Information about Heart Failure PubMed Searches

What are they and what do they offer?

  • PubMed search strategies saved as hyperlinks for one-click, real-time literature searching
  • More than 40 searches on topics of relevance to heart failure palliative care
  • Limited to English language citations only
  • Quick entry points into the literature for those with limited time or searching skills
  • Five search options per topic, including free full text
  • Developed by a medical librarian using the best available research evidence about effective searching
  • Reliability – all searches include the experimentally developed and validated CareSearch Heart Failure Search Filter. [1]

What are their limitations?

  • Searches are not designed to be exhaustive; they typically use only a handful of MeSH terms / textwords to represent topics
  • Choosing free full text searches will reduce the number of results
  • PubMed does not index all of the world's literature
  • Some searches may retrieve few results. This will change in time as publications emerge.

Why limit a search to 'free full text' only?

This option limits retrieval to citations with an electronic link to a freely available full text version of the corresponding journal article. The benefit is immediate and timely access to the article, which might otherwise only be available through a formal library service. This option is also restrictive as other potentially useful citations will not appear in the results list. A clinical decision based only on freely available journal articles may be biased in favour of the findings in those articles which may not be representative of the broader published evidence base.

Why limit a search to 'strongest evidence'?

These searches limit retrieval to systematic reviews or randomised controlled trials. These research designs are considered by Australia's National Health & Medical Research Council to be two of the highest levels of evidence to answer key research questions, i.e. they are most likely to provide valid conclusions.