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Established search filters may miss studies when identifying randomised controlled trials

Cooper, C; Varley-Campbell, J; Carter, P; (2019) Established search filters may miss studies when identifying randomised controlled trials. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology , 112 pp. 12-19. 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2019.04.002. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective The authors were becoming increasingly aware of studies reporting RCT which reported trial phase but did not mention study design or randomisation in the title or abstract. The objective of this study is to determine if established RCT literature search filters should include terms for trial phase. Study design and setting Case study. A search filter for trial phase (the P3 filter) was developed and its sensitivity, efficiency and value was determined when compared to two established RCT literature search filters (The Cochrane HSSS and the Royle and Waugh BRSS) in the year 2015. •improved sensitivity was determined where the P3 filter identified studies missed by either of the established filters; •efficiency was determined by the number needed to read; and •The Cochrane risk of bias tool was used to determine study quality as a proxy for value. Results Both established filters missed studies. The HSSS missed one RCT and four follow-up RCT studies. The BRSS missed one RCT and five follow-up RCT studies. Study quality was unclear. Conclusions Established RCT literature search filters may miss studies where trial phase is reported instead of terms for study design or randomisation. The P3 filter can be incorporated to improve sensitivity.

Type: Article
Title: Established search filters may miss studies when identifying randomised controlled trials
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2019.04.002
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2019.04.002
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072618
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