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J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Jun;27 Suppl 1:S28-32. doi: 10.1007/s11606-011-1873-8.

Chapter 4: effective search strategies for systematic reviews of medical tests.

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  • Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd, Portland, OR 97217, USA. relevo@ohsu.edu


This article discusses techniques that are appropriate when developing search strategies for systematic reviews of medical tests. This includes general advice for searching for systematic reviews and issues specific to systematic reviews of medical tests. Diagnostic search filters are currently not sufficiently developed for use when searching for systematic reviews. Instead, authors should construct a highly sensitive search strategy that uses both controlled vocabulary and text words. A comprehensive search should include multiple databases and sources of grey literature. A list of subject-specific databases is included in this article.

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