Strategies for finding controlled trials of complementary medicine therapies


The US National Library of Medicine has developed a search filter for identifying articles in PubMed/MEDLINE on complementary medicine topics. The CAM on PubMed search strategy can be used in conjunction with other limits in PubMed/MEDLINE (e.g., the randomized controlled trial publication type) to identify specific types of research related to complementary medicine. We have also posted an OVID translation of the CAM on PubMed search strategy for persons who wish to use OVID rather than PubMed to search MEDLINE for complementary medicine research.

Since the inception of the Field, one focus of Cochrane Complementary Medicine has been the development of a database of controlled trials on complementary medicine therapies. The trials are included in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). A description of the sources of these trials, and their characteristics, may be read here. We have collaborated with researchers at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute to develop a CENTRAL translation of the CAM on PubMed search strategy for persons who wish to use CENTRAL to find controlled trials in complementary medicine. Finally, the citations of CENTRAL trials in complementary medicine are also posted on the website of the Systematic Review Data Repository (SRDR), an AHRQ-funded project to assist in the data extraction for systematic reviews and serve as a repository of systematic review data. The CENTRAL citations may be searched and downloaded from SRDR Registry page.