Example of the structure of a search strategy for a Cochrane review (MEDLINE)
|Helmets for preventing head and facial injuries in bicyclists|
Sets 1-3 are the MeSH terms &
text words [words found in the
TITLE or ABSTRACT of a record]
for the population (i.e bicyclists). They are combined using OR
1. bicycl* or cycling or cyclist*.ab,ti
2. exp Bicycling/
3. 1 or 2
Sets 4-6 are the MeSH terms & text
words [words found in the TITLE or
ABSTRACT of a record] for the
intervention (i.e helmets). They are
combined using OR
4. helmet* .ab,ti
5. exp Head Protective Devices/
6. 4 or 5
Set 7-17 is one of the Cochrane
filters for MEDLINE (OVID) for
locating randomised controlled
trials i.e. study design filter
7. randomized controlled trial.pt.
8. controlled clinical trial.pt.
11. drug therapy.fs.
15. 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 or 14
16. exp animals/ not humans.sh.
17. 15 not 16
|Study design (SD)|
Set 18 is the combination of
Population, intervention & study design
|18. 3 and 6 and 17||
P & I & SD