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The development of highly sensitive retrieval strategy for cluster randomized controlled trial

Date and Location




Saturday 21 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Yaolong Chen

Contact person

Yaolong Chen
Abstract text
Background: There has been an increasing interest in cluster randomized controlled trial (CRT) over the past 20 years. If several cluster randomization trials are performed to investigate similar interventions for the same outcome then it may be of interest to combine the results using the techniques of meta-analysis. Objectives: To develop, through revision of the Cochrane Collaboration search strategy, a highly sensitive search strategy to retrieve reports of CRT in PubMed. Methods: We identified all CRTs published in the BMJ, Lancet, JAMA, and New England Journal of Medicine from 2003 to 2012 by searching their own official websites as golden standard records. Then we searched CRTs in PUBMED with revised highly sensitive Cochrane strategy in the four journals from 2003 to 2012. Sensitivity was defined as the number of gold standard records retrieved/the number of gold standard records×100, Precision was defined as the number of gold standard records retrieved/the number of records retrieved×100. Results: We identified 175 CRTs as golden standard records. We searched PUBMED and used the different combination strategy, the results showed in the table. No. strategy References CRTs Sensitivity Precision 1 the highly sensitive Cochrane strategy(HSC) for RCT 5254 174 99.4% 3.3% 2 HSC AND cluster[ti] 152 129 73.7 84.9 3 HSC AND cluster[ti/ab] 226 165 94.3% 73% 4 HSC AND (group*[Title] OR cluster* [Title/Abstract]) 264 166 94.8 62.9 5 HSC AND (communit*[Title] OR cluster* [Title/Abstract]) 271 172 98.3 63.5 6 HSC AND (group*[Title] OR communit*[Title] OR cluster* [Title/Abstract]) 308 173 98.9% 56% 7 HSC AND (group*[Title] OR field*[Title] OR communit*[Title] OR cluster* [Title/Abstract]) 315 173 98.9% 55% Conclusions: Combining the highly sensitive Cochrane strategy AND (communit*[Title] OR cluster* [Title/Abstract]) could be the highly sensitive strategy for searching CRTs.