Palliative Care Filter Effectiveness Study

Why an effectiveness study?

The Palliative Care Filter has been used to create resources to help health professionals easily and effectively search for palliative care literature and evidence. Clinicians with access to Ovid Medline can set up the filter as a saved search. Everyone can use the filter-based PubMed searches to look for citations on over fifty palliative topics and issues in the world’s largest biomedical bibliographic database which is publicly available. 

The initial research that led to the palliative care filter was carried out in 2004. The dataset on which it was produced was articles published in four journals from 1999-2001. An investigation into the ongoing effectiveness of the Palliative Care Filter is currently underway.

About the studies

Five interrelated activities and studies will enable iterative enhancements of the filter and build our understanding of how palliative care clinicians search for information, where they search and what terms they use. The studies are:

  • Review of thesauri for palliative care related terms
    An analysis of the MeSH thesaurus for changes to the syntax was completed in July 2010 and then again in May 2011. No significant changes to the MeSH syntax relating to the existing terms included in the filter were found.
  • Effectiveness review of the existing palliative care filter
    This study used a gold standard set of articles derived from 2008 palliative care relevant systematic reviews. The study showed that the filter continued to retrieve effectively in more current literature.
  • Investigating how Palliative Care Professionals Search (158kb pdf)
    Palliative care professionals attending the Palliative Care Australia 2011 Conference will be invited to create a search on PubMed. Searches will be saved for analysis. The set of searches will be examined for commonality and diversity.
  • User assessment of the PubMed Searches
    A feedback study will provide important information on how users and potential users of the PubMed searches (the public application of the palliative care filter) regard the usefulness of these searches.
  • Increasing understanding of filter based searching (88kb pdf)
    This study will look at whether an educational session increases understanding of the role of filters and the utility of PubMed Searches.

Last updated 19 January 2017