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Table 3 Combination of Terms with the Best Sensitivity (keeping Specificity ≥50%), Best Specificity (keeping Sensitivity ≥50%), and Best Optimization of Sensitivity and Specificity (based on abs [sensitivity-specificity]<1%) for Detecting Studies of Causation in EMBASE in 2000

From: Developing optimal search strategies for detecting clinically sound and relevant causation studies in EMBASE

Search Strategy OVID search* Sensitivity (%) (n = 215) Specificity (%) (n = 27,554) Precision (%)‡ Accuracy (%) (n = 27,769)
Best Sensitivity risk:.mp. OR exp methodology OR exp epidemiology 91.6 (87.9 to 95.3) 60.9 (60.3 to 61.4) 1.8 (1.6 to 2.0) 61.1 (60.5 to 61.7)
Best Specificity cohort.tw. OR relative risk:.tw. 53.0 (46.4 to 59.7) 94.6 (94.4 to 94.9) 7.1 (5.9 to 8.4) 94.3 (94.0 to 94.6)
Small decrease in best specificity with a substantive increase in sensitivity cohort.tw. OR relative risk:.tw. OR adjusted OR†.tw. 61.4 (54.9 to 67.9) 92.9 (92.6 to 93.2) 6.3 (5.3 to 7.3) 92.6 (92.3 to 92.9)
Best Optimization of Sensitivity & Specificity risk.tw. OR mortalit:.tw. OR cohort.tw. 81.9 (76.7 to 87.0) 81.4 (80.9 to 81.8) 3.3 (2.8 to 3.8) 81.4 (80.9 to 81.8)
  1. *Search strategies are reported using Ovid's search engine syntax for EMBASE.
  2. †OR = odds ratio.
  3. ‡Denominator varies by row.
  4. : = truncation; mp = multiple posting – term appears in title, abstract, or subject heading; exp = explode, a search term that automatically includes closely related indexing terms; tw = textword (word or phrase appears in title or abstract).