The cochrane stroke group
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The Cochrane Stroke Group. Helping reviewers to identify trials. Brenda Thomas Alison McInnes Peter Sandercock. Role of the Information Specialist. Plan, implement and co-ordinate a comprehensive trials identification strategy Assess and code relevant trials

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The Cochrane Stroke Group

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The cochrane stroke group

The Cochrane Stroke Group

Helping reviewers

to identify trials

Brenda Thomas

Alison McInnes

Peter Sandercock


Role of the information specialist

Role of the Information Specialist

  • Plan, implement and co-ordinate a comprehensive trials identification strategy

  • Assess and code relevant trials

  • Develop and maintain a specialised register of randomised trials and controlled clinical trials

  • Support reviewers

  • Contribute to the editorial process

Considerable time and resources are committed to maximising trial identification


The cochrane stroke group

A systematic approach to trial identification and management

  • Multiple overlapping search strategies

    • electronic resources

    • handsearching and translation

    • personal communication

  • Trials register: relational database where the trial is the unit of data

    • facilitates preparation and updating of reviews

    • reliably tracks trial information

    • identifies areas where reviews are needed

    • monitors review quality: ensures reviews are kept up-to-date

    • Used to influence future trials searching activities


The cochrane stroke group

Search Strategies

  • 20 electronic bibliographic databases

  • Handsearch and translation programme

  • More than 500 relevant electronic journals

  • Web-based international clinical trials and research registers (ongoing studies)

  • Websites: e.g. press releases, research centres

  • Contact with trialists and drug companies (unpublished studies)

Supported by the considerable resources of

The University of Edinburgh and NHS Scotland e-library


The cochrane stroke group

Bibliographic databases

GENERAL

  • MEDLINE, EMBASE, BIOSIS, Derwent Drug File, SCISEARCH

SPECIALISED

  • AMED, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Digital Dissertations, FROSTI, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, MANTIS, Occupational Therapy Journal of Research Index, SPORTDiscus, Wilson Social Sciences Abstracts

Many thousands of references to be screened


The cochrane stroke group

Handsearching and translation

  • 26 volunteer handsearchers

  • 48 specialist Journals (6 languages)

  • 147 books and conference proceedings

  • 47 volunteer translators from 19 countries

  • 700 non-English trial reports (20 languages)

  • 56% Chinese or Japanese

Contribution of volunteers has been crucial


The cochrane stroke group

Growth of Trials Register

Approximately 1000 trial reports identified per year


The cochrane stroke group

The Stroke Group Trials Register Today

8137 trial reports

3598 individual stroke trials

Found in

900 different journal titles

121 conference proceedings

143 books and dissertations

130 electronic sources

Included in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials


Example new review title

Stroke Group Reviews

Example: new review title

More than 250 International Stroke Group collaborators based in 22 countries have contributed to the production of 77 Cochrane Systematic Reviews

Acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation

Reviewers based in China


How can the stroke group help identify trials

How can the Stroke Group help identify trials?

  • Regular searches of Stroke Group Trials Register

  • Developing search strategies and running searches of bibliographic databases and trials registers

  • Advice on other appropriate trial identification strategies e.g. specialist databases

  • Handsearching specialist journals and conference proceedings

  • Translation

Avoid duplication!


Searches of trials registers

Searches of trials registers

  • Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register

  • Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials

  • Cochrane Complementary Field Registry

    • http://www.compmed.umm.edu/Cochrane/registry.html

  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

  • The Centralised Information Service for Complementary Medicine (CISCOM)

  • Chinese Stroke Trials Register

  • Chinese Acupuncture Trials Register

REVIEWER


Intervention based searches of bibliographic databases

Intervention-based searches of bibliographic databases

  • MEDLINE

  • EMBASE

  • CINAHL

  • Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED)

  • China Biological Medicine Database (CBM-disc)

Avoid overlap with Stroke Group searches


Stroke group general strategy modified for each database

Stroke Group general strategymodified for each database

Highly

sensitive

Cochrane

TRIALS

strategy

STROKE

specific

strategy

?

Screened for stroke trials


Review specific intervention based strategy

Review-specificintervention-based strategy

Highly sensitive

Cochrane

TRIALS

strategy

STROKE

specific

strategy

?

?

?

Review specific

INTERVENTION-based

strategy

Screened for

additional

relevant trials


Other help finding trials

Other help finding trials

  • Sourcing paper copies of “difficult to find” trial reports

  • Contacting authors for information on trials with limited information

  • Arranging translation of non-English language trial reports


The information specialist and the review process

The Information Specialist and the review process

  • Advice on trial identification methods

  • Guidance on writing search methods section of protocol and review

  • Editorial comment as part of review process


Updating reviews

Updating reviews

  • Searches of Stroke Group trials register on demand

  • Update searches of bibliographic databases

  • New search sources can be identified

Active support can help motivate reviewers


Reviewers need varying degrees of help

Reviewers need varying degrees of help

  • Access to databases

  • Previous literature searching experience

  • Availability of local librarians

  • Problems accessing journals and conference proceedings

  • English language limitations

Stroke Group


Summary

Summary

  • The Stroke Group provides considerable support for reviewers searching for trials

  • The major resource is the Stroke Group Trials Register which is comprehensive and rapidly expanding

  • The Information Specialist devises additional complementary strategies to maximise trial identification

  • The quality of the search strategy section of reviews is monitored as part of the review process


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