Objective: To assess the efficacy of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for low-back pain.
Methods: Computer-aided search of published randomized clinical trials (RCTs) comparing NSAIDs with placebo. Assignment of a methods score (MS) for quality (maximum = 100 points) to all RCTs by 2 independent researchers. Attempt at statistical pooling of different RCTs regarding similar patient groups and outcome measures by Peto's method.
Results: Overall 2093 reports were identified by all languages used in combination. 46% (963) of these were RCTs/CCTs. English phrases alone find 70% of these reports and 57% of this sub-sample were RCTs/CCTs. Portuguese/Spanish phrases found 72% of the total and again 57% of these were RCTs/CCTs. Monolingual English speakers searching the printed off reports were 83% sensitive and 90% specific for RCTs/CCTs.
Discussion: LILACS contains many trials not indexed by other databases. Although, being a multilingual searcher has the advantage of a more comprehensive identification of trials in this database, an English speaker can identify a high percentual of the trials with adequate degrees of sensitivity and specificity.