What was this review about?
The aim of this review was to improve the identification of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the intensive care and emergency medicine literature by hand-searching for RCTs in 15 critical care journals.
What did the review find?
Hand-searching identified a total of 2099 RCTs in the fifteen journals searched.
In seven journals indexed in Medline, a total of 1300 RCTs were identified of which 846 (65%) were identified by hand-searching and 1107 (85%) by electronic searches.
The RCTs identified were incorporated into the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register: http://www.cochrane.org/.
The authors recommended that the dual approach promoted by the Cochrane Collaboration, including both hand-searching and electronic searching, may be the optimal approach to identifying RCTs.