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Table 1 Example search strategy for Ovid SP MEDLINE

From: Physical rehabilitation interventions for adult patients with critical illness across the continuum of recovery: an overview of systematic reviews protocol

1. ((intensive or critical) adj1 care unit).mp. [mp=title, abstract, original title, name of substance word, subject heading word, keyword heading word, protocol supplementary concept word, rare disease supplementary concept word, unique identifier]  
2. ((intensive or critical) adj1 care).mp. [mp=title, abstract, original title, name of substance word, subject heading word, keyword heading word, protocol supplementary concept word, rare disease supplementary concept word, unique identifier]  
3. exp Intensive Care Units/ or exp Intensive Care/ or ICU.mp. or exp Critical Care/  
4. critical illness.mp. or exp Critical Illness/  
5. mechanical ventilation.mp. or exp Respiration, Artificial/  
6. 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5  
7. exp Exercise Therapy/ or exercise.mp. or exp Exercise/  
8. ((exercise or physical) adj2 rehabilitation).mp. [mp=title, abstract, original title, name of substance word, subject heading word, keyword heading word, protocol supplementary concept word, rare disease supplementary concept word, unique identifier]  
9. physiotherapy.mp.  
10. physical therapy.mp.  
11. exp Early Ambulation/ or early mobilisation.mp.  
12. early mobilization.mp.  
13. physical fitness.mp. or exp Physical Fitness/  
14. muscle strength.mp. or exp Muscle Strength/  
15. cycling.mp.  
16. cycle ergometry.mp.  
17. exp Electric Stimulation Therapy/ or electrical muscle stimulation.mp.  
18. neuromuscular stimulation.mp.  
19. NMES.mp.  
20. 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 or 14 or 15 or 16 or 17 or 18 or 19  
21. randomized controlled trial.pt.  
22. controlled clinical trial.pt.  
23. randomized.ab.  
24. placebo.ab.  
25. randomly.ab.  
26. trial.ab.  
27. groups.ab.  
28. 21 or 22 or 23 or 24 or 25 or 26 or 27  
29. exp animals/ not humans.sh.  
30. 28 not 29  
31. Meta-Analysis as Topic/  
32. meta analy$.tw.  
33. metaanaly$.tw.  
34. Meta-Analysis/  
35. (systematic adj (review$1 or overview$1)).tw.  
36. exp Review Literature as Topic/  
37. or/31-36  
38. cochrane.ab.  
39. embase.ab.  
40. (cinahl or cinhal).ab.  
41. science citation index.ab.  
42. or/38-41  
43. reference list$.ab.  
44. bibliograph$.ab.  
45. hand-search$.ab.  
46. relevant journals.ab.  
47. manual search$.ab.  
48. or/43-47  
49. selection criteria.ab.  
50. data extraction.ab.  
51. 49 or 50  
52. Review/  
53. 51 and 52  
54. Comment/  
55. Letter/  
56. Editorial/  
57. animal/  
58. human/  
59. 57 not (57 and 58)  
60. or/54-56,59  
61. 37 or 42 or 48 or 53  
62. 61 not 60  
63. 6 and 20 and 30  
64. 6 and 20 and 62