gms | German Medical Science

G-I-N Conference 2012

Guidelines International Network

22.08 - 25.08.2012, Berlin

Sailing the seas in search for patients: international cooperation in the development of a search filter to find articles that address patient issues

Meeting Abstract

Search Medline for

  • L. Hielkema - Dutch College of General Practitioners, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • J. Brown - SIGN/Health Improvement Scotland, Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • M. Wessels - Dutch Association of Medical Specialists, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Guidelines International Network. G-I-N Conference 2012. Berlin, 22.-25.08.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocO29

doi: 10.3205/12gin061, urn:nbn:de:0183-12gin0617

Published: July 10, 2012

© 2012 Hielkema 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.



Background: The patient perspective in guideline development is of vital importance. Preferably, patients participate in the guideline development group - as representatives of patient groups or as individuals. Focus group discussions can highlight specific problems and needs, and specific research questions can be addressed by means of literature research.

Objective: To facilitate this literature research a search filter that addresses the patient perspective was developed.

Methods: An existing filter was used as a starting point to develop a new filter that was more adapted to the needs of guideline developers. First we defined the scope of our filter. Then, we developed a reference database as gold standard and compared the performance of the old and the new filter with different disease categories.The filter was developed and validated for Medline (OVID), Pubmed, and Embase.

Results: Sensitivity, specificity, and precision of the new filters were (%) 90.5/98/77 (Medline-OVID), 90.1/98.8/79,3 (Pubmed), 94.7/98.9/81 (Embase).

Discussion: As of November 2011, the filter was incorporated in search strategies. It can be argued that the use of the search filter for patient issues will affect the prioritizing of outcomes and the incorporation of the patient perspective in recommendations.

Implications: Preliminary results will be presented about the way the filter changes recommendations, when applied in the final stages of developing two guidelines on ovarian and squamous cell carcinoma.