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Table 1 Example search using subject headings

From: Protocol for a systematic review of screening tools for fear of recurrent illness in common life-threatening diseases

  Search strategy
1 exp neoplasms/(2693021)
2 exp recurrence/(165159)
3 exp Neoplasm Recurrence, Local/(86083)
4 exp asthma/(109453)
5 exp stroke/(91990)
6 exp acute coronary syndrome/(8195)
7 2 or 3 (250583)
8 1 or 4 or 5 or 6 (2897701)
9 7 and 8 (116674)
10 exp emotions/(176489)
11 9 and 10 (261)
12 (cancer: or neoplasm: or oncol: or asthm: or stroke or strokes or acute coronary syndrom: or cardio: or cardia: or coronary).af. (4339611)
13 (recur: or rec-cur: or reocur: or re-ocur: or relaps: or reappear: or re appear).af. (585938)
14 (fear: or worr: or anx: or distress: or emotion: or apprehens: or dread or panic:).af. (411973)
15 12 and 13 and 14 (3417)
16 ((questionnair: or scal: or screen: or psychometric:) and (valid: or reliab:)).af. (151160)
17 15 and 16 (113)
18 17 not 11 (86)
  1. Database: Ovid MEDLINE(R) 1946 to Present with Daily Update.
  2. Example search using keywords: Strategy used in ASSIA/PILOTS/Social Services Abstracts and Sociological Abstracts.
  3. (cancer* OR neoplasm* OR oncol* OR asthm* OR stroke OR strokes OR acute coronary syndrom* OR cardio* OR cardia* OR coronary) AND (recur* OR rec-cur* OR reocur* OR re-ocur* OR relaps* OR reappear* OR re appear) AND (fear* OR worr* OR anx* OR distress* OR emotion* OR apprehens* OR dread OR panic*) AND (questionnair* OR scal* OR screen* OR Psychometric*) AND (valid* OR reliab*).
  4. Strategy used in the non-structured databases.
  5. (Myocardial infaction*) and (recur* or rec-cur* or reocur* or re-ocur* or relaps* or reappear* or re appear*) and (fear* or worr* or anx* or distress* or emotion* or apprehens* or dread or panic*).