Search terms and a validated brief search filter to retrieve publications on health-related values in Medline: a word frequency analysis study
JAMIA Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Objective Healthcare debates and policy developments are increasingly concerned with a broad range of valuesrelated 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
... databases. Methods Word frequency analysis for 'values terms' was performed on citations on diabetes, obesity, dementia, and schizophrenia (Medline; 2004e2006; 4440 citations; 1 110 291 words). ConcordanceÒ 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.