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Table 2 Combination of terms with the best sensitivity (keeping specificity ≥50%) for detecting mental health content in MEDLINE in 2000 and performance when combined with the most sensitive strategy for detecting treatment studies

From: Optimal search strategies for identifying mental health content in MEDLINE: an analytic survey

Search Strategy OVID search* Sensitivity (%) (95% CI) Specificity (%) (95% CI) Precision (%) (95% CI) Accuracy (%) (95% CI)
Best Sensitivity     
depress:.mp.
OR adolescen:.mp.
OR exp mental disorders
OR psych:.mp.
OR "use disorder:".tw.
OR behav:.mp.
OR exp psychotropic drugs
OR exp psychology, social
OR neuro:.mp.
OR dt.fs.
OR exp brain diseases
OR cognitive:.mp.
OR exp neurotransmitter agents
OR exp psychotherapy
OR exp social problems
OR anxiety.mp.
OR attention:.mp.
OR exp emotions
OR exp neurobehavioral manifestations
OR chronic.tw.
OR mental health.mp.
OR stress.mp.
OR alcohol.mp.
OR abus:.mp.
OR prevent:.mp.
OR stress, psychological.sh.
OR exp adaptation, psychological
OR outcome measure:.tw.
OR exp mental health services
(n = 3,277)
98.4 (98.0 to 98.9)
(n = 8,956)
50.0 (49.0 to 51.1)
(n = 7,700)
41.9 (40.8 to 43.0)
(n = 12,233)
63.0 (62.2 to 63.9)
Above strategy "ANDed" with best sensitivity strategy for detecting methodology sound treatment studies     
clinical trial.mp.
OR clinical trial.pt.
OR random:.mp.
OR tu.xs.
(n = 129)
99.2 (95.8 to 100.0)
(n = 7,571)
69.8 (68.8 to 70.8)
(n = 2,414)
5.3 (4.4 to 6.3)
(n = 7,700)
70.3 (69.3 to 71.3)
  1. *Search strategies are reported using Ovid's search engine syntax for MEDLINE.
  2. : = 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); dt = drug therapy; fs = floating subheading; sh = MeSH, medical subject heading; pt = publication type; tu = therapeutic use; xs = exploded subheading.