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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Journal of Medical Internet Research >
Volume 8 (2006) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/9803


Title: Age-Specific Search Strategies for Medline
Authors: Kastner, Monika
Wilczynski, Nancy L
Walker-Dilks, Cindy
McKibbon, Kathleen Ann
Haynes, Brian
Keywords: Original Paper
Information storage and retrieval
Medline
medical subject headings
Issue Date: 25-Oct-2006
Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach; Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada
Citation: Monika Kastner, Nancy L Wilczynski, Cindy Walker-Dilks, Kathleen Ann McKibbon, Brian Haynes. Age-Specific Search Strategies for Medline. J Med Internet Res 2006;8(4):e25 <URL: http://www.jmir.org/2006/4/e25/>
Abstract: [This item is a preserved copy and is not necessarily the most recent version. To view the current item, visit http://www.jmir.org/2006/4/e25/ ] Background: Many clinicians and researchers are interested in patients of a specific age (childhood, geriatrics, and so on). Searching for age-specific publications in large bibliographic databases such as Medline is problematic because of inconsistencies in indexing, overlapping age categories, and the spread of the relevant literature over many journals. To our knowledge, no empirically tested age-specific search strategies exist for Medline. Objective: We sought to determine the retrieval characteristics of age-specific terms in Medline for identifying studies relevant for five clinical specialties: adult medicine, geriatric medicine, pediatric medicine, neonatal medicine, and obstetrics. Methods: We compared age-specific search terms and phrases for the retrieval of citations in Medline with a manual hand search of the literature for 161 core health care journals. Six experienced research assistants who were trained and intensively calibrated read all issues of 161 journals for the publishing year 2000. In addition to classifying all articles for purpose and quality, study participants' ages were also recorded. Outcome measures were sensitivity, specificity, precision, and accuracy of single and combination search terms. Results: When maximizing sensitivity, the best sensitivity and specificity achieved with combination terms were 98% and 81.2%, respectively, for pediatric medicine, 96.4% and 55.9% for geriatric medicine, 95.3% and 83.6% for neonatal medicine, 94.9% and 64.5% for adult medicine, and 82% and 97.1% for obstetrics. When specificity was maximized, all disciplines had an expected decrease in sensitivity and an increase in precision. Highest values for optimizing best sensitivity and specificity were achieved in neonatal medicine, 92.5% and 92.6%, respectively. Conclusion: Selected single terms and combinations of MeSH terms and textwords can reliably retrieve age-specific studies cited in Medline.
Description: Reviewer: Leipzig, Rosanne
Reviewer: van der Paardt, Marcel
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.8.4.e25
http://hdl.handle.net/1807/9803
ISSN: 1438-8871
Rights: © Monika Kastner, Nancy L Wilczynski, Cindy Walker-Dilks, Kathleen Ann McKibbon. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 25.10.2006. Except where otherwise noted, articles published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, including full bibliographic details and the URL (see "please cite as" above), and this statement is included.
Appears in Collections:Volume 8 (2006)

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