colloquia from 1997 to 2007. EMBASE, PubMed, and CMR were searched for full publications of the same research.

Results: We identified 908 eligible conference abstracts and found full publications for 312 (34.4%) of these, almost half of which (47.1%) had appeared by the end of the first year after the relevant Colloquium. The proportion of abstracts that had not been published by 3 years was 69.7%, falling to 66.2% at 5 years. Publication varied considerably between different methodological areas.

Conclusion: Approximately two-thirds of methodological research studies presented at Cochrane Colloquia remain unpublished as full papers at least 5 years later. This highlights the importance of searching conference abstracts if one wishes to find as comprehensive and complete a sample of methodological research as possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2011.09.009DOI Listing
May 2012

A capture-recapture analysis demonstrated that randomized controlled trials evaluating the impact of diagnostic tests on patient outcomes are rare.

J Clin Epidemiol 2012 Mar 17;65(3):282-7. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

Department of Public Health, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Objective: To estimate the number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published annually that evaluate the impact of diagnostic tests on patient outcomes to gauge the extent of available randomized evidence assessing the effectiveness of diagnostic tests.

Study Design And Setting: Relevant RCTs published in 2004-2007 were identified from electronic searches of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). Two search strategies were developed, one using diagnostic methodological terms and one using test names. Potentially relevant RCTs were identified by screening titles and abstracts. Final inclusion decisions were based on full-text review. A random 10% sample of all citations was independently screened by a second reviewer. Capture-recapture methodology was used to estimate the number of relevant RCTs missed by both searches.

Results: One hundred thirty-five relevant RCTs were identified from the 23,888 records retrieved. Interobserver agreement was substantial. Capture-recapture methodology estimated that 148 (95% confidence interval: 140, 160) relevant RCTs were published in the 4-year period, an average of only 37 publications per year.

Conclusion: RCTs of diagnostic tests that evaluate patient outcomes are rare. Consequently recommendations on the use of diagnostic tests can rarely be made on the basis of randomized comparisons, lower grade evidence frequently being the best available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2011.07.003DOI Listing
March 2012

Developing a geographic search filter to identify randomised controlled trials in Africa: finding the optimal balance between sensitivity and precision.

Health Info Libr J 2011 Sep 30;28(3):210-5. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

South African Cochrane Centre, Medical Research Council, Tygerberg, South Africa.

Background: Research on identifying trials using geographic filters is limited.

Objectives: To test the sensitivity and precision of a filter to identify African randomised controlled trials (RCTs).

Methods: We searched medline and embase for RCTs published in 2004 using a Cochrane filter for RCTs. The search was limited to HIV/AIDS but irrespective of location. Two investigators independently identified African RCTs from the retrieved records forming a reference set. We then repeated the search using an African geographic filter comprising country and regional terms forming the filter set. We compared the sensitivity and precision of the sets.

Results: The medline reference set comprised 1799 records with 23 African RCTs; for embase, the reference set comprised 763 records with 37 African RCTs. The medline filter set comprised 180 records with 17 African RCTs; the embase filter set comprised 98 records with 27 African RCTs. Sensitivity of the filter was 74% (medline) and 73% (embase). Addition of the filter improved precision from 1.3% to 9.4% (medline) and from 5% to 28% (embase).

Conclusion: The African filter improved precision with some loss in sensitivity. Incomplete reporting of trial location in electronic bibliographic records restricts efficiency of geographic filters. Prospective trial registration should alleviate this.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-1842.2011.00936.xDOI Listing
September 2011

Enhancing access to reports of randomized trials published world-wide--the contribution of EMBASE records to the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library.

Emerg Themes Epidemiol 2008 Sep 30;5:13. Epub 2008 Sep 30.

UK Cochrane Centre, National Institute for Health Research, Summertown Pavilion, Middle Way, Oxford, UK.

Background: Randomized trials are essential in assessing the effects of healthcare interventions and are a key component in systematic reviews of effectiveness. Searching for reports of randomized trials in databases is problematic due to the absence of appropriate indexing terms until the 1990s and inconsistent application of these indexing terms thereafter.

Objectives: The objectives of this study are to devise a search strategy for identifying reports of randomized trials in EMBASE which are not already indexed as trials in MEDLINE and to make these reports easily accessible by including them in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library, with the permission of Elsevier, the publishers of EMBASE.

Methods: A highly sensitive search strategy was designed for EMBASE based on free-text and thesaurus terms which occurred frequently in the titles, abstracts, EMTREE terms (or some combination of these) of reports of trials indexed in EMBASE. This search strategy was run against EMBASE from 1980 to 2005 (1974 to 2005 for four of the terms) and records retrieved by the search, which were not already indexed as randomized trials in MEDLINE, were downloaded from EMBASE, printed and read. An analysis of the language of publication was conducted for the reports of trials published in 2005 (the most recent year completed at the time of this study).

Results: Twenty-two search terms were used (including nine which were later rejected due to poor cumulative precision). More than a third of a million records were downloaded and scanned and approximately 80,000 reports of trials were identified which were not already indexed as randomized trials in MEDLINE. These are now easily identifiable in CENTRAL, in The Cochrane Library. Cumulative sensitivity ranged from 0.1% to 60% and cumulative precision ranged from 8% to 61%. The truncated term 'random$' identified 60% of the total number of reports of trials but only 35% of the more than 130,000 records retrieved by this term were reports of trials. The language analysis for the sample year 2005 indicated that of the 18,427 reports indexed as randomized trials in MEDLINE, 959 (5%) were in languages other than English. The EMBASE search identified an additional 658 reports in languages other than English, of which the highest number were in Chinese (320).

Conclusion: The results of the search to date have greatly increased access to reports of trials in EMBASE, especially in some languages other than English. The search strategy used was subjectively derived from a small 'gold standard' set of test records and was not validated in an independent test set. We intend to design an objectively-derived validated search strategy using logistic regression based on the frequency of occurrence of terms in the approximately 80,000 reports of randomized trials identified compared with the frequency of these terms across the entire EMBASE database.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1742-7622-5-13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2586626PMC
September 2008

The sensitivity and precision of search terms in Phases I, II and III of the Cochrane Highly Sensitive Search Strategy for identifying reports of randomized trials in medline in a specific area of health care--HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment interventions.

Health Info Libr J 2007 Jun;24(2):103-9

UK Cochrane Centre, Summertown Pavilion, Middle Way, Oxford, UK.

Objectives: To detect term(s) in the Cochrane Highly Sensitive Search Strategy (HSSS) that retain high sensitivity but improve precision in retrieving reports of trials in the PubMed version of medline.

Methods: Individual terms from the PubMed version of the HSSS were added, term by term, to an African HIV/AIDS strategy to identify reports of trials in medline using PubMed. The titles and abstracts of the records retrieved were read by two handsearchers and checked by a clinical epidemiologist. The sensitivity and precision of each term in the three phases of the HSSS were calculated.

Results: Of 7,719 records retrieved, 285 were identified as reports of trials [204 randomized (RCTs); 81 possibly randomized or quasi-randomized (CCTs)]. Phase III had the highest sensitivity (92%). Overall, precision was very low (3.7%). One term, 'random*[tw]', retrieved all RCTs found by our search and improved precision to 29%. The least sensitive terms, yielding no records, were '(doubl* AND mask*)[tw]' and terms containing 'trebl*' or 'tripl*', except for '(tripl* AND blind*)[tw]'. The highest precision per term was for 'Double-blind Method [MeSH]' (76%).

Conclusions: To retrieve all RCTs and CCTs found by our search, seven terms are needed but precision remains low (4.3%). Developments in the methods of search strategy design may help to improve precision while retaining high levels of sensitivity by identifying term(s) which occur frequently in relevant records and are the most efficient at discriminating between different study designs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-1842.2007.00698.xDOI Listing
June 2007

Cochrane column.

Int J Epidemiol 2006 Dec 12;35(6):1410-1. Epub 2006 Nov 12.

South African Cochrane Centre, Medical Research Council, PO Box 19070, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyl246DOI Listing
December 2006

The handsearching of 2 medical journals of Bahrain for reports of randomized controlled trials.

Saudi Med J 2006 Apr;27(4):526-30

Genetic Department, Salmaniyah Medical Complex, Kingdom of Bahrain.

Objective: To identify reports of randomized trials by handsearching 2 Bahrain medical journals, which are indexed in the biomedical database EMBASE and to determine any added value of the handsearching by comparing the reports found by handsearching with what would have been found by searching EMBASE to examine (i) the precision and sensitivity of the EMBASE index term Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) and (ii) The Cochrane Collaboration's systematic electronic search of EMBASE (which uses 4 index terms and 9 free-text terms).

Methods: All issues of the Bahrain Medical Bulletin (BMB) (1979-2004) and the Journal of the Bahrain Medical Society (JBMS) (1989-2004) were handsearched in February 2005 for reports of RCTs or Controlled Clinical Trials (CCTs), according to Cochrane eligibility criteria.

Results: Out of 395 articles in BMB we found reports of 12 RCTs and 4 CCTs. Distribution by country of corresponding author: Jordan (4 RCTs, one CCT), Bahrain (one RCT, one CCT), India (3 RCTs, one CCT), Kuwait (one CCT), Saudi Arabia (2 RCTs), USA/Bahrain (one RCT), and Oman (one RCT); and by specialty: Anesthesia (8), Surgery (1) Pediatrics (1), Radiotherapy (1), Community Medicine (1), Sports Medicine (1), Obstetrics/Gynecology (3). The Journal of the Bahrain Medical Society included reports of 14 RCTs and 3 CCTs, out of 97 articles. Distribution by country of corresponding author: Jordan (9 RCTs, 2 CCTs), Bahrain (3 RCTs), Egypt (one RCT), Kuwait (one RCT), and Saudi Arabia (one RCT); and by specialty: Anesthesia (7), General Surgery (3), Obstetrics/Gynecology (1), Radiotherapy (1), Pediatrics (1), Orthopaedic Surgery (1), Education (1) Ear Nose and Throat (1) Ophthalmology (1). Overall, of the 33 reports of trials found by handsearching both journals, only 23 were included in EMBASE of which only 6 had been indexed with the term RCT. Of the 23 reports of trials included in EMBASE, 16 had been identified in the Collaboration s systematic search of EMBASE. Two reports of trials could have been retrieved by this search but there was insufficient information in the title and abstract to code these as trials. The EMBASE records for the remaining 5 reports of trials did not contain terms currently used by The Cochrane Collaboration to identify reports of randomized trials in this database.

Conclusion: The handsearching of these journals will help minimize publication bias by locating randomized trials not previously identified and, through their inclusion in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library, will ensure reports of randomized trials will not remain buried through indexing bias.
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April 2006