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Table 3 Combination of terms with the best specificity (keeping sensitivity ≥50%) for detecting mental health content in MEDLINE in 2000 and performance when combined with the most specific 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 Specificity     
psychiatr:.mp.
OR exp mood disorders
OR psycho:.tw.
(n = 3,277)
51.7 (50.0 to 53.4)
(n = 8,956)
97.1 (96.7 to 97.4)
(n = 1,954)
86.6 (85.1 to 88.2)
(n = 12,233)
84.9 (84.3 to 85.6)
Above strategy "ANDed" with best specificity strategy for detecting methodology sound treatment studies     
randomized controlled trial.mp.
OR randomized controlled trial.pt.
(n = 129)
62.0 (53.1 to 70.4)
(n = 1,825)
98.0 (97.2 to 98.6)
(n = 117)
68.4 (59.1 to 76.7)
(n = 1,954)
95.6 (94.6 to 96.5)
  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); pt = publication type.