Friday, 19 August 2016

More about search filters

This follows on from an earlier post about the ISSG Search Filter Resource.

In Medline and some other databases, you can limit a search to a particular publication type, for example, an RCT.  But publication types are not always consistently indexed in Medline, with some references that are RCTs not indexed as such, and some which are not RCTs indexed as if they were.  

Very new references will not have any indexing, so will have no publication type.   They will therefore be missed if you rely on the publication type limit.

So, relying on publication type limits may cause you problems if you are conducting a systematic review and need to find all RCTs on your topic.

A search filter is a search strategy that finds a particular publication type.  For example, this, from SIGN, to find RCTs:

1
 Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/
2
 randomized controlled trial/
3
 Random Allocation/
4
 Double Blind Method/
5
 Single Blind Method/
6
 clinical trial/
7
 clinical trial, phase i.pt
8
 clinical trial, phase ii.pt
9
 clinical trial, phase iii.pt
10
 clinical trial, phase iv.pt
11
 controlled clinical trial.pt
12
 randomized controlled trial.pt
13
 multicenter study.pt
14
 clinical trial.pt
15
 exp Clinical Trials as topic/
16
 or/1-15
17
 (clinical adj trial$).tw
18
 ((singl$ or doubl$ or treb$ or tripl$) adj (blind$3 or mask$3)).tw
19
 PLACEBOS/
20
 placebo$.tw
21
 randomly allocated.tw
22
 (allocated adj2 random$).tw
23
 or/17-22
24
 16 or 23
25
 case report.tw
26
 letter/
27
 historical article/
28
 or/25-27
29
 24 not 28

This uses MeSH headings that might be applied to an RCT, but also title or abstract words that might indicate that a study is an RCT.

The ISSG Search Filter Resource links to search filters for retrieving different study designs, and to information about designing search filters.  

If you are doing a systematic search (including, but not only, searches for evidence for systematic reviews), we recommend looking at the ISSG Search Filter Resource.    For advice on search filters, please do contact your Clinical Librarian.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre

Following the report of a national panel, NHS England have made the decision to stop children’s heart surgery at Glenfield. You can read NHS England’s letter and the Trust’s response.

Services need to reach standards about numbers of surgeons, number of operations they each conduct, and which other services are on the same site.  Leicester does not meet all the requirements (but none of the 14 other services nationally do either), and the report believes that we are unlikely to do so. 

UHL believes that the service offered here is high quality, and that forthcoming NICOR data will show that our outcomes are among the best in the country.   The Understanding Children’s Heart Surgery Outcomes site shows that for children aged 0-16, there is no evidence that chances of survival in the hospital are different from predicted.

Closing children’s heart services here will have an adverse effect on paediatric intensive care services here and elsewhere in the East Midlands, and on the ECMO service here, which is nationally very important.   Locally, patients and their families will have to undertake much longer journeys for treatment and care. 

So, there is a campaign at UHL to keep children’s heart services, and all staff receive weekly updates.   Senior Trust staff have met with local and national government and local MPs.  There has been much local media coverage.

The Clinical Librarian Service will help the campaign by locating, if needed, supporting literature or statistics.  I, the Clinical Librarian for cardiology and cardiac surgery, have added the campaign logo (above) to all my emails!

Read more about UHL’s campaign.  There is also a petition to Parliament asking for a public review, which you might like to consider signing.  

Monday, 8 August 2016

Cochrane Clinical Answers

Did you know that The English, Scottish & Welsh NHS license for the Cochrane Library now includes FREE access to  Cochrane Clinical Answers? 

Cochrane Clinical Answers provides brief evidence based summaries on popular clinical questions and links to the evidence from Cochrane Reviews on those questions. 

Here is a link to the Cochrane Clinical Answers on Diabetes, to give you an idea of what is available: Cochrane Clinical Answers Diabetes

Monday, 18 July 2016

The InterTASC Information Specialists' Sub-Group Search Filter Resource

Today I was a bit stuck on a literature search. How should I do a good search to find Black and Minority Ethnic studies. BAME is a popular acronym in the UK but it doesn’t have a gold standard definition or a gold standard search strategy (that I have found so far). So I emailed some UK based health librarian discussion lists as below:

Dear All

I have had searches requested from two different people on BAME aspects of health care. I was wondering if anyone had come across a gold standard search strategy for this and if not, at least a fairly plausible one for me to get some ideas from.
So far I have found these two publications that have some ideas:



I will be happy to share my findings with the boards.

I got some great replies and one of them reminded me about a great place to look for searches (or filters or hedges as they also called).

Sadly it doesn’t include my elusive BAME search strategy, but it does have lots of other great filters and information on how to evaluate an existing filter or produce a new one.



Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Knowledge For Healthcare - PKSB for Health is launched


Did you know that over the last year the Competencies Task and Finish Group have worked with CILIP to create a version of the Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) that is relevant to the health setting.


This is being launched today at the CILIP Conference. For more information, and to stay up to date with Knowledge For Healthcare, follow the KfH blog http://kfh.libraryservices.nhs.uk/ and sign up for news alerts.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Twitter tips: Hashtags

Here are five top tips on how to use hashtags:

  • Remember if you're using a hashtag from a public account, anyone who does a search for the hashtag will find your tweet. So, make sure the hashtag is appropriate, professional and relevant.
  • Don't use too many hashtags as that's considered as spam. Twitter's Best Practice recommends using a maximum of two hashtags.
  • Hashtags can appear anywhere in your tweet, not just at the end of your tweet.
  • Find interesting tweets on a topic and profiles to follow by searching for a hashtag topic in the search field.
  • Create your own hashtag by simply putting the hashtag symbol # in front of your topic. When creating a hashtag remember to see if it's already being used first as part of someone's marketing campaign, competition etc.
We hope you find these tips helpful. Catch up on all our tips here.