The OSH Evidence working group developed a method paper for recommendations on:
• Systematic literature searches for OSH topics (relevant databases and search strategies)
• Quality criteria for quality assessment of systematic reviews
There are other institutions working on recommendations on literature searches in general or specific for databases, e.g.
Checklist: What makes a good literature search?
PubMed: Online Training
In order to assess the quality of the systematic reviews selected from literature searches, a grading system was developed. The OSH Evidence working group took standard checklists used in evidence based medicine and adapted them for usage for systematic reviews in OSH.
The checklists used for OSH Evidence are:
R-AMSTAR and SIGN
he OSH Evidence working group developed a database for easy access to systematic reviews on topics in occupational safety and health. The topics were defined as research questions ( e.g. „Do occupational risks lead to the carpal tunnel syndrome?“) and the referring systematic reviews were searched and graded according to the quality assessment in the method paper.
Systematic reviews on 27 topics were collected and are presented in the database. Details on literature searches and quality assessment for each topic are documented in the referring „Search documentation form“.
In spite of the database is not maintained anymore, the list of systematic reviews and the referring documents can be helpful for update literature searches.
There are many literature databases relevant for occupational safety and health topics. The OSH Evidence working group summarized the databases, ranking by relevance. Those databases can be helpful for searching literature on primary studies and reviews.
Database: Cochrane Work
Producer: FIOH, Finland
Comments: Reviews on interventions in prevention and treatment of occupational or work-related diseases, injuries and disorders; part of the Cochrane Library.
Producer: National Library of Medicine, U.S.
Comments: Largest medical literature database worldwide, international journals, medical and related topics, comprehensive thesaurus MESH (Medical Subject Headings), smart retrieval
Database: NIOSHTIC 2
Producer: NIOSH, U.S.
Comments: bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and other communication products supported in whole or in part by NIOSH
Database: HSELINE, different providers
Producer: HSE, U.K.
Comments: bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications
Database: Cochrane Library
Producer: Cochrane Collaboration
Comments: Systematic reviews on interventions in medicine and health care, evidence based medicine. Title and abstracts for free, full text is subject to fees
Database: CRD databases: Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) and NHS Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED)
Producer: University of York, Center for Reviews and Dissemination
Comments: Medical reviews, updates ended March 2015
Producer: EBSCO Publishing
Comments: nursing and allied health literature, 4 databases
Comments: international, multilingual database provides references to all aspects of health and safety with an emphasis on training and policy documents from various countries
Database: Systematic reviews in OSH
Producer: Institute of Work and Health, Canada
Comments: Reviews mainly about MSD, Cochrane Back Review Group at the IWH
Database: TOXNET databases
Producer: National Library of Medicine, U.S.
Comments: A cluster of databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and related areas
Producer: University Aachen, Germany
Comments: Scientific research data on the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) in English and German (literature, measurement, technology, effects, limit values, glossary, links etc.).
Database: Databases of the European Union Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON)
Comments: NanoData, a knowledge base on nano science and technology and the eNanoMapper that helps you find safety information about nanomaterials.
Database: PsychINFO, different providers
Producer: American Psychological Association
Comments: International literature on psychology and related fields
Database: PSYNDEX, different providers
Producer: ZPID, Germany
Comments: English and German literature on psychology topics. User interface in German.
Database: Several databases, provider: WTi Frankfurt
Producer: wti, Germany
Comments: Bibliographic databases on technology and management
Literature, use WebOPAC
Producer: BAuA, Germany
Comments: German and international literature on occupational safety and health
Database: IFA publications
Producer: IFA, Germany
Comments: Publications of the IFA institute
Comments: Online search
Database: Google Scholar
Comments: Online search
Comments: Search tool for standards in OSH
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Harbour R, Lowe G, Twaddle S. Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network: the first 15 years (1993-2008). J R Coll Physicians Edinb. 2011 Jun;41(2):163-8. PubMed PMID: 21677923.
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Liberati et al.: The PRISMA Statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: explanation and elaboration. PLoS Med 2005, 6(7): e1000100. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000100
Mattioli et al.: Search strings for study of putative occupational determinants of disease. Occup Environ Med 2010 July; 67(7): 436–443 doi:10.1136/oem.2008.044727
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Schaafsma F. et al.: Developing search strategies in Medline on the occupational origin of diseases. Am J. Ind. Med. 2006; 49:127-137. PubMed PMID: 16362948
Schonstein E, Verbeek JH. Occupational health systematic reviews: An overview.
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Shea BJ et al.: AMSTAR is a reliable and valid measurement tool to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews. J Clin Epidemiol. 2009, 62(10):1013-1020. PubMed PMID: 19230606
Verbeek J et al.: Synthesizing study results in a systematic review. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2012 May;38(3):282-90. PubMed PMID: 22015561.
Verbeek J. The occupational health field in the cochrane collaboration. Ind Health. 2007 Jan;45(1):8-12. PubMed PMID: 17284867.
Verbeek J et al.: A search strategy for occupational health intervention studies. Occup Environment Med 2005; 62: 682-687. PubMed PMID: 16169913
Wilczynski NL, Haynes RB; Hedges Team: EMBASE search strategies achieved high sensitivity and specificity for retrieving methodologically sound systematic reviews. J Clin Epidemiol. 2007 Jan;60(1):29-33. PubMed PMID: 17161751
Van den Heuvel S, Verbeek J, Nold A, Fishta A, Euler U, Mattioli S: Priority setting for future European OSH research. From research challenge to research questions.
Perosh OSH Evidence working group 2014
Annette Nold – Annette.Nold@dguv.de