Physicians and researchers in the field of family medicine often need to find relevant articles in online medical databases for a variety of reasons. Because a search filter may help improve the efficiency and quality of such searches, we aimed to develop and validate search filters to identify research studies of relevance to family medicine. Using a new and objective method for search filter development, we developed and validated 2 search filters for family medicine. The sensitive filter had a sensitivity of 96.8% and a specificity of 74.9%. The specific filter had a specificity of 97.4% and a sensitivity of 90.3%. Our new filters should aid literature searches in the family medicine field. The sensitive filter may help researchers conducting systematic reviews, whereas the specific filter may help family physicians find answers to clinical questions at the point of care when time is limited.

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Annals of Family Medicine
Department of General Practice

Pols, D., Bramer, W., Bindels, P., van de Laar, F. A., & Bohnen, A. (2015). Development and validation of search filters to identify articles on family medicine in online medical databases. Annals of Family Medicine, 13(4), 364–366. doi:10.1370/afm.1780