Efficiency and comparability of using new evidence platforms for updating recommendations: Experience with a type-2 diabetes guideline in Colombia

Juan Carlos Villar, Luz Angela Torres López, Anamaría Muñoz Flórez, Angela Manuela Balcázar, Laura Parra-Gómez, Edgar Camilo Barrera

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review


Introduction: Updating recommendations for guidelines requires a comprehensive and efficient literature search. Although new information platforms are available for developing groups, their relative contributions to this purpose remain uncertain. Methods: As part of a review/update of eight selected evidence-based recommendationsfor type 2 diabetes, we evaluated the following five literature search approaches (targeting systematic reviews, using predetermined criteria): PubMed for MEDLINE, Epistemonikos database basic search, Epistemonikos database using a structured search strategy, Living overview of evidence (L.OVE) platform, and TRIP database. Three reviewers independently classified the retrieved references as definitely eligible, probably eligible, or not eligible. Those falling in the same "definitely" categories for all reviewers were labelled as "true" positives/negatives. The rest went to re-assessment and if found eligible/not eligible by consensus became "false" negatives/positives, respectively. We described the yield for each approach and computed "diagnostic accuracy" measures and agreement statistics. Results: Altogether, the five approaches identified 318 to 505 references for the eight recommendations, from which reviewers considered 4.2 to 9.4% eligible after the two rounds. While Pubmed outperformed the other approaches (diagnostic odds ratio 12.5 versus 2.6 to 5.3), no single search approach returned eligible references for all recommendations. Individually, searches found up to 40% of all eligible references (n = 71), and no combination of any three approaches could find over 80% of them. Kappa statistics for retrieval between searches were very poor (9 out of 10 paired comparisons did not surpass the chance-expected agreement). Conclusion: Among the information platforms assessed, PubMed appeared to be more efficient in updating this set of recommendations. However, the very poor agreement among search approaches in the reference yield demands that developing groups add information from several (probably more than three) sources for this purpose. Further research is needed to replicate our findings and enhance our understanding of how to efficiently update recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e2781
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 17 2024
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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