International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care


(An Example from Medical Imaging)

Elizabeth Berry a1, Steven Kelly a1 1 , John Hutton a2, Keith M. Harris a3 and Michael A. Smith a4
a1 University of Leeds
a2 MEDTAP International Inc.
a3 Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
a4 University of Leeds


Objectives: To determine if published figures on the proportion of articles included in systematic reviews and identified in electronic databases are applicable to an example from medical imaging.

Methods: A systematic review was performed. Additionally, sensitivity and precision of a MEDLINE search were compared with values from three published searches, each customized for a specific field.

Results: All articles included in the systematic review were in electronic databases. The MEDLINE search had low precision compared with searches in other fields.

Conclusions: In a specific area of medical imaging, electronic databases, including MEDLINE, are reliable sources of articles.

Key Words: MEDLINE; Online systems; Evaluation studies; Diagnosis.


1 This work was carried out with the financial support of the Secretary of State for Health under the U.K. National Health Service Health Technology Assessment Programme, project 94/44/3. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Secretary of State for Health. In part, this work was undertaken by the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which received funding from the National Health Service (NHS) Executive; the views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS Executive. The participation of P. Roderick, J. Cullingworth, L. Gathercole, P. J. O'Connor, and J. C. Boyce as members of the multidisciplinary review team is gratefully acknowledged.