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  • 1. Characteristics of Included Studies Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) Dickersin[26] Neonatal To compare MEDLINE Trial registry 1966-85 RCT, 1985 hyperbilirubinemia searches in search 1 vs. Simple & CCT (USA) ; intraventricular MEDLINE to the Trial registry Complex hemorrhage in gold standard vs. MEDLINE search newborns Register of search 2 Controlled Trials in perinatal medicine. Poynard[27] Hepatology (liver To compare Handsearch Handsearch 1966-82 RCT, 1985 diseases) MEDLARS and vs. MEDLARS Complex CCT (USA, France) hand searches search for RCTs. Bernstein[28] Hepatology (liver To re-evaluate Handsearch Handsearch 1966-82 RCT, 1988 diseases) Poynard & vs. MEDLARS Complex CCT (USA) Conn’s study search that compared MEDLARS and hand searches for RCTs. Brand[29] Hypertension To calculate the Handsearch Handsearch 1979-96 RCT 1999 sensitivity of the vs. MEDLINE Simple & (USA) publication type Cochrane Randomized search Controlled Trial and of the Cochrane search strategy for identifying reports of RCTs in 4 major journals. Kirpalani[21] Newborn care Determine the Handsearch Handsearch 1985 RCT, 1989 sensitivity, vs. MEDLINE Complex CCT (Canada) specificity and search 2 search positive (Amateur predictive value search) vs. of MEDLINE MEDLINE searches for search 1 RCTs of (Librarian newborn infant search) care. Hofmans[30] Acupuncture To investigate Meta-analysis Meta-analysis 1966-1989 RCT 1990 publication bias vs. MEDLINE references Simple (Netherlands) by analyzing vs. Index search references from Medicus vs. a meta-analysis. Gold standard Gøtzsche[31] Rheumatoid To test different MEDLINE MEDLINE, 1966-85 RCT, 1991 arthritis MEDLINE search 1 pharmaceutical None & CCT, (Denmark) search (comparative companies, simple double- strategies for study) vs. references search blind trials RCTs. MEDLINE search 2 (double-blind method)
  • 2. Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) Kleijnen[32] Homeopathy; To compare Handsearch MEDLINE, 1940-91 CCT 1992 ascorbic acid for electronic and vs. MEDLINE EMBASE, Complex (Netherlands) common cold; handsearching. vs. EMBASE Current search gingko biloba for Are there Contents, claudication and differences references, cerebral between conference insufficiency identified proceedings, articles and journals, other personal publications communication, from non- pharmaceutical indexed companies, sources. visiting special libraries, word of mouth Jadada[33] Anesthetic; pain To produce Handsearch Handsearch + 1966-92 RCT, 1993 estimates of the vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE Complex CCT (UK) time involved in vs. search identifying RCTs Supplement published in issues specialist journals, MEDLINE & Handsearch. To determine the sensitivity and precision of MEDLINE searches for RCTs. To determine the causes of missed articles, efficient combinations of MEDLINE and selective handsearching to achieve high sensitivity at minimal cost. Jadadb[34] Primary care To refine [13] Handsearch Handsearch + 1966-91 RCT 1993 search strategy vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE Complex (UK) to identify more search reports on pain relief. Silagy[13] Primary care To determine Handsearch Handsearch + 1968-91 RCT 1993 the number, vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE Complex (UK) nature, site of search publication and feasibility of identifying RCTs. Adams[35] Mental health care To identify Handsearch Key, standard, 1971, 1976, RCT, 1994 sensitivity and vs. MEDLINE skilled and 1981, 1986, CCT (UK) precision of search 1 hand searches 1991 MEDLINE and (standard Simple & handsearch for search) vs. Complex RCTs. MEDLINE search search 2 (key search) vs. MEDLINE search 3 (Cochrane skilled search)
  • 3. Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) Aker[36] Manual therapy to To determine Chirolars vs. Chirolars + 1966 RCT 1994 the cervical spine whether CINAHL vs. CINAHL + onwards (Canada) searching EMBASE vs. EMBASE + Complex computerized MEDLINE MEDLINE search databases in addition to MEDLINE would yield further relevant literature. To compare the cost and efficiency of four different databases. Dickersin[37] Ophthalmology To determine Handsearch Handsearch + 1988-89 RCT, 1994 the sensitivity vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE Cochrane CCT (USA) and precision of search 1 search MEDLINE (broad searches for search) vs. randomized MEDLINE clinical trials. To search 2 develop a (sensitive register of trials. search) Solomon[38] General surgery To determine Handsearch Handsearch 1990 RCT 1994 RCTs in 1990; vs. MEDLINE Simple (Canada) the area, search 1 search country, centers (publication involved, are type + MeSH) surgeons vs. MEDLINE principal search 2 authors, (random & funding, journals double-blind) published in, therapy being tested & assess study quality Tsutani[14] Japanese To conduct a JAPICDOC JAPICDOC + Years not RCT 1994 randomized comprehensive vs. JMEDICINE + stated (Japan) controlled trials analysis of the JMEDICINE JICST-E Index content and vs. JICST-E Search? accessibility of vs. MEDLINE three Japanese databases and MEDLINE. Johnson[39] No topic (study To compare the MEDLINE vs. NEJM 1990-94 RCT, 1995 designs only) numbers of NEJM database Simple other (USA) items retrieved search trials from MEDLINE and full-text NEJM and examine the unique access points available in each. Clarkea[40] American Society To compare a Handsearch Handsearch Year not RCT 1996 of Clinical handsearch of vs. CancerLIT stated (UK) Oncology the 1,471 search 1 vs. Simple abstracts from CancerLIT search the 1992 ASCO search 2 vs. meeting with an Handsearch + indexed CancerLIT bibliographic database to identify RCTs.
  • 4. Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) Clarkeb[41] Lancet To identify the MEDLINE Handsearch + 1994 RCT 1996 numbers of search 1 vs. MEDLINE Cochrane (UK) reports of RCTs MEDLINE search correctly tagged search 2 vs. by the National MEDLINE Library of search 3 Medicine and the number of additional reports identified by electronic search and handsearch. Jadad[42] Pain; analgesic To describe Handsearch Handsearch + 1950-90 RCT, 1996 interventions development, vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE Complex CCT (UK and methods used search Canada) to identify eligible RCTs & management of information in pain research from 1950-90; estimate time cost of each step in the process Hay[43] Eating disorders To identify Handsearch Handsearch 1981-93 RCT, 1996 RCTs by vs. EMBASE Complex CCT (UK) handsearch and vs. PsycLIT search compare to MEDLINE & EMBASE. Jefferson[44] Vaccine trials To identify trials Handsearch Handsearch 1983-94 RCT, 1996 in a journal by vs. MEDLINE Cochrane CCT (UK) handsearch. To search set up a database of trials. Marson[45] Epilepsy To compare Handsearch Handsearch 1966-93 RCT, 1996 MEDLINE vs. MEDLINE Simple & CCT (UK) search Complex strategies to a search handsearch. To look at why articles missed in MEDLINE search. McDonald[46] BMJ; Lancet To handsearch Handsearch Handsearch 1948-94 RCT, 1996 the BMJ and vs. MEDLINE Simple & CCT (UK) Lancet from Cochrane 1948-94 to search identify RCTs and CCTs. Neal[47] New Zealand To identify Handsearch Handsearch 1943-95 RCT, 1996 Medical Journal RCTs; to vs. MEDLINE Cochrane CCT (New Zealand) document search characteristics of trials and count the number in MEDLINE.
  • 5. Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) Spoor[48] Diabetic medicine To find RCTs in Handsearch Handsearch + 1984-94 RCT, 1996 Diabetic vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE Simple CCT (UK) Medicine from search 1984-94 by handsearch & MEDLINE Veldhuyzen Functional To evaluate Handsearch Handsearch + Handsearch RCT van Zanten[17] dyspepsia drug therapy of vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE 1980-? 1996 functional search 1 1966-93 (Canada/ dyspepsia and (dyspepsia & p. 661 Australia/ provide random Sweden/USA/ guidelines for allocation) vs. Belgium/ trials MEDLINE Netherlands) search 2 (dyspepsia & therapeutics) Bara[49] Airways To test the Handsearch Handsearch + 1970-95 RCT 1997 sensitivity of vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE (select (UK) handsearching vs. Gold years) full-text standard Complex searching for search the identification of RCTs. Bender[50] Obstetrical To determine Handsearch Handsearch 1985-94 RCT, 1997 anaesthesia RCTs published vs. MEDLINE Simple & CCT (Canada) and their quality. search 1 Complex Compare a (MeSH) vs. search broad MEDLINE MEDLINE search strategy search 2 to a (MeSH + text handsearch. terms) Cullum[51] Nursing To find nursing Handsearch Handsearch + 1987-94 RCT, 1997 RCTs in nursing vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE None & CCT, SR (UK) by developing Cochrane an electronic search search strategy and hand searching. To make the RCTs available through the MEDLINE enhancement programme and by publication in the Cochrane controlled trials register. To identify existing systematic reviews. Duggan[52] Journal of To identify and Handsearch Handsearch 1957-94 RCT, 1997 Intellectual describe all vs. PsycLIT None & CCT (UK) Disability RCTs. To vs. MEDLINE Cochrane Research compare the search 1 search (learning disability) ease of (author idenfication of performed) the RCTs in vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE and search 2 PsycLit. (based upon Cochrane search)
  • 6. Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) McDonald[53] General health To compare the Handsearch Handsearch 1996 RCT, 1997 care reports of vs. MEDLINE Simple & CCT (UK) controlled trials Cochrane identified by search handsearching with those identified by the Cochrane highly sensitive search strategy. Pasternack[54] Medical journals in To determine Handsearch Handsearch + 1954-96 RCT, 1997 Finland the number of vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE Cochrane CCT, MA (Finland) RCT, CCT and search meta-analyses published in main medical journals in Finland. To assess the sensitivity and precision of handsearch and electronic (MEDLINE) search. Reynolds[55] General medical To compare the Handsearch Handsearch 1970, 1981, RCT, 1997 journals sensitivity and vs. MEDLINE 1992 CCT (USA) yield of vs. Gold Cochrane electronic standard search searching and handsearching for randomized controlled trials and non- randomized, controlled clinical trials for 11 US general medical journals for 1970, 1981, and 1992. Smith[56] Community health To determine if Handsearch Handsearch 1992 RCT, 1997 interventions RCT vs. MEDLINE Simple NRIS (Canada) methodology search used appropriately; to compare hand with MEDLINE search for RCTs. Ahmed[57] Archives of To handsearch Handsearch Handsearch 1959-95 RCT 1998 General 1959-95 of the vs. MEDLINE None (US) Psychiatry Archives of General Psychiatry and note information about each RCT identified.
  • 7. Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) Gluud[58] Hepatology To handsearch Handsearch Handsearch + 1985-97 RCT, 1998 the Journal of vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE Cochrane CCT (Denmark) Hepatology, search identify all fully reported RCTs and make a qualitative assessment of their reporting. Nwosu[59] Obstetrics & To develop and Handsearch Handsearch + 1975, 1980, RCT, 1998 gynecology test a MEDLINE vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE 1985, 1990, CCT (UK) search strategy 1995 to identify RCTs Simple search Thomas[15] Stroke To determine MEDLINE vs. Not stated Years not Trials 1998 the number of EMBASE vs. stated (UK) stroke trials Biosis vs. Complex identified in 5 DERWENT search different Drug File vs. databases, the SciSEARCH degree of duplication and the number of unique trials found in the authors’ specialized register. Brazier[60] Pre-hospital care To identify MEDLINE vs. MEDLINE + 1987-97? RCT, 1999 RCTs; to EMBASE EMBASE Cochrane CCT (UK) identify the search themes considered in these RCTs; to compare the sensitivity and precision of the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases. Croft[61] Journal of the To handsearch Handsearch Handsearch 1990-98 RCT, 1999 Royal Army the Journal of vs. MEDLINE Cochrane CCT (UK) Medical Corps the Royal Army search Medical Corps for RCT/CCTs from 1948-1998. Langham[62] Emergency To identify Handsearch Handsearch 1948-95 RCT, 1999 medicine RCTs. To vs. MEDLINE Cochrane CCT (UK) compare vs. search motives for Handsearch participation in only handsearching by emergency medicine professionals; to compare handsearching with MEDLINE searching.
  • 8. Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) MartÍ[63] General and To locate all Handsearch Handsearch 1971-95 CCT 1999 internal medicine controlled vs. MEDLINE Cochrane (Spain) clinical trials search published in Spanish journals of general medicine, between 1971 and 1995, to characterize them, and to incorporate them into the worldwide database of clinical trials maintained by the Cochrane Collaboration. Schlomer[64] Nursing To ascertain Handsearch Handsearch 1988-97 RCT, 1999 whether there vs. MEDLINE Complex CCT, SR (Germany) are German vs. CINAHL search RCTs and systematic reviews in nursing. Quantitative comparison of German and international nursing research. Watsona[65] Group To investigate Handsearch Handsearch + 1993-94 RCT 1999 psychotherapy the adequacy of vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE + Complex (UK) MEDLINE and vs. PsycINFO PsycINFO search PsycINFO in retrieving articles describing outcome studies of group-based psychological treatments. Watsonb[66] Cognitive therapy To compare EMBASE vs. EMBASE, 1992-96 RCT 1999 for depression EMBASE, MEDLINE vs. MEDLINE + Complex (UK) MEDLINE and PsycINFO PsycINFO search PsycINFO in retrieving RCTs. To compare different search strategies.
  • 9. Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) Bassler[67] Pediatrics How many Handsearch Handsearch 1970-98 RCT, 2000 CCTs are vs. MEDLINE Simple CCT (Germany) published in 3 search German pediatrics journals in the past 30 years? What are the characteristics of these trials concerning their methodological quality and their representation in MEDLINE? Adetugbo[68] Dermatology To assess Handsearch Handsearch 1976-97 RCT, 2000 methodological vs. MEDLINE None CCT (UK) quality of the design and reporting of RCTs. Bereczki[69] Neurology; To determine if Handsearch Handsearch 1950-98 RCT, 2000 neurosurgery ; a journal not vs. MEDLINE Simple CCT (Hungary) psychiatry; clinical indexed in search (family search neurosciences MEDLINE has name & first RCTs or CCTs initial) vs. not also MEDLINE reported in other search (family MEDLINE name & publications. disease intervention) Dumbrigue[70] Prosthodontics Evaluate Handsearch Handsearch 1988-97 RCT 2000 sensitivity, vs. MEDLINE Complex (USA) specificity and search precision of MEDLINE search strategies for RCTs. Fergusson[20] Allogeneic blood Explore type of MEDLINE vs. MEDLINE, 1966-96 RCT 2000 transfusion in literature search EMBASE EMBASE, Simple, (Canada / elective surgery strategy, authors + Complex & France) inclusion or references Cochrane exclusion of search abstracts, letters or conference proceedings; the inclusion or exclusion of non-english language publications; the effect of trial quality upon the results of meta- analyses and the inclusion or exclusion of non-placebo- controlled studies
  • 10. Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) Galandi[71] General health To determine Handsearch Handsearch 1948-98 RCT 2000 care the value of vs. MEDLINE None & (Germany) MEDLINE and search 1 vs Simple EMBASE for the MEDLINE search identification of search 2 vs. clinical trials EMBASE published in search 1 vs. German general EMBASE health care search 2 journals. Kennedy[19] AIDS To compare Handsearch Handsearch 1987-99 RCT 2000 RCTs identified vs. MEDLINE Index (USA) by MEDLINE search 1 vs. search with those MEDLINE identified search 2 through a handsearch of articles in the journal AIDS. Olesen[72] Scandanavian To identify all Handsearch Handsearch 1955-97 RCT, 2000 Journal of reports of RCTs vs. MEDLINE None CCT (Denmark) Rheumatology in a journal and compare with a MEDLINE search. Suarez[3] Rheumatoid To compare the Handsearch MEDLINE + 1988, 1994 CCT 2000 arthritis, low back retrieval vs. MEDLINE EMBASE Cochrane (USA, pain and performance of vs. EMBASE search Canada) osteoporosis MEDLINE and EMBASE for CCTs. Avenell[73] Nutrition To evaluate the Handsearch + Handsearch + 1966-2000 RCT, 2001 search plan for MEDLINE + MEDLINE + Complex CCT (UK) identifying RCTs EMBASE + EMBASE + search in nutrition as CINAHL + Cinahl + part of a CABNAR + CABNAR + systematic BIOSIS + BIOSIS + review of HealthStar HealthStar nutritional supplementation trials in patients after hip fracture. Eysenbach[74] Preterm Are searches on Internet vs. Included 1998-2000 RCT, 2001 premature rupture the world wide Systematic studies of 3 (internet CCT (Germany) of membranes; web useful to reviews systematic search on severe mental identify reviews AltaVista) disorders; asthma; additional Simple obstructive sleep unpublished and search apnoea; ongoing clinical retinopathy of trials. To prematurity; develop and respiratory evaluate a distress syndrome search strategy for finding trials on the internet Helmer[18] Acupuncture for To test Handsearch Major No years RCT 2001 addiction, lipid- effectiveness of vs. Major databases + listed (Canada) lowering drug systematic databases vs. extended None therapy for search Extended search coronary heart strategies to methods disease identify RCTs.
  • 11. Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) Furukawa[75] Depression; To examine the Handsearch Japanese 1981-2000 RCT 2002 neuroleptics Cochrane vs. Trial registry + Simple (Japan, UK) Depression, registry 1 vs. CCDAN search Anxiety and Trial registry 2 Neurosis Group vs. Trial and Cochrane registry 3 Schizophrenia Group’s trial registries against a register of Japanese trials. Hopewell[76] Specialized health To compare Handsearch Handsearch 1970-1999 RCT, 2002 care journals MEDLINE & vs. MEDLINE Simple CCT (UK) hand searches search to identify RCTs. To submit handsearch trials to CENTRAL and MEDLINE for retagging. Isaakidis[77] Disease burden To evaluate MEDLINE vs. MEDLINE + 1966-2000 RCT 2002 whether the CENTRAL vs. Central + Simple & (Greece) amount of African African Trial Cochrane randomised Published Registry search clinical research Trials on various Register of medical the South conditions is African related to the Cochrane burden of Center disease and health needs of the local populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Langham[78] Critical care To compare Handsearch Handsearch + 1948-95 RCT, 2002 handsearching vs. MEDLINE MEDLINE Cochrane CCT, (UK) with MEDLINE search possible searching RCT (employing a comprehensive search strategy) in 15 critical care journals and to assess the quality of reporting of RCTs.
  • 12. Study Topic(s) Objective(s) Comparisons Reference Search Included Standard Years & Study Type(s) Design(s) Royle[79] New reviews in To determine CENTRAL vs. whatever the Years not RCT, 2003 CDSR the sources MEDLINE vs. systematic listed CCT (UK) currently used in EMBASE vs. reviews Simple Cochrane Science searched search reviews to Citation search for trials. Index/Social Measure the Sciences proportion of Citation Index trials indexed in 4 databases. Analyze RCTs not indexed in CCTR, MEDLINE or EMBASE. Compare the quality of trials found in CCTR, MEDLINE or EMBASE with those from other sources. Sampson[1] Meta-analysis Does EMBASE EMBASE vs. MEDLINE + 1966-2000 RCT 2003 provide material MEDLINE EMBASE + Simple (Canada) not in MEDLINE grey literature search for meta- analysis?