The comprehensiveness of Medline and Embase computer searches

  title={The comprehensiveness of Medline and Embase computer searches},
  author={Jos Kleijnen and Paul G. Knipschild},
  journal={Pharmaceutisch Weekblad},
ObjectiveTo assess the comprehensiveness of Medline and Embase computer searches for controlled trials.DesignComparison of articles found after an exhaustive search of the literature with the yield of a Medline or Embase search. This was performed for controlled clinical trials on the efficacy of three interventions: homoeopathy, ascorbic acid for common cold, and ginkgo biloba for intermittent claudication and cerebral insufficiency. The number of controlled trials found by exhaustive search… 


The definitive measure, whether there is an association between the method used to uncover RCTs, the quality of the items uncovered and their impact on systematic review results, is yet to be determined.

Searching for Controlled Trials of Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Comparison of 15 Databases

Assessment of bibliographic databases beyond the three major ones for finding controlled trials of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) shows low overlap between databases indicates comprehensive CAM literature searches will require multiple databases.


  • P. RoyleR. Milne
  • Medicine
    International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care
  • 2003
Analysis of sources searched in Cochrane reviews found that CCTR was the single best source of RCTs and contacting authors and manufacturers to find unpublished trials appeared to be a more effective method of obtaining the additional better quality trials.

Reducing Bias Through Extended Systematic Review Search

The definitive measure of whether there is an association between the method used to uncover RCTs, the quality of the items uncovered and their impact on systematic review results is yet to be determined.

Availability of renal literature in six bibliographic databases

Subscription-free databases provide free full-text access to almost half of the articles published after the year 2000, which may be of particular interest to clinicians in settings with limited access to subscription-based resources.

Bibliometric and content analysis of the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field specialized register of controlled trials

The availability of the CAM Field specialized register presents both opportunities and challenges for CAM systematic reviewers, while the register provides access to thousands of difficult to locate trial citations, many of these trials are of low quality and may overestimate treatment effects.

Enhancing access to reports of randomized trials published world-wide – the contribution of EMBASE records to the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library

A highly sensitive search strategy was designed for EMBASE based on free-text and thesaurus terms which occurred frequently in the titles, abstracts, EMTREE terms and to make these reports easily accessible by including them in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library.

Which resources should be used to identify RCT/CCTs for systematic reviews: a systematic review

Although trial registries demonstrated the highest recall and precision, the Cochrane SS or a Complex SS in consultation with a librarian are recommended, although indexing needs to be improved.

Methodological bases for systematic reviews

Since systematic reviews provide the highest level of evidence in medical Literature, caution should be used in calling a review systematic, and the results of systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials should be carefully interpreted before application in clinical practice.



Clinical trials of homoeopathy.

The evidence of clinical trials is positive but not sufficient to draw definitive conclusions because most trials are of low methodological quality and because of the unknown role of publication bias, which indicates that there is a legitimate case for further evaluation of homoeopathy, but only by means of well performed trials.

[Treatment of irritable colon. A multicenter placebo-controlled double-blind study in general practice].

The trial shows that it is possible to obtain objective results on the basis of the patients' judgment (rating scales with low information content) and both groups with active medication differed trivially but showed a marked superiority to the placebo group.

[Efficiency of homeopathic preparation combinations in sinusitis. Results of a randomized double blind study with general practitioners].

In a controlled randomized double-blind trial carried out by 47 physicians in private practice with totally 152 patients with sinusitis the therapeutic success of the following homeopathic drug

A double‐blind placebo‐controlled trial of tanakan in the treatment of idiopathic cognitive impairment in the elderly

Improvements in mental efficiency were accompanied by a significant increase in the interest taken in everyday activities, and suggest that the drug might be helpful in treating the early stages of primary degenerative dementia.

A clinical trial of Gingkco Biloba Extract in patients with intermittent claudication.

Gingkco Biloba Extract is a safe and effective method of improving walking distance and reducing pain severity in patients with intermittent claudication, although Doppler studies have failed to suggest any gross improvement in the perfusion of the ischaemic leg.

Vitamin C as a preventive medicine against common colds in children.

Results seemed to indicate that the duration and severity of the cold were reduced while, on the other hand, the incidence remained unaltered or indeed increased, like previously published studies on children.

[Therapy of common cold with a homeopathic combination preparation in comparison with acetylsalicylic acid. A controlled, randomized double-blind study].

No significant difference was determined with respect to changes in clinical findings, subjectively assessed complaints, or length of time the patients were unable to work on the 4th and 10th treatment days, thus the two preparations possess comparative effectiveness in the treatment of the common cold.

Vitamin C prophylaxis in a boarding school.

Abstract A double-blind study to evaluate vitamin C supplements for respiratory-Infection prophylaxis was conducted among 641 children at a Navajo boarding school over a 14-week period. Supplements

Trial of ascorbic acid in prevention of colds.

In these studies, it is attempted by in-vitro experiments that exposure of cells to ascorbic acid increased their resistance to infection with viruses, and a protective effect in ftnmy»1« or man is attempted.