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Table 2 Combination of Terms with the Best Sensitivity, Best Specificity, and Best Optimization of Sensitivity and Specificity for Detecting Studies of Diagnosis in EMBASE in 2000. Values are percentages (95% confidence intervals).

From: EMBASE search strategies for identifying methodologically sound diagnostic studies for use by clinicians and researchers

Search Strategyn OVID search* Sensitivity (n = 97) Specificity (n = 27672) Precision† Accuracy (n = 27769)
Best Sensitivity (keeping specificity ≥ 50%) di.fs. OR predict:.tw. OR specificity.tw. 100.0 (100.0 to 100.0) 70.4 (69.8 to 70.9) 1.2 (0.9 to 1.4) 70.5 (69.9 to 71.0)
Small drop in sensitivity with a substantive gain in specificity diagnos:.mp. OR predict:.tw. OR specificity.tw. 96.9 (93.5 to 100.0) 78.2 (77.7 to 78.7) 1.5 (1.2 to 1.8) 78.3 (77.8 to 78.8)
Best Specificity (keeping sensitivity ≥ 50%) specificity.tw. 62.9 (53.5 to 72.5) 98.2 (98.1 to 98.4) 11.0 (8.4 to 13.6) 98.1 (97.9 to 98.3)
Small drop in specificity with a substantive gain in sensitivity specificity.tw. OR accurac:.tw. 73.2 (64.4 to 82.0) 97.4 (97.2 to 97.5) 8.8 (6.9 to 10.8) 97.3 (97.1 to 97.5)
Best Optimization of Sensitivity & Specificity‡ sensitiv:.tw. OR diagnostic accuracy.sh. OR diagnostic.tw. 89.7 (83.6 to 95.7) 91.6 (91.3 to 91.9) 3.3 (2.9 to 4.4) 91.6 (91.3 to 91.9)
  1. *Search strategies are reported using Ovid's search engine syntax for EMBASE. †Denominator varies by row. ‡Based on the lowest possible absolute difference between sensitivity and specificity. di = diagnosis; fs = floating subheading; : = truncation; tw = textword (word or phrase appears in title or abstract); mp = multiple posting – term appears in title, abstract, or subject heading; sh = subject heading. Sensitivity = the proportion of high quality articles for that topic that are retrieved; specificity = the proportion of low quality articles not retrieved; precision = the proportion of retrieved articles that are of high quality; accuracy = the proportion of all articles that are correctly classified.