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EVIDENCE-BASED-HEALTH  April 2012

EVIDENCE-BASED-HEALTH April 2012

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Subject:

Re: Randomized trials and MeSH terms

From:

"Ahmed M. Abou-Setta, MD" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Ahmed M. Abou-Setta, MD

Date:

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 04:47:34 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (188 lines)

Thank you Roger for pointing out this paper and Julie's for her comments.
Another test of PubMed shows that only around 90% of the +21 million
citations in PubMed are indexed which means that we have to keep perfecting
the search strategies for newly published studies in order to keep up with
trends in reporting styles. If authors and journals start to adhere to a
common language as proposed by the CONSORT group and others, we may find
ourselves being able to more easily distinguish study designs just reading
the title and abstract. For now, I believe that sticking with the
publication type "Randomized Controlled Trial" for indexed citations and a
free-text search for commonly used random-related terms in the only feasible
approach until more strict guidelines are placed on publishing practices. If
I am not mistaken, this issue has not been discussed by the International
Committee of Journal Medical Editors (ICJME), but I might have missed this.

Ahmed

-----Original Message-----
From: Evidence based health (EBH)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Julie Glanville
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 4:18 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Randomized trials and MeSH terms

Thanks for citing our work Tom. The resource I always search first for
reports of randomized controlled trials is the CENTRAL database which is on
the Cochrane Library, free for those of us who have a national or
institutional subscription. This database has all the tagged RCTs from
MEDLINE and EMBASE as well as trials identified by handsearching many
journals.

I also note that not all records on PubMed have indexing terms - especially
more recent records, so these won't be retrieved by searching using the
publication type headings.

Regards
Julie


Julie Glanville
Project Director - Information Services

York Health Economics Consortium Limited Level 2, Market Square University
of York York, YO10 5NH United Kingdom

Email: [log in to unmask]

Direct Line: (+44) (0) 1904 324832
Support Services: (+44) (0) 1904 323620
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YHEC is part of the MINERVA Network, an International Health Economics
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On 17 April 2012 09:33, Roper Tom (WESTERN SUSSEX HOSPITALS NHS TRUST)
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> The problem of identifying RCTs in Medline, and elsewhere, has been
discussed in the literature. See, for example:
> Glanville JM, Lefebvre C, Miles JN, Camosso-Stefinovic J.
> How to identify randomized controlled trials in MEDLINE: ten years on.
> J Med Libr Assoc. 2006
> Apr;94(2):130-6.
> Erratum in: J Med Libr Assoc. 2006 Jul;94(3):354.
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1435857/
>
> Tom Roper
> Primary Care Librarian
> West Sussex Knowledge & Libraries
> Mobile: 07786 981123
> E-mail: [log in to unmask]
> http://www.westsussexknowledge.nhs.uk/
> ________________________________________
> From: Evidence based health (EBH) 
> [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ahmed Abou-Setta, 
> M.D. [[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: 16 April 2012 19:50
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Randomized trials and MeSH terms
>
> Hi Ellen,
>
> I tested the theory a bit further. Assuming that all randomized 
> controlled trials are classified using the Publication type 
> "Randomized Controlled Trial" I tested to see how much overall there 
> are between this classification and the other similar classifications.
Here are the results:
>
> Randomized controlled trial[PTYP]
> (321677)
> Randomized controlled trial[PTYP] AND Controlled Clinical Trial[PTYP]
> (4741)
> Randomized controlled trial[PTYP] AND Randomized Controlled Trials As 
> Topic[MeSH]     (5408) Randomized controlled trial[PTYP] AND Random 
> Allocation[MeSH]
> (17539)
>
> So there is overlap between the classes even though according to the 
> definitions of each of these terms, there should be a higher degree of 
> correlation.
>
> Definitions from MeSH database:
>
> Randomized Controlled Trial [Publication Type]: Work consisting of a 
> clinical trial that involves at least one test treatment and one 
> control treatment, concurrent enrollment and follow-up of the test- 
> and control-treated groups, and in which the treatments to be 
> administered are selected by a random process, such as the use of a
random-numbers table.
>
> Controlled Clinical Trial [Publication Type]: Work consisting of a 
> clinical trial involving one or more test treatments, at least one 
> control treatment, specified outcome measures for evaluating the 
> studied intervention, and a bias-free method for assigning patients to 
> the test treatment. The treatment may be drugs, devices, or procedures 
> studied for diagnostic, therapeutic, or prophylactic effectiveness. 
> Control measures include placebos, active medicine, no-treatment, 
> dosage forms and regimens, historical comparisons, etc. When 
> randomization using mathematical techniques, such as the use of a 
> random numbers table, is employed to assign patients to test or control
treatments, the trial is characterized as a RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL.
>
> Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic[MeSH]: Clinical trials that 
> involve at least one test treatment and one control treatment, 
> concurrent enrollment and follow-up of the test- and control-treated 
> groups, and in which the treatments to be administered are selected by 
> a random process, such as the use of a random-numbers table.
>
> Random Allocation[MeSH]: A process involving chance used in 
> therapeutic trials or other research endeavor for allocating 
> experimental subjects, human or animal, between treatment and control 
> groups, or among treatment groups. It may also apply to experiments on
inanimate objects.
>
> So either: (1) I am misreading the descriptions since I would consider 
> an RCT to fall under of these descriptions; (2) the descriptions need 
> an overhaul to explicitly state when each is used (e.g. actual 
> reporting of trial results vs. supplementary trial information like 
> protocol, methods, justification, economic analysis based on RCT, 
> meta-analysis of RCTs, etc.);
> (3) the reviewers who are classifying studies are not being consistent 
> in the way they are using these terms.
>
> For now, I am sticking with the notion that results of randomized 
> trials would be associated with Randomized controlled trial[PTYP].
>
> Thanks again for your insight and thoughts.
>
> Ahmed
>
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