Medicine and Health

What is a search strategy?


A search strategy is a statement of how the Group found the journal articles or other peer reviewed sources that produced the most relevant information on your case.


A strategy refers to how you did Medline searches for example: the actual keywords you searched on Medline, the way you combined results, the limits used to pick articles of a certain kind.


It describes all the searches you made, those that found useful articles and those searches that were less successful. Describe the work you did in terms of the Search History, the Medline screen that summarizes all the search steps taken.


A strategy is focussed on finding the most informative articles that best enable you to review the literature  -ie- what research says about the problem overall, or specific aspects of the problem, and how best to deal with it in terms of the patient. Of the articles you find, you might consider how relevant the information is in solving your problem? Could the results be better? Could the information be more focused? How successful is the search? How do you evaluate this? Have you found the best articles to write up your review?


Summary of a search strategy


The table below shows the search strategy you used to get the best articles on this topic from Ovid Medline.

It includes the search numbers, search statements and number of references found in the results (all of this is from the search history screen).  It also includes comments on the searches carried out.