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Table 3 Screening rule tests in this study and the rationale behind each

From: Automated screening of research studies for systematic reviews using study characteristics

No. Screening rule Rationale
1 All 4 PECO Terms A well-written abstract of an observational study should mention all PECO elements. PECO elements are chosen (and not country and study type) because these are regularly used to retrieve studies relevant to a systematic review question.
2 Any 3 PECO Terms We expect a higher recall and lower precision than the rule 1 as this allows one PECO element to be missed.
3 Any 2 PECO Terms We expect a higher recall and lower precision than the rule 2 as this allows an additional PECO element to be missed.
4 PEO We expect the same or lower recall and higher precision than rule 2 because confounders are often omitted from observational study abstracts.
5 PE We expect the same or lower recall and higher precision than rule 3 because of an assumption that abstracts of observational studies should mention the population the study was conducted on and the exposure that was measured.
6 EO We expect the same or lower recall and higher precision than rule 3 because of a belief that abstracts of observational studies should mention the exposure that was studied and the outcomes that were observed.