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Table 3 Comparison of previously published search strategies with search strategies developed our database. Values are percentages.

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

Search Strategy OVID search* Sensitivity Specificity Precision Accuracy
Bachmann's most sensitive search [22]
sensitiv:.tw.
OR detect:.tw.
OR accura:.tw.
OR specific:.tw.
OR reliab:.tw.
OR positive.tw.
OR negative.tw.
OR diagnos:.tw.
100.0 Not reported   Not reported
Bachmann's strategy tested in our database 96.9 72.3 1.2 72.4
Our most sensitive search
di.fs.
OR predict:.tw.
OR specificity.tw.
100.0 70.4 1.2 70.5
Difference (our strategy – Bachmann) 95% CI for the difference 3.1 -0.8 to 8.7† -1.9 -2.7 to -1.2‡ 0 -1.9 -2.7 to -1.2‡
Bachmann's most specific search
sensitiv:.tw.
OR detect:.tw.
73.7 Not reported   Not reported
Bachmann's strategy tested in our database 79.4 90.9 3.0 90.8
Our most specific search
specificity.tw.
62.9 98.2 11.0 98.1
Difference (our strategy – Bachmann) 95% CI for the difference -16.5 -28.9 to -3.8‡ 7.3 7.0 to 7.7‡ 8.0 5.6 to 11.0‡ 7.3 6.9 to 7.7‡
  1. *Search strategies are reported using Ovid's search engine syntax for EMBASE. †Differences are not statistically significant. ‡Differences are statistically significant. : = truncation; tw = textword (word or phrase appears in title or abstract); di = diagnosis; fs = floating subheading. 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.