A method for improving the retrieval of high quality studies applicable to clinical practice is to include search terms that select studies at advanced stages of testing for clinical application. Including one, or a combination of these terms, in a MEDLINE search strategy will selectively retrieve evidence-based literature that is more likely to answer clinical questions.
PubMed, a National Library of Medicine platform for searching
MEDLINE, has a special search feature called Clinical Queries. Within Clinical Queries, three types of filters are featured: Clinical Study Categories, Systematic Reviews, and Medical Genetics.
The Clinical Study Categories filter searches on questions of therapy,
diagnosis, etiology, prognosis, or clinical prediction guides by looking for the highest levels of evidence in the
literature. These filters can also be limited to a broad or narrow scope. Clinical filters are imposed behind the scenes by the search engine based
on the work of B. Haynes, et al, on the best strategies for retrieving
clinically relevant information from MEDLINE. Table
The Systematic Reviews filter searches for citations identified as systematic
reviews, meta-analyses, reviews of clinical trials, evidence-based
medicine, consensus development conferences, guidelines, and citations
to articles from journals specializing in review studies of value to
clinicians. Search Details
The Medical Genetics filter searches for citations on seven different topics in medical genetics (diagnosis, differential diagnosis, clinical description, management, genetic counseling, molecular genetics, or genetic testing) or a combination of all topics in medical genetics. Search Details
PubMed's Related Citations Feature
PubMed has another unique feature, called Related citations, which contributes to getting the most out of MEDLINE. The Related citations function will retrieve additional related articles based on an algorithm of key words and Medical Subject Headings. See Details on the Search Algorithm.
The Related citations are displayed in the right-hand column when you are viewing a PubMed citation.
Clinical Filters for MEDLINE Searches
The best single term strategy is Randomized Controlled Trial [pt]