Sensitivity and precision of ‘practice guideline[pt]’ in PubMed




Poster session 2


Monday 24 October 2016 - 15:30 to 16:00


All authors in correct order:

Chang X1, Luo X2, Wan M2, Wang C3, Wang Z3, Li L1, Wei D4, Chen Y4
1 First Clinical Medical College of Lanzhou University, China
2 School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou University, China
3 School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, China
4 Evidence-Based Medicine Center, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou University, China
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Zixia Wang

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: Practice guidelines are increasing year by year and those published in journals are indexed as the MeSH term ‘practice guideline’ by PubMed. Then people can search the guidelines using MeSH term ‘practice guideline[pt]’. Theoretically, the sensitivity and precision of ‘practice guideline[pt]’ are high. Precision, especially, should be 100%. However, it is not known whether this is the case.

Objectives: We aim to identify the sensitivity and precision of ‘practice guideline[pt]’ in PubMed.

Methods: We retrieved guidelines published in 2013 from PubMed through ‘practice guideline [pt]’ and selected the top 10 journals that published the guidelines as the sample for screening the guidelines. We handsearched the 10 journals for guidelines published in 2013. Finally, we calculated the sensitivity and precision of ‘practice guideline[pt]’.

Results: The 10 sample journals were as follows: Chest, Annals of Internal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Circulation, Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Fertility and Sterility, Lancet Oncology, South African Medical Journal, Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, European Urology. There were 216 guidelines published in the 10 journals in 2013. We identified 129 guidelines from 151 records retrieved using ‘practice guideline[pt]’. The sensitivity and precision were 59.72% and 85.43% respectively.

Conclusions: Approximately 40% of guidelines would be omitted and about 15% irrelevant records are increasing through ‘practice guideline[pt]’ in PubMed. ‘practice guideline[pt]’ is not a good strategy for retrieving guidelines in PubMed. A search strategy for guidelines needs to be developed.