Institute on Disability
 

Title

Searching for disability in electronic databases of published literature.

Abstract

Background

As researchers in disability and health conduct systematic reviews with greater frequency, the definition of disability used in these reviews gains importance. Translating a comprehensive conceptual definition of “disability” into an operational definition that utilizes electronic databases in the health sciences is a difficult step necessary for performing systematic literature reviews in the field. Consistency of definition across studies will help build a body of evidence that is comparable and amenable to synthesis.

Objective

To illustrate a process for operationalizing the World Health Organization's International Classification of Disability, Functioning, and Health concept of disability for MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL databases.

Methods

We created an electronic search strategy in conjunction with a reference librarian and an expert panel. Quality control steps included comparison of search results to results of a search for a specific disabling condition and to articles nominated by the expert panel.

Results

The complete search strategy is presented. Results of the quality control steps indicated that our strategy was sufficiently sensitive and specific.

Conclusions

Our search strategy will be valuable to researchers conducting literature reviews on broad populations with disabilities.

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Journal Title

Disability and Health Journal

Publisher

Elsevier

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1016/j.dhjo.2013.10.005

Document Type

Article

Rights

© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.