How to Conduct a Systematic Search


Published on


Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology

How to Conduct a Systematic Search

  1. 1. Robin Featherstone, MLIS Liaison Librarian (Medicine) McGill University Life Sciences Library How to Conduct a Systematic Search
  2. 3. <ul><li>By the end of today’s class, you will… </li></ul><ul><li>Be able to conduct a systematic search </li></ul><ul><li>Know who to call for help </li></ul>Objectives
  3. 4. <ul><li>A review of a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyse data from the studies that are included in the review. </li></ul>From: Cochrane Collaboration (2012). Glossary: Systematic Review. Accessed Jan 6, 2011: What’s a Systematic Review?
  4. 5. From: Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG, The PRISMA Group (2009). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analyses: The PRISMA Statement. PLoS Med 6(6): e1000097. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed1000097 Flow of Information Through the Different Phases of a Systematic Review
  5. 6. <ul><li>Systematic reviews of interventions require a thorough, objective and reproducible search of a range of sources to identify as many relevant studies as possible (within resource limits). </li></ul>From: Cochrane Handbook (2012). Section 6: Searching for Studies . Accessed Jan 9, 2011: What’s a Systematic Search?
  6. 7. <ul><li>Develop a PICO or research question </li></ul><ul><li>Select sources/database </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a search strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Run the search </li></ul><ul><li>Apply practical screens </li></ul><ul><li>Export references to a citation manager </li></ul>How to Identify Articles
  7. 8. Develop a PICO or Research Question
  8. 9. <ul><li>You ’ re applying for a grant to support your research on management of patients with atrial fibrillation. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of a question related to this topic... </li></ul>Scenario
  9. 10. Relevancy Retrieval (# of search results) Broad Questions Narrow Questions High = lots of articles Low = very few articles High = directly relevant articles Low = mostly irrelevant articles How questions influence search results
  10. 11. <ul><li>Broad: </li></ul><ul><li>What is the prevalence of post-operative atrial fibrillation? </li></ul><ul><li>Narrow: </li></ul><ul><li>For cardiac surgery patients with post-operative atrial fibrillation, do beta-blockers reduce incidents of post-operative stroke? </li></ul><ul><li>Very Narrow: </li></ul><ul><li>For African Canadian cardiac surgery patients with a history of diabetes and post-operative atrial fibrillation, does antiplatelet therapy reduce length of hospital stay compared with anticoagulants? </li></ul>Possible Questions
  11. 12. Select Sources/Databases
  12. 13. <ul><li>Article Databases </li></ul><ul><li>Medicine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE , EMBASE , Cochrane Library , DARE </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multidisciplinary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scopus, Web of Science </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nursing and Allied Health </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CINAHL </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AMED, PsycINFO, Compendex, Inspec, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Grey Literature ” * </li></ul><ul><li>Association, Organization & Government Reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Canadian Medical Association, Health Canada, World Health Organization, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conference Proceedings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Embase, Scopus </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dissertations & Theses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proquest Dissertations & Theses Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web Search Engines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Scholar </li></ul></ul>Where to Search * See CADTH checklist:
  13. 14. Match the Question to the Source(s) 1. What is the optimum withdrawal time during colonoscopy to screen for adenomas and polyps? A. MEDLINE 2. What are proven methods for integrating simulators into endoscopy training? B. PsycINFO 3. When should patients presenting with febrile neutropenia to the Emergency Department be administered antibiotics? C. Inspec 4. Which injection method is the most effective for administering lidocaine? D. EMBASE 5. Which factors improve quality of life for patients post mastectomy? E. SCOPUS 6. What is the analgesic efficacy for antipsychotic agents for chronic pain? F. Cochrane Library
  14. 15. Develop a Search Strategy
  15. 16. <ul><li>Select your database </li></ul><ul><li>Break you question into concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Identify subject headings for each concept </li></ul><ul><li>Identify text words for each concept </li></ul><ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a “ target article ” to help identify search terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a worksheet to keep track of your terms </li></ul></ul>Step-by-Step
  16. 17. <ul><li>Which concepts are contained in the question: </li></ul><ul><li>Does hydration decrease incidence of delirium at the end of life? </li></ul>Identify Concepts
  17. 18. What is MeSH?
  18. 19. <ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Select subject headings that are the closest match for your concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay attention to “ explode ” commands – PubMed will search related headings by default </li></ul></ul>Subject Headings Database Subject Headings Medline/PubMed MeSH EMBASE EMTREE CINAHL CINAHL Headings Cochrane Library MeSH PsycINFO Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms Scopus, Web of Science N/A
  19. 20. Which Subject Heading Explodes? A. Bird Diseases B. Neutropenia
  20. 21. <ul><li>What are MeSH headings for these concepts? </li></ul><ul><li>Add appropriate subject headings to your worksheet </li></ul>Identify Subject Headings Hydration Delirium End of Life
  21. 22. Concept #1 Concept #2 Concept #3 Subject Headings Text Words Blank worksheets: Ovid Medline Strategy AND AND OR exp Fluid Therapy/ Delirium/ exp Terminal Care/ OR Palliative Care/ exp Terminally Ill/ OR OR OR
  22. 23. <ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Not all citations have subject headings </li></ul>Next: Identify Text Words Image credit: 2. Indexers are only cyborgs
  23. 24. Ovid Search Commands for Text Word Searching Operator Command Example * Find alternate endings hosp* [will find hospital, hospitals, hospitalist, hospice, hospices, etc.] .tw. Search for this term in the Title and Abstract fields adj Search for one term within x number of terms from another patient adj3 anxiety [will find patient within three words of anxiety] AND Find articles where both terms appear smoking AND cessation OR Find articles where either term appears smoking OR tobacco () Control order of operations – commands within brackets run first (smok* OR tobacco).tw.
  24. 25. Concept #1 Concept #2 Concept #3 Subject Headings Text Words Ovid Search Strategy AND AND OR exp Fluid Therapy/ Delirium/ exp Terminal Care/ OR Palliative Care/ exp Terminally Ill/ OR hydrat*.tw. deliri*.tw. (terminal* adj4 patient*).tw. OR fluid*.tw. OR end of
  25. 26. <ul><li>#7) Describe all information sources (e.g. databases with dates of coverage, contact with study authors to identify additional studies) in the search and date last searched. </li></ul><ul><li>#8) Present full electronic search strategy for at least one database, including any limits used, such that it could be repeated. </li></ul>PRISMA Checklist for Reporting Systematic Reviews From: PRISMA Statement for Reporting Systematic Reviews (2012). PRISMA Checklist. Accessed Jan 10, 2011:
  26. 27. BREAK – 10 mins
  27. 28. Run the search
  28. 29. <ul><li>Start with your first concept </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search for the subject headings first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then search text words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combine these synonymous searches with OR using your search history </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Repeat for your second, third, and subsequent concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, combine large search results set with AND </li></ul><ul><li>Tip: Test your search strategy by checking to see if a few “ target articles ” appear in the results </li></ul>How to Search
  29. 30. How to Search Search #2 = Search #3 = Search #4 = Search #5 = #1 OR #2 OR #3 OR #4 Search #1 = Concept 1 Search #6 = Search #7 = Search #8 = Search #9 = Concept 2 Search #10 = #6 OR #7 OR #8 OR #9 Search #11 = #5 AND #10 Results
  30. 31. Concept #1 Concept #2 Concept #3 Subject Headings Text Words Demo AND AND OR exp Fluid Therapy/ Delirium/ exp Terminal Care/ OR Palliative Care/ exp Terminally Ill/ OR hydrat*.tw. deliri*.tw. (terminal* adj4 patient*).tw. OR fluid*.tw. OR end of
  31. 32. Applying practical screening criteria
  32. 33. <ul><li>Two kinds: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical screens identify potentially useful studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodological screens identify best available studies </li></ul></ul>Screening
  33. 34. <ul><li>Date of publication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only studies conducted between 2005 and 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participants or subjects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only children 6 to 12 years of age </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publication language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only materials written in English or French </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only clinical trials </li></ul></ul>Practical Screens/Limits Examples
  34. 35. <ul><li>Apply to your combined search result set: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>English & French Language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publication Year: 2001 – Current </li></ul></ul>Apply Screens/Limits
  35. 36. Export References to a Citation Manager Download from: Available to McGill students, faculty, staff.
  36. 37. <ul><li>What they do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and remove duplicate references </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Format your bibliography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize references into folders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share your references with colleagues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Automatically find full-text articles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information and workshops: </li></ul>Citation Managers
  37. 38. Next steps
  38. 39. <ul><li>Retain as much of your original strategy as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that subject headings will be different (or non-existent) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep track of your search terms using new worksheets </li></ul>Moving to Another Source
  39. 40. <ul><li>Locate the reference lists for selected studies* </li></ul><ul><li>Identify new articles that have cited your studies* </li></ul><ul><li>Identify key journals and “ hand search ” their issues </li></ul><ul><li>Contact study authors </li></ul><ul><li>* Use Web of Science or Scopus </li></ul>Hand Searching
  40. 41. From: Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG, The PRISMA Group (2009). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analyses: The PRISMA Statement. PLoS Med 6(6): e1000097. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed1000097 Next steps
  41. 42. <ul><li>How would you describe a systematic search? </li></ul><ul><li>Synonymous searches are combined with ___ </li></ul><ul><li>Can you apply methodological screens with a database? </li></ul>Recap
  42. 43. Where to go for Help Robin Featherstone Liaison Librarian (Medicine) Life Sciences Library, McGill University   514-398-4475 ext. 09844# [email_address] Martin Morris Bibliothécaire Médical / Medical Librarian Hôpital Royal Victoria Hospital   514-934-1934 ext. 35292 [email_address] Tara Landry Bibliothécaire médicale / Medical Librarian Montreal General Hospital   514-934-1934 ext. 43057 [email_address]
  43. 44. Resources Systematic review guidelines: Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) Systematic Reviews: CRD’s Guidance for Undertaking Reviews in Health Care!SSL!/WebHelp/SysRev3.htm IOM (Institute of Medicine). Finding what works in health care: standards for systematic reviews Searching for grey literature: CADTH (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health). Grey Matters: a practical search tool for evidence-based medicine Citation management: Getting help with EndNote
  44. 45. Robin Featherstone, MLIS Liaison Librarian (Medicine) [email_address] Questions Slides: