Search terms and a validated brief search filter to retrieve publications on health-related values in Medline: a word frequency analysis study
- 1Egenis (ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society), University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
- 2Health Sciences Research Institute, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
- 3Institute of Clinical Education, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
- Correspondence to Mila Petrova, Egenis, ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society, Byrne House, St German's Road, Exeter EX4 4PJ, UK;
Contributors MP contributed to the general framework for the study design, developed and tested out the specific steps within the study design, carried out the scoping searches, compiled the analysis datasets, carried out the data analysis, and drafted and edited the manuscript. PS contributed to the refinement of specific steps within the study design, acted as coder in the inter-coder reliability exercise reported in the paper, and commented on and edited numerous versions of the paper. KWMF provided theoretical input into conceptualizing and operationalizing the concept of health-related values, contributed to the general framework for the study design, provided feedback on specific steps within it, acted as coder in a feasibility inter-coder reliability study, contributed to the drafting of the background sections, and commented on and edited numerous versions of the paper. JD contributed to the general framework for the study design, provided feedback on specific steps within it, acted as coder in a feasibility inter-coder reliability study, and commented on and edited numerous versions of the paper.
- Received 12 March 2011
- Accepted 11 July 2011
- Published Online First 16 August 2011
Objective Healthcare debates and policy developments are increasingly concerned with a broad range of values-related areas. These include not only ethical, moral, religious, and other types of values ‘proper’, but also beliefs, preferences, experiences, choices, satisfaction, quality of life, etc. Research on such issues may be difficult to retrieve. This study used word frequency analysis to generate a broad pool of search terms and a brief filter to facilitate relevant searches in bibliographic databases.
Methods Word frequency analysis for ‘values terms’ was performed on citations on diabetes, obesity, dementia, and schizophrenia (Medline; 2004–2006; 4440 citations; 1 110 291 words). Concordance® and SPSS 14.0 were used. Text words and MeSH terms of high frequency and precision were compiled into a search filter. It was validated on datasets of citations on dentistry and food hypersensitivity.
Results 144 unique text words and 124 unique MeSH terms of moderate and high frequency (≥20) and very high precision (≥90%) were identified. Of these, 19 text words and seven MeSH terms were compiled into a ‘brief values filter’. In the derivation dataset, it had a sensitivity of 76.8% and precision of 86.8%. In the validation datasets, its sensitivity and precision were, respectively, 70.1% and 63.6% (food hypersensitivity) and 47.1% and 82.6% (dentistry).
Conclusions This study provided a varied pool of search terms and a simple and highly effective tool for retrieving publications on health-related values. Further work is required to facilitate access to such research and enhance its chances of being translated into practice, policy, and service improvements.
- Search strategies
- health-related values
- word frequency analysis
- information storage and retrieval
- research synthesis
- machine learning
- predictive modeling
- statistical learning
- privacy technology
- cognitive study (including experiments emphasizing verbal protocol analysis and usability)
- improving the education and skills training of health professionals
- personal health records and self-care systems
- improving government and community policy relevant to informatics and health quality
- supporting practice at a distance (telehealth)
- word frequency analysis
Project carried out at Warwick Medical School.
Funding The Laces Trust; West Midlands Deanery; Warwick Medical School.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.