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1. Gehanno JF, Rollin L, Le Jean T, Louvel A, Darmoni S, Shaw W: Precision and recall of search strategies for identifying studies on return-to-work in Medline. J Occup Rehabil; 2009 Sep;19(3):223-30
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  • [Source] The source of this record is MEDLINE®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  • [Title] Precision and recall of search strategies for identifying studies on return-to-work in Medline.
  • INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to report on the qualities of various search strategies and keywords to find return to work (RTW) studies in the Medline bibliographic database.
  • METHODS: We searched Medline for articles on RTW published in 2003, using multiple search strings, and hand searched 16 major periodicals of rehabilitation or occupational medicine.
  • Among the retrieved articles, those considered to be relevant, were pooled in a Gold Standard Database.
  • From this database, we identified candidate text words or MeSH terms for search strategies using a word frequency analysis of the abstracts and a MEDLINE categorization algorithm.
  • According to the frequency of identified terms, searches were run for each term independently and in combination.
  • We computed Recall, Precision, and number needed to read (NNR = 1/Precision) of each keyword or combination of keywords.
  • RESULTS: Among the 8,073 articles examined, 314 (3.9%) were considered relevant and included in the Gold Standard Database.
  • The search strings ("Rehabilitation, Vocational" [MeSH]), ("Return to work"[All]) and ("Back to work"[All]) had Recall/Precision ratio of 30.46/19.11, 59.55/87.38 and 3.18/90.91%, respectively.
  • Their combination with the Boolean operator OR yielded to a Recall/Precision ratio of 73.89/58.44% and a NNR of 1.7.
  • For the end user requiring comprehensive literature search, the best string was ("Return to work" OR "Back to work" OR "Rehabilitation, vocational"[MeSH] OR "rehabilitation"[Subheading]), with a Recall of 88.22% and a NNR of 18.
  • CONCLUSIONS: No single MeSH term is available to help the physician to identify relevant studies on RTW in Medline.
  • Locating these types of studies requires the use of various MeSH and non-MeSH terms in combination to obtain a satisfactory Recall.
  • Nevertheless, enhancing the Recall of search strategies may lead to lower Precision, and higher NNR, although with a non linear trend.
  • This factor must be taken into consideration by the end user in order to improve the cost-effectiveness ratio of the search in Medline.
  • [MeSH-major] Bibliometrics. Databases, Bibliographic. MEDLINE. Mental Recall. Occupational Health. Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data
  • [MeSH-minor] Algorithms. Humans. United States

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  • (PMID = 19381789.001).
  • [ISSN] 1573-3688
  • [Journal-full-title] Journal of occupational rehabilitation
  • [ISO-abbreviation] J Occup Rehabil
  • [Language] eng
  • [Publication-type] Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • [Publication-country] Netherlands
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