Risk factors for bladder cancer: challenges of conducting a literature search using PubMed.


The objective of this study was to assess the risk factors for bladder cancer using PubMed articles from January 2000 to December 2009. The study also aimed to describe the challenges encountered in the methodology of a literature search for bladder cancer risk factors using PubMed. Twenty-six categories of risk factors for bladder cancer were identified using the National Cancer Institute Web site and the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Web site. A total of 1,338 PubMed searches were run using the term "urinary bladder cancer" and a risk factor term (e.g., "cigarette smoking") and were screened to identify 260 articles for final analysis. The search strategy had an overall precision of 3.42 percent, relative recall of 12.64 percent, and an F-measure of 5.39 percent. Although search terms derived from MeSH had the highest overall precision and recall, the differences did not reach significance, which indicates that for generalized, free-text searches of the PubMed database, the searchers' own terms are generally as effective as MeSH terms.

Publication Title

Perspectives in health information management / AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association

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