Facilitating access to evidence: Primary Health Care Search Filter
Bywood, Petra Teresia
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Background: The evidence base developed by, and relevant to, primary health care (PHC) is rapidly increasing. With the wealth of literature available, searchers trying to ﬁnd PHC-speciﬁc citations can feel overwhelmed. Objectives: Flinders Filters and the Primary Health Care Research & Information Service collaborated to develop a search ﬁlter enabling efﬁcient and effective retrieval of relevant PHC literature. Methods: Stage 1 involved developing a PHC Search Filter in the OvidSP Medline platform using a rigor-ous experimental methodology. The search ﬁlter was then translated for Web-based ‘one-click searching’ in PubMed during Stage 2. Stage 3 involved planning and implementing a mixed-methods evaluation. Results: The search ﬁlter sensitivity was 77.0% with a post hoc relevance assessment of 78 .3%. Four months after its launch, a mixed-methods study evaluated the PHC Search Filter. With 90 respondents, analysis of data from the online survey demonstrated overarching beneﬁts, a positive response to the tool and directions for further reﬁnement of the PHC Search Filter. Discussion: Designing the PHC Search Filter follow ed an established method that ensures the tool offers a validated search strategy. Evaluation results suggest that the PHC Search Filter is a useful tool that is easy to navigate. Challenges for the Filter relate to access to full text articles, while challenges for the evaluation relate to the small sample size. Conclusions: The PHC Search Filter reduces the burden associated with literature searching, increases the value of the results that are received and provides a useful resource to improve the likelihood of incorporating relevant evidence into policy and practice.