Search strategies for the identification of studies

Inclusion criteria

All controlled trials comparing alternative forms of interventions used for multiple sclerosis.  The eligibility criteria for included reports are sensitive rather than precise. The term controlled trial is used in its broadest sense: it refers to a study that compares one or more intervention groups to one or more comparison (control) groups and is performed on humans. Participants are allocated from one to two (or more) alternative forms of treatment, using either random allocation or quasi-random method of allocation. Records, identified using the search strategies outlined below, are reviewed as follows: from the abstract it is established whether the study is clearly identifiable as a randomised controlled trial or a controlled trial. If the abstract is unclear or not available, then the full article is obtained and reviewed according to the eligibility criteria described above.

Search strategies for the identification of studies

The following databases and trials registries are searched for clinical trials relevant to our group scope and are imported into Reference Manager bibliographic software:

Electronic searches

1. Database: MEDLINE (PubMed) 1966 to date 

The current search strategy is run weekly in PubMed. The highly sensitive search strategy for identifying randomized trials in MEDLINE (Lefebvre 2011) has been adapted for the purposes of the group scope.
Search strategy:

(((((((("Multiple Sclerosis"[Mesh:noexp] OR "Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive"[Mesh]) OR "Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting"[Mesh]) OR "Demyelinating Diseases"[Mesh:noexp]) OR "Optic Neuritis"[Mesh]) OR "Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS"[Mesh:noexp]) OR "Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated"[Mesh]) OR "Myelitis, Transverse"[Mesh]) OR ((((((((((((((((("multiple sclerosis"[Title/Abstract]) OR "chronic progressive multiple sclerosis"[Title/Abstract]) OR "progressive relapsing multiple sclerosis"[Title/Abstract]) OR "secondary progressive multiple sclerosis"[Title/Abstract]) OR "primary progressive multiple sclerosis"[Title/Abstract]) OR "relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis"[Title/Abstract]) OR "remitting-relapsing multiple sclerosis"[Title/Abstract]) OR "acute relapsing multiple sclerosis"[Title/Abstract]) OR "neuromyelitis optica"[Title/Abstract]) OR "optic neuritis"[Title/Abstract]) OR "devic disease"[Title/Abstract]) OR "demyelinating disease"[Title/Abstract]) OR adem[Title/Abstract]) OR "demyelinating disorder"[Title/Abstract]) OR "clinically isolated syndrome"[Title/Abstract]) OR "transverse myelitis"[Title/Abstract]) OR "acute disseminated encephalomyelitis"[Title/Abstract] OR ("encephalomyelitis"[Title/Abstract]))) AND ((("Randomized Controlled Trial "[Publication Type] OR "Controlled Clinical Trial "[Publication Type]) OR "drug therapy "[Subheading]) OR ((((((randomized[Title/Abstract]) OR randomised[Title/Abstract]) OR placebo[Title/Abstract]) OR randomly[Title/Abstract]) OR trial[Title/Abstract]) OR groups[Title/Abstract])) NOT (("Animals"[Mesh]) NOT ("Animals"[Mesh] AND "Humans"[Mesh]))

2. Database: EMBASE (embase.com) 1974 to date 
Host: Embase.com (Elsevier) through Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico "Carlo Besta", Milan, Italy. This database is searched weekly.

Search strategy:

'crossover procedure'/exp OR 'double blind procedure'/exp OR 'single blind procedure'/exp OR 'controlled clinical trial'/de OR 'randomized controlled trial'/exp OR random*:ab,ti OR factorial*:ab,ti OR crossover:ab,ti OR 'clinical trial'/exp OR (cross:ab,ti AND over:ab,ti) OR placebo:ab,ti OR 'double blind':ab,ti OR 'single blind':ab,ti OR assign*:ab,ti OR allocat*:ab,ti OR volunteer*:ab,ti AND ('multiple sclerosis'/exp OR 'demyelinating disease'/de OR 'optic neuritis'/exp OR 'acute disseminated encephalomyelitis'/exp OR 'myelooptic neuropathy'/exp OR 'myelitis'/de OR 'multiple sclerosis':ab,ti OR 'chronic progressive multiple sclerosis':ab,ti OR 'progressive relapsing multiple sclerosis':ab,ti OR 'secondary progressive multiple sclerosis':ab,ti OR 'primary progressive multiple sclerosis':ab,ti OR 'relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis':ab,ti OR 'remitting-relapsing multiple sclerosis':ab,ti OR 'acute relapsing multiple sclerosis':ab,ti OR 'optic neurities':ab,ti OR 'neuromyelitis optica':ab,ti OR encephalomyelitis:ab,ti OR 'clinically isolated syndrome':ab,ti OR 'transverse myelitis':ab,ti OR 'devic disease':ab,ti OR 'demyelinating disease':ab,ti OR 'demyelinating disorder':ab,ti OR 'acute disseminated encephalomyelitis':ab,ti OR adem:ab,ti) AND [embase]/lim NOT [medline]/lim AND [humans]/lim

3. Database: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) 
Issue 1, 1998 was the first version of the Cochrane Library to be searched by the Group. Each new version  is searched as soon as it is published.

Search strategy:

#1 MeSH descriptor Multiple Sclerosis, this term only
#2 MeSH descriptor Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive, this term only
#3 MeSH descriptor Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting, this term only
#4 MeSH descriptor Myelitis, Transverse explode trees 3, 5 and 7
#5 MeSH descriptor Optic Neuritis explode all trees
#6 MeSH descriptor Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated, this term only
#7 MeSH descriptor Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS, this term only
#8 "multiple sclerosis":ti,ab,kw or "chronic progressive multiple sclerosis":ti,ab,kw or "progressive relapsing multiple sclerosis":ti,ab,kw or "secondary progressive multiple sclerosis":ti,ab,kw or "primary progressive multiple sclerosis":ti,ab,kw
#9 "relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis":ti,ab,kw or "remitting-relapsing multiple sclerosis":ti,ab,kw or "acute relapsing multiple sclerosis":ti,ab,kw or "neuromyelitis optica":ti,ab,kw or "optic neuritis":ti,ab,kw
#10 "devic disease":ti,ab,kw or "demyelinating disease":ti,ab,kw or (adem):ti,ab,kw or "demyelinating disorder":ti,ab,kw or "clinically isolated syndrome":ti,ab,kw
#11 "transverse myelitis":ti,ab,kw or "acute disseminated encephalomyelitis":ti,ab,kw or (encephalomyelitis):ti,ab,kw
#12 (#1 OR #2 OR #3 OR #4 OR #5 OR #6 OR #7 OR #8 OR #9 OR #10 OR #11)

4. Database: CINAHL  (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) 1982 to Feb 2011 
Host: EBSCOhost through Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico "Carlo Besta", Milan, Italy 

Search strategy:
#1. MH "Multiple sclerosis"
#2. MH "Demyelinating  Diseases" 
#3. MH "Myelitis"
#4. TX "neuromyelitis optica"
#5. TX devic 
#6. TX "optic neuritis"
#7. TX  "transverse myelitis" 
#8. TX "multiple sclerosis"
#9. TX "demyelinating disease*"
#10. #1 OR #2 OR #3 OR #4 OR #5 OR #6 OR #7 OR #8 OR #9 
#11. MH "Clinical Trials" 
#12. MH "Placebos"
#13. TX "clinical trial" 
#14. TX random* 
#15. TX placebo* 
#16. TX control* 
#17. TX tripl* 
#18. TX trebl* 
#19. TX singl* 
#20. TX blind*
#21. TX "follow up"
#22. TX crossover OR "cross over"
#23. TX multicentr*
#24. TX "comparative stud*"
#25. TX "crossover design"
#26. TX "random sample"
#27. TX "random assignment"
#28. TX prospective
#29. #11 OR #12 OR #13 OR #14 OR #15 OR #16 OR #17 OR #18 OR #19 OR #20 OR #21 OR  #22 OR #23 OR #24 OR #25 OR #26 OR #27 OR #28
#30. MH "Animals"
#31. (#10 AND #29) NOT #30 Limiters - Exclude MEDLINE records

5. LILACS (Latin American & Caribbean Health Sciences) 1982 to date
From January 2011 LILACS is being searched monthly for relevant studies. This database covers health sciences literature published in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean since 1982. LILACS can be accessed for bibliographic searching in the VHL Global Portal (http://www.bireme.br/). 


Search strategy:
((Pt randomized controlled trial OR Pt controlled clinical trial OR Mh randomized controlled trials OR Mh random allocation OR Mh double-blind method OR Mh single-blind method) AND NOT (Ct animal AND NOT (Ct human and Ct animal)) OR (Pt clinical trial OR Ex E05.318.760.535$ OR (Tw clin$ AND (Tw trial$ OR Tw ensa$ OR Tw estud$ OR Tw experim$ OR Tw investiga$)) OR ((Tw singl$ OR Tw simple$ OR Tw doubl$ OR Tw doble$ OR Tw duplo$ OR Tw trebl$ OR Tw trip$) AND (Tw blind$ OR Tw cego$ OR Tw ciego$ OR Tw mask$ OR Tw mascar$)) OR Mh placebos OR Tw placebo$ OR (Tw random$ OR Tw randon$ OR Tw casual$ OR Tw acaso$ OR Tw azar OR Tw aleator$) OR Mh research design) AND NOT (Ct animal AND NOT (Ct human and Ct animal)) OR (Ct comparative study OR Ex E05.337$ OR Mh follow-up studies OR Mh prospective studies OR Tw control$ OR Tw prospectiv$ OR Tw volunt$ OR Tw volunteer$) AND NOT (Ct animal AND NOT (Ct human and Ct animal))) AND (esclerosis múltiple OR mutliple sclerosis OR esclerose múltipla OR multiple sclerosis chronic progressive OR chronic progressive multiple sclerosis OR multiple sclerosis relapsing remitting OR relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis OR ("esclerosis multiple and recurrente") OR ("esclerosis multiple and  cronica progresiva") or ("esclerosis multiple and brotes") or ("esclerosis multiple and progresiva brotes") OR ("esclerose múltipla and recorrente") OR ("esclerose múltipla and crônica progressive") OR síndromes clínicas isolada$ OR ("esclerose múltipla and surto-remissão"))

6. PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database. PEDro) 
PEDro is a free database of over 19,000 randomised trials, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy. The total number of records on the database is 19,026 and it is updated on the first Monday of the month (http://www.pedro.org.au/). This database is being searched monthly
Search strategy: 
The search strategy is being evaluated but at present the keywords being used are: "multiple sclerosis" OR MS. 

7. Trials Registries 
The following are searched monthly:
a) World Health Organisation International Clinical Trials Registry Platform search portal (
http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/
Trials are retrieved via this search portal using the keyword "multiple sclerosis".

The portal provides access to the following trials registries:
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry
ClinicalTrials.gov
ISRCTN
Chinese Clinical Trial Registry
Clinical Trials Registry - India
Clinical Research Information Service - Republic of Korea
German Clinical Trials Register
Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials
Japan Primary Registries Network
Pan African Clinical Trial Registry
Sri Lanka Clinical Trials Registry
The Netherlands National Trial Register

b) ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov). 
Search strategy:
 "multiple sclerosis" OR "chronic progressive multiple sclerosis" OR "relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis" OR "relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis" OR "primary progressive multiple sclerosis" OR "secondary progressive multiple sclerosis" 
AND
randomized OR (controlled OR control)

8. Databases of reviews
The following databases are searched monthly via Centre for Reviews & Dissemination (CRD) website (http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/):

DARE (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects) 
NHS EED (NHS Economic Evaluation Database) 
HTA (Health Technology Assessment Database)