Background: rapid reviews have emerged as an efficient approach to synthesizing evidence using simplified processes. Filters capable of capturing systematic reviews, guidelines, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and health technology assessments (HTAs) at once could improve the efficiency of literature searches. PubMed lacks a common query for these study designs together. The Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS) has been performing rapid HTA for more than 10 years, and developed in the process an encompassing filter.
Objectives: to assess the diagnostic accuracy of a search filter to identify systematic reviews, guidelines, and RCTs in PubMed, compared to the current available tools of PubMed.
Methods: we will prospectively select consecutive rapid HTAs to be undertaken during 2017 by our HTA agency (IECS, Buenos Aires, Argentina), for which the search in PubMed, without any filter yields less than 500 records (in order to have a manageable universe of citations and be feasible to our team). The search without any filter will be considered the reference standard; the IECS filter (Box 1) the index test, and the combination of PubMed’s clinical queries (narrow and broad) for systematic reviews and RCTs, and 'Guideline/Practice Guideline' article type, as the alternative test. Since there is no specific tool to identify HTAs in PubMed we will exclude them for the analysis.
One author will identify relevant studies from the screening by title and abstract, and by full-text of potentially eligible studies, and a second author will verify them. Finally, we will characterize and compare the retrieval rates of relevant references using both tests under comparison.
Results and conclusions: we will present results showing diagnostic accuracy of both the IECS filter and the alternative test, and its interpretation, at the Colloquium.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: our HTA documents are submitted to public consultation and then the search outputs assessed.