Pico, Picos and Spider

A comparison study of specificity and sensitivity in three search tools for qualitative systematic reviews

Abigail Methley, Stephen Campbell, Carolyn Chew-Graham, Rosalind McNally, Sudeh Cheraghi-Sohi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Qualitative systematic reviews are increasing in popularity in evidence based health care. Difficulties have been reported in conducting literature searches of qualitative research using the PICO search tool. An alternative search tool, entitled SPIDER, was recently developed for more effective searching of qualitative research, but remained untested beyond its development team. Methods: In this article we tested the ‘SPIDER’ search tool in a systematic narrative review of qualitative literature investigating the health care experiences of people with Multiple Sclerosis. Identical search terms were combined into the PICO or SPIDER search tool and compared across Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE and EBSCO CINAHL Plus databases. In addition, we added to this method by comparing initial SPIDER and PICO tools to a modified version of PICO with added qualitative search terms (PICOS). Results: Results showed a greater number of hits from the PICO searches, in comparison to the SPIDER searches, with greater sensitivity. SPIDER searches showed greatest specificity for every database. The modified PICO demonstrated equal or higher sensitivity than SPIDER searches, and equal or lower specificity than SPIDER searches. The modified PICO demonstrated lower sensitivity and greater specificity than PICO searches. Conclusions: The recommendations for practice are therefore to use the PICO tool for a fully comprehensive search but the PICOS tool where time and resources are limited. Based on these limited findings the SPIDER tool would not be recommended due to the risk of not identifying relevant papers, but has potential due to its greater specificity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number579
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Spiders
Qualitative Research
Databases
Sensitivity and Specificity
Evidence-Based Practice
MEDLINE
Multiple Sclerosis
Delivery of Health Care

Cite this

Methley, Abigail ; Campbell, Stephen ; Chew-Graham, Carolyn ; McNally, Rosalind ; Cheraghi-Sohi, Sudeh. / Pico, Picos and Spider : A comparison study of specificity and sensitivity in three search tools for qualitative systematic reviews. In: BMC Health Services Research. 2014 ; Vol. 14. pp. 1-10.
@article{89c0b285e7a1427a9f85d40d17452746,
title = "Pico, Picos and Spider: A comparison study of specificity and sensitivity in three search tools for qualitative systematic reviews",
abstract = "Background: Qualitative systematic reviews are increasing in popularity in evidence based health care. Difficulties have been reported in conducting literature searches of qualitative research using the PICO search tool. An alternative search tool, entitled SPIDER, was recently developed for more effective searching of qualitative research, but remained untested beyond its development team. Methods: In this article we tested the ‘SPIDER’ search tool in a systematic narrative review of qualitative literature investigating the health care experiences of people with Multiple Sclerosis. Identical search terms were combined into the PICO or SPIDER search tool and compared across Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE and EBSCO CINAHL Plus databases. In addition, we added to this method by comparing initial SPIDER and PICO tools to a modified version of PICO with added qualitative search terms (PICOS). Results: Results showed a greater number of hits from the PICO searches, in comparison to the SPIDER searches, with greater sensitivity. SPIDER searches showed greatest specificity for every database. The modified PICO demonstrated equal or higher sensitivity than SPIDER searches, and equal or lower specificity than SPIDER searches. The modified PICO demonstrated lower sensitivity and greater specificity than PICO searches. Conclusions: The recommendations for practice are therefore to use the PICO tool for a fully comprehensive search but the PICOS tool where time and resources are limited. Based on these limited findings the SPIDER tool would not be recommended due to the risk of not identifying relevant papers, but has potential due to its greater specificity.",
keywords = "Health care, Multiple sclerosis (MS), Qualitative, Research, Research evaluation, Systematic reviews, Users' experiences",
author = "Abigail Methley and Stephen Campbell and Carolyn Chew-Graham and Rosalind McNally and Sudeh Cheraghi-Sohi",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1186/s12913-014-0579-0",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
pages = "1--10",
journal = "BMC Health Services Research",
issn = "1472-6963",
publisher = "BioMed Central",

}

Pico, Picos and Spider : A comparison study of specificity and sensitivity in three search tools for qualitative systematic reviews. / Methley, Abigail; Campbell, Stephen; Chew-Graham, Carolyn; McNally, Rosalind; Cheraghi-Sohi, Sudeh.

In: BMC Health Services Research, Vol. 14, 579, 2014, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Pico, Picos and Spider

T2 - A comparison study of specificity and sensitivity in three search tools for qualitative systematic reviews

AU - Methley, Abigail

AU - Campbell, Stephen

AU - Chew-Graham, Carolyn

AU - McNally, Rosalind

AU - Cheraghi-Sohi, Sudeh

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Background: Qualitative systematic reviews are increasing in popularity in evidence based health care. Difficulties have been reported in conducting literature searches of qualitative research using the PICO search tool. An alternative search tool, entitled SPIDER, was recently developed for more effective searching of qualitative research, but remained untested beyond its development team. Methods: In this article we tested the ‘SPIDER’ search tool in a systematic narrative review of qualitative literature investigating the health care experiences of people with Multiple Sclerosis. Identical search terms were combined into the PICO or SPIDER search tool and compared across Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE and EBSCO CINAHL Plus databases. In addition, we added to this method by comparing initial SPIDER and PICO tools to a modified version of PICO with added qualitative search terms (PICOS). Results: Results showed a greater number of hits from the PICO searches, in comparison to the SPIDER searches, with greater sensitivity. SPIDER searches showed greatest specificity for every database. The modified PICO demonstrated equal or higher sensitivity than SPIDER searches, and equal or lower specificity than SPIDER searches. The modified PICO demonstrated lower sensitivity and greater specificity than PICO searches. Conclusions: The recommendations for practice are therefore to use the PICO tool for a fully comprehensive search but the PICOS tool where time and resources are limited. Based on these limited findings the SPIDER tool would not be recommended due to the risk of not identifying relevant papers, but has potential due to its greater specificity.

AB - Background: Qualitative systematic reviews are increasing in popularity in evidence based health care. Difficulties have been reported in conducting literature searches of qualitative research using the PICO search tool. An alternative search tool, entitled SPIDER, was recently developed for more effective searching of qualitative research, but remained untested beyond its development team. Methods: In this article we tested the ‘SPIDER’ search tool in a systematic narrative review of qualitative literature investigating the health care experiences of people with Multiple Sclerosis. Identical search terms were combined into the PICO or SPIDER search tool and compared across Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE and EBSCO CINAHL Plus databases. In addition, we added to this method by comparing initial SPIDER and PICO tools to a modified version of PICO with added qualitative search terms (PICOS). Results: Results showed a greater number of hits from the PICO searches, in comparison to the SPIDER searches, with greater sensitivity. SPIDER searches showed greatest specificity for every database. The modified PICO demonstrated equal or higher sensitivity than SPIDER searches, and equal or lower specificity than SPIDER searches. The modified PICO demonstrated lower sensitivity and greater specificity than PICO searches. Conclusions: The recommendations for practice are therefore to use the PICO tool for a fully comprehensive search but the PICOS tool where time and resources are limited. Based on these limited findings the SPIDER tool would not be recommended due to the risk of not identifying relevant papers, but has potential due to its greater specificity.

KW - Health care

KW - Multiple sclerosis (MS)

KW - Qualitative

KW - Research

KW - Research evaluation

KW - Systematic reviews

KW - Users' experiences

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84988603312&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/pico-picos-spider-comparison-study-specificity-sensitivity-three-search-tools-qualitative-systematic

U2 - 10.1186/s12913-014-0579-0

DO - 10.1186/s12913-014-0579-0

M3 - Article

VL - 14

SP - 1

EP - 10

JO - BMC Health Services Research

JF - BMC Health Services Research

SN - 1472-6963

M1 - 579

ER -