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Concept: Bibliographic databases


Physicians frequently search PubMed for information to guide patient care. More recently, Google Scholar has gained popularity as another freely accessible bibliographic database.

Concepts: Bibliographic databases, Hospital, Medicine, Doctor-patient relationship, Health care, Physician, Patient, Reference management software


BACKGROUND: In searches for clinical trials and systematic reviews, it is said that Google Scholar (GS) should never be used in isolation, but in addition to PubMed, Cochrane, and other trusted sources of information. We therefore performed a study to assess the coverage of GS specifically for the studies included in systematic reviews and evaluate if GS was sensitive enough to be used alone for systematic reviews. METHODS: All the original studies included in 29 systematic reviews published in the Cochrane Database Syst Rev or in the JAMA in 2009 were gathered in a gold standard database. GS was searched for all these studies one by one to assess the percentage of studies which could have been identified by searching only GS. RESULTS: All the 738 original studies included in the gold standard database were retrieved in GS (100%). CONCLUSION: The coverage of GS for the studies included in the systematic reviews is 100%. If the authors of the 29 systematic reviews had used only GS, no reference would have been missed. With some improvement in the research options, to increase its precision, GS could become the leading bibliographic database in medicine and could be used alone for systematic reviews.

Concepts: Medicine, Review, MEDLINE, Cochrane Collaboration, Evidence-based medicine, Reference management software, Search engine optimization, Bibliographic databases


The usefulness of Google Scholar (GS) as a bibliographic database for biomedical systematic review (SR) searching is a subject of current interest and debate in research circles. Recent research has suggested GS might even be used alone in SR searching. This assertion is challenged here by testing whether GS can locate all studies included in 21 previously published SRs. Second, it examines the recall of GS, taking into account the maximum number of items that can be viewed, and tests whether more complete searches created by an information specialist will improve recall compared to the searches used in the 21 published SRs.

Concepts: Bibliography, Academic publishing, Bibliographic database, Review, Searching, Medical research, Bibliographic databases, Reference management software


Previously, we reported on the low recall of Google Scholar (GS) for systematic review (SR) searching. Here, we test our conclusions further in a prospective study by comparing the coverage, recall, and precision of SR search strategies previously performed in Embase, MEDLINE, and GS.

Concepts: Review, The Search, Bibliographic databases, Search engine optimization, Medical research, Searching


Injuries to children caused by falling televisions have become more frequent during the last decade. These injuries can be severe and even fatal and are likely to become even more common in the future as TVs increase in size and become more affordable. To formulate guidelines for the prevention of these injuries, the authors systematically reviewed the literature on injuries related to toppling televisions. The authors searched MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, Scopus, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar according to the Cochrane guidelines for all studies involving children 0-18 years of age who were injured by toppled TVs. Factors contributing to injury were categorized using Haddon’s Matrix, and the public health approach was used as a framework for developing strategies to prevent these injuries. The vast majority (84%) of the injuries occurred in homes and more than three-fourths were unwitnessed by adult caregivers. The TVs were most commonly large and elevated off the ground. Dressers and other furniture not designed to support TVs were commonly involved in the TV-toppling incident. The case fatality rate varies widely, but almost all deaths reported (96%) were due to brain injuries. Toddlers between the ages of 1 and 3 years most frequently suffer injuries to the head and neck, and they are most likely to suffer severe injuries. Many of these injuries require brain imaging and neurosurgical intervention. Prevention of these injuries will require changes in TV design and legislation as well as increases in public education and awareness. Television-toppling injuries can be easily prevented; however, the rates of injury do not reflect a sufficient level of awareness, nor do they reflect an acceptable effort from an injury prevention perspective.

Concepts: Physical trauma, Bibliographic databases, Injury, Injuries, Television, Public health, MEDLINE


Breakfast consumption is associated with positive outcomes for diet quality, micronutrient intake, weight status and lifestyle factors. Breakfast has been suggested to positively affect learning in children in terms of behavior, cognitive, and school performance. However, these assertions are largely based on evidence which demonstrates acute effects of breakfast on cognitive performance. Less research which examines the effects of breakfast on the ecologically valid outcomes of academic performance or in-class behavior is available. The literature was searched for articles published between 1950-2013 indexed in Ovid MEDLINE, Pubmed, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE databases, and PsychINFO. Thirty-six articles examining the effects of breakfast on in-class behavior and academic performance in children and adolescents were included. The effects of breakfast in different populations were considered, including undernourished or well-nourished children and adolescents from differing socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds. The habitual and acute effects of breakfast and the effects of school breakfast programs (SBPs) were considered. The evidence indicated a mainly positive effect of breakfast on on-task behavior in the classroom. There was suggestive evidence that habitual breakfast (frequency and quality) and SBPs have a positive effect on children’s academic performance with clearest effects on mathematic and arithmetic grades in undernourished children. Increased frequency of habitual breakfast was consistently positively associated with academic performance. Some evidence suggested that quality of habitual breakfast, in terms of providing a greater variety of food groups and adequate energy, was positively related to school performance. However, these associations can be attributed, in part, to confounders such as SES and to methodological weaknesses such as the subjective nature of the observations of behavior in class.

Concepts: PubMed, Effect, Evidence-based medicine, Affect, Bibliographic databases, Cochrane Collaboration, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE


The use of self myofascial release (SMR) via a foam roller or roller massager is becoming increasingly popular both to aid recovery from exercise and prevent injury. Our objective was to review the literature on SMR and its use for preexercise, recovery, or maintenance. PUBMED, EBSCO (MEDLINE), EMBASE, and CINAHL were searched for variations and synonyms of “self myofascial release” and “foam rolling.” Data from nine studies were examined, and overall quality varied based on study protocol, muscle group targeted, and outcomes measured. Despite the heterogeneity of these studies, SMR appears to have a positive effect on range of motion and soreness/fatigue following exercise, but further study is needed to define optimal parameters (timing and duration of use) to aid performance and recovery.

Concepts: Bibliographic databases, Effectiveness, Manipulative therapy, Academic publishing, Muscle, Myofascial release


Increasing numbers of systematic reviews evaluating the diagnostic test accuracy of technologies are being published. Currently, review teams tend to apply conventional systematic review standards to identify relevant studies for inclusion, for example sensitive searches of multiple bibliographic databases. There has been little evaluation of the efficiency of searching only one or two such databases for this type of review. The aim of this study was to assess the viability of an approach that restricted searches to MEDLINE, EMBASE and the reference lists of included studies.

Concepts: Psychometrics, Standard, Assessment, Bibliographic databases, Search engine optimization, Medical research, Searching, Evaluation


Exploding head syndrome is characterized by the perception of abrupt, loud noises when going to sleep or waking up. They are usually painless, but associated with fear and distress. In spite of the fact that its characteristic symptomatology was first described approximately 150 y ago, exploding head syndrome has received relatively little empirical and clinical attention. Therefore, a comprehensive review of the scientific literature using Medline, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, and PubMed was undertaken. After first discussing the history, prevalence, and associated features, the available polysomnography data and five main etiological theories for exploding head syndrome are summarized. None of these theories has yet reached dominance in the field. Next, the various methods used to assess and treat exploding head syndrome are discussed, as well as the limited outcome data. Finally, recommendations for future measure construction, treatment options, and differential diagnosis are provided.

Concepts: Differential diagnosis, Academic publishing, Bibliographic databases, Psychology, Open access, Sleep, Scientific method, Science


BACKGROUND: Physician-rating websites (PRWs) are currently gaining in popularity because they increase transparency in the health care system. However, research on the characteristics and content of these portals remains limited. OBJECTIVE: To identify and synthesize published evidence in peer-reviewed journals regarding frequently discussed issues about PRWs. METHODS: Peer-reviewed English and German language literature was searched in seven databases (Medline (via PubMed), the Cochrane Library, Business Source Complete, ABI/Inform Complete, PsycInfo, Scopus, and ISI web of knowledge) without any time constraints. Additionally, reference lists of included studies were screened to assure completeness. The following eight previously defined questions were addressed: 1) What percentage of physicians has been rated? 2) What is the average number of ratings on PRWs? 3) Are there any differences among rated physicians related to socioeconomic status? 4) Are ratings more likely to be positive or negative? 5) What significance do patient narratives have? 6) How should physicians deal with PRWs? 7) What major shortcomings do PRWs have? 8) What recommendations can be made for further improvement of PRWs? RESULTS: Twenty-four articles published in peer-reviewed journals met our inclusion criteria. Most studies were published by US (n=13) and German (n=8) researchers; however, the focus differed considerably. The current usage of PRWs is still low but is increasing. International data show that 1 out of 6 physicians has been rated, and approximately 90% of all ratings on PRWs were positive. Although often a concern, we could not find any evidence of “doctor-bashing”. Physicians should not ignore these websites, but rather, monitor the information available and use it for internal and ex-ternal purpose. Several shortcomings limit the significance of the results published on PRWs; some recommendations to address these limitations are presented. CONCLUSIONS: Although the number of publications is still low, PRWs are gaining more attention in research. But the current condition of PRWs is lacking. This is the case both in the United States and in Germany. Further research is necessary to increase the quality of the websites, especially from the patients' perspective.

Concepts: Bibliographic databases, Medicine, Cochrane Collaboration, Evidence-based medicine, German language, Cochrane Library, Academic publishing, MEDLINE