APPENDIX: Search Strategy for January 1997-July 1998 MEDLINE PLUS Search

Search Type

Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) Search Term

Tree Numbera

Boolean Operator

Subject

Quality of health care

N4.761

or

Subject

Guideline adherence

N4.761.337

or

Explode exact subjectb

Outcome and process assessment, health care

N4.761.761.559

 

Subject

Professional review organization

N4.761.673

or

Subject

Quality indicators, health care

N4.761.789

and

Language

English

 

and

Date

1997, 1998

 

 

NOTE: As Boolean operators, “or” means that articles with one search term and/or another search term are included, and “and” means that articles must have both search terms (or strings of search terms) to be included. For this search, articles with any of the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) were included, and only articles in English and from 1997 or 1998 were included.

aTree Number is a National Library of Medicine alphanumerical code for indexing MeSH terms.

bThe “Explode” search function includes the MeSH category as well as all the subcategorical branches connected to it. It is equivalent to typing out the MeSH term and each of its subcategorical branches separately. The subcategories included when exploding “Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care” are: Outcome Assessment, Treatment Outcome, Medical Futility, Treatment Failure, and Process Assessment.



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