The NICE OECD countries’ geographic search filters: Part 2—validation of the MEDLINE and Embase (Ovid) filters
Keywords:search filter, literature searching, geography
Objective: We previously developed draft MEDLINE and Embase (Ovid) geographic search filters for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to assess their feasibility for finding evidence about the countries. Here, we describe the validation of these search filters.
Methods: We identified OECD country references from thirty National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines to generate gold standard sets for MEDLINE (n=2,065) and Embase (n=2,023). We validated the filters by calculating their recall against these sets. We then applied the filters to existing search strategies for three OECD-focused NICE guideline reviews (NG103 on flu vaccination, NG140 on abortion care, and NG146 on workplace health) to calculate the filters’ impact on the number needed to read (NNR) of the searches.
Results: The filters both achieved 99.95% recall against the gold standard sets. Both filters achieved 100% recall for the three NICE guideline reviews. The MEDLINE filter reduced NNR from 256 to 232 for the NG103 review, from 38 to 27 for the NG140 review, and from 631 to 591 for the NG146 review. The Embase filter reduced NNR from 373 to 341 for the NG103 review, from 101 to 76 for the NG140 review, and from 989 to 925 for the NG146 review.
Conclusion: The NICE OECD countries’ search filters are the first validated filters for the countries. They can save time for research topics about OECD countries by finding the majority of evidence about OECD countries while reducing search result volumes in comparison to no filter use.
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