gms | German Medical Science

EbM 2008: Evidenzbasierte Primärversorgung und Pflege
9. Jahrestagung Deutsches Netzwerk Evidenzbasierte Medizin und
Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaft

Deutsches Netzwerk Evidenzbasierte Medizin e. V.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaft

22.02. - 23.02.2008 in Witten

Search strategies for retrieving HTA-reports

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Heike Raatz - BICE, Basel, Schweiz
  • Katja Suter - BICE, Basel, Schweiz
  • Michael Simon - IQWiG, Köln, Deutschland
  • Elke Hausner - IQWiG, Köln, Deutschland
  • Fülöp Scheibler - IQWiG, Köln, Deutschland
  • Stefan Lange - IQWiG, Köln, Deutschland

Evidenzbasierte Primärversorgung und Pflege. 9. Jahrestagung Deutsches Netzwerk Evidenzbasierte Medizin und Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaft. Witten, 22.-23.02.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2008. Doc08ebmP24

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: February 12, 2008

© 2008 Raatz et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




It is deemed efficient for some Health Technology Assessments (HTA) to identify previous HTAs and systematic reviews and update as needed. In 2003 the DAHTA [1] proposed that for their rapid HTAs a variety databases and HTA websites should be searched. The aim of this study is to assess whether a search in only a selection of databases is just as accurate as a systematic search including HTA-websites.


43 databases and HTA-websites were searched to identify HTA reports and systematic reviews. The number of hits was recorded and a list of potentially relevant references to HTAs which covered the subject of “Positron emission tomography for lymphoma” at least to some extent and in our languages of interest (i.e. German, English, French and Spanish) was compiled.

In order to identify the best search strategy we will repeat our searches in the following databases: TRIP, DARE, NHS-EED, HTA, Regional and National Register of Reviews, DAHTA and the INAHTA-Website. We will then assess a) the proportion of our potentially relevant HTAs found in each database and b) the resources needed for the search as well as the quality of the output. The latter will be assessed by looking at the ease of the search (i.e. whether a Boolean combination of words is possible etc.), the format and content of the output and linking to the full-text document.


We identified 2.481 documents and 92 titles which might be HTAs or systematic reviews. From these we will extract the potentially relevant references as described in the methods. We suspect that a search in a small selection of databases will be sufficient to identify all the potentially relevant reports.


Since our approach is based on a literature search on one topic the generalizability is somewhat limited. Nevertheless we think that our study will yield some evidence whether a comprehensive and time-consuming search on individual HTA websites can be shortened. We think this will be of great interest for other researchers preparing a review of HTA reports.


Ekkernkamp M, Lühmann D, Raspe H. Methodenmanual für “HTA-Schnellverfahren” und exemplarisches “Kurz-HTA”: Die Rolle der quantitativen Ultraschallverfahren zur Ermittlung des Risikos für osteoporotische Frakturen. Schriftenreihe Health Technology Assessment, Band 34. St. Augustin: Asgard; 2003.