Searching the literature to inform HTA

The EText on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Information Resources was permanently archived on the NIH website in 2006. This ebook, although originally put together about 18 years ago, is still a valuable guide for the novice HTA librarian or researcher. The information and processes described in this book is still valid but of course many of the tools are now unavailable. There are still some that are around such as ERIC (education database), HSRProj (health services research projects), (US and extramural funded trials) and others but for updated tools and resources about search methods, check out SUREInfo on the HTAi Vortal.


When search examples go bad

You know the feeling when you are looking for a search example and up comes an article advocating a Google search? Irritation! Annoyance! Eye rolls! Big sighs!

Years ago I performed a search demonstration about EpiPens and accidental overdoses. One article that came up was titled: Accidental Epipen injection into a digit – the value of a Google search. Arrggghh! So what happened here? A child accidentally injected himself with his mother’s EpiPen and was rushed to the emergency dept at a UK hospital. Experts were consulted but didn’t know what was the best course of action. Clinicians searched PubMed but didn’t find anything: “a literature search was carried out on PubMed using the following key words: ‘pediatric’, ‘digital artery’, ‘epinephrine injection’. No citations were found.” So they turned to Google and found one article that was very pertinent.

But guess what? The article they found is in PubMed!!!!! And the hospital has a well resourced medical library. So what is going on here? Is it ignorance of search methods? Is it a rapid need for info leading to knowledge of search methods going out the window?   I wonder if this hospital has access to the Chasing the Sun service – a service set up between hospitals in the UK and Australia in order to provide 24hr librarian assistance (and this service has been used in out of hours emergencies).

What can we learn from this?

Two child health filters


This PubMed filter below is an old (unreferenced – please let me know if you know the author/s so I can attribute!) filter and I thought to republish this along with a newer one from WBramer for comparison. Which one would you use in what circumstances and why? The PubMed one includes infants – perhaps a separate one for infants is needed rather than have it included in a child filter?

2006 PubMed filter

children[Text Word] OR “adolescence”[MeSH Terms] OR teenager[Text Word] OR teenagers[All Fields] OR baby[Text Word] OR babies[All Fields] OR “adolescence”[MeSH Terms] OR adolescent[Text Word] OR adolescents[Text Word] OR adolescence[Text Word] OR toddler[All Fields] OR toddlers[All Fields] OR youngster[All Fields] OR youngsters[All Fields] OR “young people”[All Fields] OR offspring[All Fields] OR offsprings[All Fields] OR youth[Text Word] OR youths[Text Word] OR juvenile[All Fields] OR juveniles[All Fields] OR newborn[Text Word] OR newborns[Text Word] OR “infant, newborn”[MeSH “infant”[MeSH Terms] OR infant[Text Word] OR infants[Text Word] OR infantile[All Fields] OR “child”[MeSH Terms] OR child[Text Word] OR neonate[Text Word] OR “infant, newborn”[MeSH Terms] OR neonates[Text Word] OR pediatric[All Fields] OR paediatric[All Fields] OR kid[Text Word] OR kids[All Fields] “pediatrics”[MeSH Terms] OR paediatrics[All Fields] OR pediatrics[All Fields]

Bramer filter (OVID Medline)

child/exp OR adolescent/exp OR pediatrics/exp OR childhood/exp OR child development/exp OR childhood cancer/exp OR pediatric ward/de OR pediatric hospital/de OR adolesc*.tw OR OR OR OR teen*.tw OR boy*.tw OR girl*.tw OR OR underag*.tw OR (under adj1 ag*).tw OR juvenil*.tw OR youth*.tw OR puber*.tw OR pubescen*.tw OR prepubescen*.tw OR prepuber*.tw OR pediatric*.tw OR paediatric*.tw OR school*.tw OR highschool*.tw