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Effectiveness of search strategies for qualitative research about barriers and facilitators of program delivery

Pearson, Mark; Moxham, Tiffany; Ashton, Kate

Authors

Tiffany Moxham

Kate Ashton



Abstract

Electronic database search strategies have developed substantially over the course of the past two decades, but their optimal use within a broader search strategy remains unclear. This article evaluates the use of a range of search strategies to identify qualitative evidence on the implementation of cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention programs. Within the time-limited context of the production of a policy-relevant systematic review, the authors found the protocol-driven, targeted, and reference-checking search strategies to be the most effective, while obtaining authors’ suggestions proved to be a resource-intensive process with negligible results. Weaknesses in the indexing of qualitative research in electronic literature databases mean that the sensitivity of searches may need to be reduced to allow time for other search strategies to be implemented. Expert knowledge may be optimally used through involving experts in the design and implementation of a search strategy, rather than solely as a source of citations.

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date Sep 1, 2011
Journal Evaluation & the Health Professions
Print ISSN 0163-2787
Electronic ISSN 1552-3918
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 3
Pages 297-308
APA6 Citation Pearson, M., Moxham, T., & Ashton, K. (2011). Effectiveness of search strategies for qualitative research about barriers and facilitators of program delivery. Evaluation and the Health Professions, 34(3), 297-308. doi:10.1177/0163278710388029
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0163278710388029
Keywords Systematic review; Search strategies; Qualitative research; Bibliographic databases; Public health
Publisher URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0163278710388029
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