Facilitating access to evidence: Primary Health Care Search Filter

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Brown, Lynsey
Carne, Amanda
Bywood, Petra Teresia
McIntyre, Ellen
Damarell, Raechel
Tieman, Jennifer
Lawrence, Mikaela
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Background: The evidence base developed by, and relevant to, primary health care (PHC) is rapidly increasing. With the wealth of literature available, searchers trying to find PHC-specific citations can feel overwhelmed. Objectives: Flinders Filters and the Primary Health Care Research & Information Service collaborated to develop a search filter enabling efficient and effective retrieval of relevant PHC literature. Methods: Stage 1 involved developing a PHC Search Filter in the OvidSP Medline platform using a rigor-ous experimental methodology. The search filter was then translated for Web-based ‘one-click searching’ in PubMed during Stage 2. Stage 3 involved planning and implementing a mixed-methods evaluation. Results: The search filter sensitivity was 77.0% with a post hoc relevance assessment of 78 .3%. Four months after its launch, a mixed-methods study evaluated the PHC Search Filter. With 90 respondents, analysis of data from the online survey demonstrated overarching benefits, a positive response to the tool and directions for further refinement of the PHC Search Filter. Discussion: Designing the PHC Search Filter follow ed an established method that ensures the tool offers a validated search strategy. Evaluation results suggest that the PHC Search Filter is a useful tool that is easy to navigate. Challenges for the Filter relate to access to full text articles, while challenges for the evaluation relate to the small sample size. Conclusions: The PHC Search Filter reduces the burden associated with literature searching, increases the value of the results that are received and provides a useful resource to improve the likelihood of incorporating relevant evidence into policy and practice.
evidence-based practice; information management; information storage and retrieval; primary health care
Brown, L., Carne, A., Bywood, P., McIntyre, E., Damarell, R., Lawrence, M. and Tieman, J. (2014), Facilitating access to evidence: Primary Health Care Search Filter. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 31: 293–302. doi: 10.1111/hir.12087