Searching solutions 

Finding the existing evidence base is a prerequisite to implementing evidence, however searching for this evidence is difficult.

The role of Flinders Filters

Flinders Filters is a specialist research group developing the science and practice of effective evidence retrieval. It is part of the Research Centre for Palliative Care Death and Dying (RePaDD) Research Centre for Palliative Care Death and Dying (RePaDD).

Flinders Filters has evolved from research originally carried out within CareSearch which led to the first palliative care search filter which underpins the search retrieval for palliative care literature within CareSearch [1-3]. The initial work also explored the effectiveness of palliative care clinician searching [4].

What is a search filter?

Flinders creates “search filters” which are evidence-based literature search strategies, developed using an explicit methodology and tested using a gold standard test comparison study design and detailed in published papers. Each provides a standardised, systematic subject-based search with a known level of performance. Embedding the search filter into a URL for a database such as PubMed provides the searcher with access to a high performing literature search simply by clicking a link. This capacity for ready implementation is a powerful feature of this research programme.

Flinders Filters and CareSearch are developing an ever-increasing collection of subject-based search filters of national interest and international significance, which are relevant to palliative care [5-10]

  1. Tieman J, Sladek R, Currow D. Changes in the quantity and level of evidence of palliative and hospice care literature: the last century. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Dec 10;26(35):5679-83. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2008.17.6230. Epub 2008 Nov 10. PMID: 19001326.
  2. Sladek RM, Tieman J, Currow DC. Improving search filter development: a study of palliative care literature. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2007 Jun 28;7:18. doi: 10.1186/1472-6947-7-18. PMID: 17597549; PMCID: PMC1931586.
  3. Sladek RM, Tieman J. Applying evidence in the real world: a case study in library and information practice. Health Info Libr J. 2008 Dec;25(4):295-301. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2008.00778.x. PMID: 19076676.
  4. Damarell RA, Tieman JJ. Searching PubMed for a broad subject area: how effective are palliative care clinicians in finding the evidence in their field? Health Info Libr J. 2016 Mar;33(1):49-60. doi: 10.1111/hir.12120. Epub 2015 Aug 21. PMID: 26293160.
  5. Hayman S, Tieman J. Finding evidence about the costs of palliative care: CareSearch's suite of search tools. Palliat Med. 2017 Apr;31(4):387-388. doi: 10.1177/0269216316673551. Epub 2016 Oct 26. PMID: 28281404.
  6. Hayman SL, Tieman JJ. Discovering the dementia evidence base: Tools to support knowledge to action in dementia care (innovative practice). Dementia (London). 2016 Sep;15(5):1279-88. doi: 10.1177/1471301215587819. Epub 2015 May 28. PMID: 26021332.
  7. Tieman J, Hayman S, Hall C. Find me the evidence: connecting the practitioner with the evidence on bereavement care. Death Stud. 2015 Jan-Jun;39(1-5):255-62. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2014.992498. Epub 2015 Jan 15. PMID: 25591057.
  8. Damarell RA, Tieman J, Sladek RM, Davidson PM. Development of a heart failure filter for Medline: an objective approach using evidence-based clinical practice guidelines as an alternative to hand searching. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2011 Jan 28;11:12. doi: 10.1186/1471-2288-11-12. PMID: 21272371; PMCID: PMC3037346.
  9. Brown L, Carne A, Bywood P, McIntyre E, Damarell R, Lawrence M, Tieman J. Facilitating access to evidence: Primary Health Care Search Filter. Health Info Libr J. 2014 Dec;31(4):293-302. doi: 10.1111/hir.12087. Epub 2014 Nov 20. PMID: 25411047.
  10. Tieman JJ, Lawrence MA, Damarell RA, Sladek RM, Nikolof A. fast tracking access to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health literature. Aust Health Rev. 2014 Nov;38(5):541-5. doi: 10.1071/AH14019. PMID: 25109618.

Last updated 24 August 2021