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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

PubMed, HSRProj, and ClinicalTrials.gov Search Strategies for Informing Comparative Effectiveness Research

Return to CER Search Queries

CER Randomized Controlled Trials| CER Observational Studies| Systematic Reviews, Simulations, Modeling| Health Disparities| Costs and Cost Analysis| Comparative Effectiveness Research as Topic| HSRProj CER Search| ClinicalTrials.gov CER Search|

This CER Randomized Controlled Trials search strategy was developed to identify randomized clinical trials and related controlled intervention studies in PubMed which have some comparison or which discuss treatment outcomes.

Strategy last modified March 2010.


(((randomized controlled trial [pt] OR
clinical trial, phase iii [pt] OR
clinical trial, phase iv [pt] OR
clinicaltrials.gov [si] OR
isrctn [si] OR
randomized controlled trials as topic [mh]) OR
(clinical trial [pt] AND
(((single [tw] OR
double [tw] OR
doubleblind [tw] OR
doubleblinded [tw] OR
treble [tw] OR
triple [tw]) AND
(blind [tw] OR
blinded [tw] OR
mask [tw] OR
masked [tw] OR
masks [tw] OR
sham [tw] OR
shams [tw] OR
dummy [tw])) OR
(random [tw] OR
randomise [tw] OR
randomize [tw] OR
randomised [tw] OR
randomized [tw] OR
rct [tw] OR
rcts [tw] OR
single-blind method [mh] OR
double-blind method [mh] OR
random allocation [mh]))) AND
((comparative study [pt] OR
compare [tw] OR
compares [tw] OR
compared [tw] OR
comparing [tw] OR
comparison [tw] OR
comparative [tw] OR
effective [tw] OR
effectiveness [tw] OR
versus [ti] OR
vs [ti]) OR
(activities of daily living [mh] OR
benefit [tw] OR
benefits [tw] OR
budgets [mh] OR
chronic disease [mh] OR
clinical trials data monitoring committees [mh] OR
cognitive function [tw] OR
ec [sh] OR
death [mh] OR
diffusion of innovation [mh] OR
discharge [tw] OR
economics, pharmaceutical [mh] OR
evidence based practice [mh] OR
functional status [tw] OR
guideline adherence [mh] OR
harm [tw] OR
harms [tw] OR
health services research [mh] OR
health status [mh] OR
hospitalization [mh] OR
interventions [tw] OR
life expectancy [mh] OR
longevity [mh] OR
models, statistical [mh] OR
models, theoretical [mh:noexp] OR
morbidity [mh] OR
mortality [mh] OR
noninferior [tw] OR
noninferiority [tw] OR
outcome and process assessment [mh] OR
outcome [tw] OR
outcomes [tw] OR
patient compliance [mh] OR
postoperative care [mh] OR
postoperative complications [mh] OR
product surveillance, postmarketing [mh] OR
propensity score [tw] OR
quality-adjusted life years [mh] OR
quality of life [mh] OR
recovery of function [mh] OR
recurrence [mh] OR
relapse [tw] OR
remission [tw] OR
reoperation [mh] OR
risk [tw] OR
risk management [mh] OR
survival analysis [mh] OR
survival rate [mh] OR
technology assessment, biomedical [mh] OR
trial [ti] OR
trials [ti]))) OR
clinical effectiveness [tw]) NOT
systematic [sb]

This CER Observational Studies search strategy was developed to identify observational and related studies (including natural experiments, disease registries, administrative data, and electronic health records) in PubMed which have some comparison and which also discuss treatment outcomes.

Strategy last modified March 2015.


(((observational  study [pt] OR 
observational study as topic [mh] OR
case-control studies [mh] OR cohort studies [mh] OR cross-over studies [mh] OR epidemiologic studies [mh:noexp] OR cross-sectional studies [mh] OR evaluation studies as topic [mh] OR meta-analysis as topic [mh] OR practice guidelines as topic [mh] OR case control [tw] OR case controlled [tw] OR case controls [tw] OR cohort [tw]OR cohorts [tw] OR follow-up [tw] OR followup [tw] OR longitudinal [tw] OR matched-pair analysis [mh] OR observational studies [tw] OR observational study [tw] OR multicenter study [pt]) AND ((comparative study [pt] OR compare [tw] OR compares [tw] OR compared [tw] OR comparing [tw] OR comparison [tw] OR comparative [tw] OR effective [tw] OR effectiveness [tw] OR versus [ti] OR vs [ti]) AND (activities of daily living [mh] OR benefit [tw] OR benefits [tw] OR budgets [mh] OR chronic disease [mh] OR clinical trials data monitoring committees [mh] OR cognitive function [tw] OR ec [sh] OR death [mh] OR diffusion of innovation [mh] OR discharge [tw] OR economics, pharmaceutical [mh] OR evidence based practice [mh] OR functional status [tw] OR guideline adherence [mh] OR harm [tw] OR harms [tw] OR health services research [mh] OR health status [mh] OR hospitalization [mh] OR interventions [tw] OR life expectancy [mh] OR longevity [mh] OR models, statistical [mh] OR models, theoretical [mh:noexp] OR morbidity [mh] OR mortality [mh] OR noninferior [tw] OR noninferiority [tw] OR outcome and process assessment [mh] OR outcome [tw] OR outcomes [tw] OR patient compliance [mh] OR postoperative care [mh] OR postoperative complications [mh] OR product surveillance, postmarketing [mh] OR propensity score [tw] OR quality-adjusted life years [mh] OR quality of life [mh] OR recovery of function [mh] OR recurrence [mh] OR relapse [tw] OR remission [tw] OR reoperation [mh] OR risk [tw] OR risk management [mh] OR survival analysis [mh] OR survival rate [mh] OR technology assessment, biomedical [mh]))) OR (((administrative data [tw] OR administrative database [tw] OR administrative databases [tw] OR chart review [tw] OR data registry [tw] OR data registries [tw] OR databases, factual [mh] OR hospital claims [tw] OR insurance claim review [mh] OR medical record linkage [mh] OR medical record review [tw] OR medical records systems, computerized [mh] OR national database [tw] OR observational analysis [tw] OR patient-reported outcomes measurement information system [tw] OR promis [tw] OR patient registry [tw] OR patient registries [tw] OR practice based research network [tw] OR practice based research networks [tw] OR pbrn [tw] OR pbrns [tw] OR registries [mh]) OR (national hospital discharge survey [tw] AND sn [sh]) OR (OSCAR AND nursing homes [tw]) OR Hospitalization/sn [majr] OR (hospitalization/td [majr] AND sn [sh])) AND (comparative study [pt] OR (activities of daily living [mh] OR benefit [tw] OR benefits [tw] OR budgets [mh] OR chronic disease [mh] OR clinical trials data monitoring committees [mh] OR cognitive function [tw] OR ec [sh] OR death [mh] OR diffusion of innovation [mh] OR discharge [tw] OR economics, pharmaceutical [mh] OR evidence based practice [mh] OR functional status [tw] OR guideline adherence [mh] OR harm [tw] OR harms [tw] OR health services research [mh] OR health status [mh] OR hospitalization [mh] OR interventions [tw] OR life expectancy [mh] OR longevity [mh] OR models, statistical [mh] OR models, theoretical [mh:noexp] OR morbidity [mh] OR mortality [mh] OR noninferior [tw] OR noninferiority [tw] OR outcome and process assessment [mh] OR outcome [tw] OR outcomes [tw] OR patient compliance [mh] OR postoperative care [mh] OR postoperative complications [mh] OR product surveillance, postmarketing [mh] OR propensity score [tw] OR quality-adjusted life years [mh] OR quality of life [mh] OR recovery of function [mh] OR recurrence [mh] OR relapse [tw]OR remission [tw] OR reoperation [mh] OR risk [tw] OR risk management [mh] OR survival analysis [mh] OR survival rate [mh] OR technology assessment, biomedical [mh]))) OR (registries/es [mh] OR registries/st [mh] OR registries/sn [mh] OR (registries [mh] AND (medicare [mh] OR practice guidelines as topic [mh] ))) NOT randomized controlled trial [pt])

This CER Systematic Reviews search strategy was developed to identify secondary research such as systematic reviews, meta-analyses, mathematical models, simulations and related studies in PubMed. Note that PubMed's existing search strategy for Systematic Reviews is used as part of this search.

Strategy last modified March 2010.


(systematic [sb] OR
(models, statistical [majr] AND
(computer simulation [mh] OR
decision support techniques [mh] OR
cohort study [mh] OR
costs and cost analysis [mh] OR
diffusion of innovation [mh] OR
health care reform [mh] OR
healthcare costs [mh] OR
health policy [mh] OR
life expectancy [mh] OR
life tables [mh] OR
markov chains [mh] OR
monte carlo method [mh] OR
patient compliance [majr] OR
predictive value of tests [mh] OR
resource allocation [mh] OR
survival analysis [mh] OR
survival rate [mh])) OR
(decision support techniques [majr] AND
(computer simulation [mh] OR
research design [mh])) OR
(mass screening [majr] AND
models, statistical [mh]) OR
((synthesis [tw] OR
simulation [tw]) AND
(cohort study [mh] OR
costs and cost analysis [mh] OR
diffusion of innovation [mh] OR
health care reform [mh] OR
healthcare costs [mh] OR
health policy [mh] OR
life expectancy [mh] OR
life tables [mh] OR
markov chains [mh] OR
monte carlo method [mh] OR
patient compliance [majr] OR
predictive value of tests [mh] OR
resource allocation [mh] OR
survival analysis [mh] OR
survival rate [mh])) OR
(cohort simulation [tw] OR
cohort simulations [tw] OR
decision analytic model [tw] OR
decision analytic models [tw]) OR
(models, econometric [mh] OR
models, economic [mh]))

The Health Disparities search uses PubMed's existing Health Disparities search strategy.

Strategy last modified June 2008.


The Costs and Cost Analysis search strategy is based on the Health Services Research query on Costs (Broad scope).

cost[tw] OR
costs[tw] OR
costs and cost analysis[mh] OR
ec[sh] 

Strategy last modified March 2009.


The Comparative Effectiveness Research as Topic search strategy has been designed to retrieve citations "about" CER.

pragmatic trial[tw] OR 
pragmatic trials[tw] OR
practical clinical trial[tw] OR
pragmatic clinical trial [pt] OR "comparative effectiveness" OR (promising[tw] AND unproven[tw]) OR resource allocation [majr] OR therapies, investigational [majr] OR united states agency for healthcare research and quality [mh] OR centers for medicare and medicaid services [mh]

Strategy last modified March 2010.


The HSRProj search strategy includes Program Evaluation studies in addition to health services research studies focusing on CER.

(((outcome OR outcomes) AND ("comparative study" OR "program evaluation" OR "costs and cost analysis" OR 
"cost-benefit analysis" OR "evidence-based medicine" OR "practice guidelines as topic")) OR 
((effective OR effectiveness) AND (comparative OR compared OR "costs and cost analysis" OR "cost-benefit analysis" 
OR "evidence-based medicine" OR "program evaluation" OR "practice guidelines as topic"))) 

Strategy last modified March 2010.


The ClinicalTrials.gov search strategy includes Phase III or Phase IV clinical trials or observational studies with an active comparator.

("Active Comparator" [ARM-GROUP-TYPES] AND ( "Phase III" OR "Phase IV" ) [PHASE] AND 
( "Drug" OR "Biological" ) [INTERVENTION-TYPES] OR "Active Comparator" [ARM-GROUP-TYPES] AND NOT 
( "Drug" OR "Biological" ) [INTERVENTION-TYPES] OR Observational [STUDY-TYPES] AND ( NOT NOTEXT ) [INTERVENTIONS])

Strategy last modified June 2012.