Friday, August 05, 2005

Clinical Queries in Ovid

The clinical queries in Ovid are exactly the same ones in PubMed but they have been translated into the appropriate Ovid syntax.

How you get to them is what's different.

After choosing to search MEDLINE via the Ovid search interface, conduct your topic search. When that's complete to your satisfaction, click on the Limit button (Hint: it's the target icon). Scroll until you see 'Clinical Queries' box. This box contains three possible filters for each category (i.e., therapy (sensitivity), therapy (specificity), therapy (optimized)). The categories are therapy, diagnosis, etiology, prognosis, clinical prediction guides, costs, economics, reviews, and qualitative reviews. Select the appropriate filter and then click on the red 'Limit A Search' button. The results will be posted to the Search History box on the main search page.

Now a word about the 'optimized' category - which is a category that PubMed doesn't offer. Brian Haynes describes this category as "search strategies that best balance sensitivity and specificity".

As with everything in life, practicing and experimenting with these clinical queries will help you determine when it's best to use them and when it's not.

For more information:
  • Finding the gold in MEDLINE: clinical queries. Haynes, RB Wilczynski, N. ACP Journal Club 142(1): A8, Jan/Feb, 2005


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