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Family Medicine

Search Filters for Family Medicine

Search Filters for Family Medicine

You can copy and paste these search filters (search strategies for a particular concept or study design, in this case designed to retrieve records related to family medicine) right into the applicable database to narrow your results down to articles that are potentially about family medicine. Note that the high sensitivity filter is designed to cast a wide net, which means you will still likely retrieve irrelevant results; the advantage is that you are less likely to miss relevant results.The high specificity filter will produce a narrower set of results that are proportionately more relevant (i.e., fewer false positives).


Pols DH, Bramer WM, Bindels PJ, van de Laar FA, Bohnen AM. Development and Validation of Search Filters to Identify Articles on Family Medicine in Online Medical Databases. Ann Fam Med. 2015 Jul;13(4):364-6. doi: 10.1370/afm.1780.

High Specificity Filter


("Primary  Health  Care"[mh]  OR  "primary  care"[all  fields]  OR  "Physicians,  Family"[mh]  OR  general  pract*[all  fields]  OR  "family"[ad]  OR  family  pract*[all  fields]  OR  family  physician*[tw])

Ovid MEDLINE or Embase

  • this can also be used for other Ovid databases like Global Health, PsycINFO

(exp  Primary  Health  Care/  OR  primary  OR  exp  Physicians,  Family/  OR  general  pract$.af.  OR   OR  family  pract$.af.  OR  family  physician$.mp.)

Cochrane Library

([mh "Primary  Health  Care"]  OR  "primary  care"  OR  [mh  "Physicians,  Family"]  OR  general  pract*  OR  family pract*  OR  family  physician*:ti,ab,kw,pt)

High Sensitivity Filter

Suggestion: Use this filter for knowledge syntheses (e.g., systematic reviews, scoping reviews), when you are trying hard not to miss any records related to family medicine.


("family"[all  fields]  OR  physician*[all  fields]  OR  practice*[tw]  OR  "primary  care"[all  fields]  OR  "Primary  Health  Care"[mh]  OR  primary[tw]  OR  general  pract*[tiab]  OR  gp[tiab]  OR  gps[tiab])

Ovid MEDLINE or Embase

  • this can also be used for other Ovid databases like Global Health, PsycINFO

( OR physician$.af. OR practice$.mp. OR primary OR exp Primary Health Care/ OR OR general pract$.af. OR OR

Cochrane Library

(“family” OR physician* OR practice*:ti,ab,kw,pt OR “primary care” OR [mh “Primary Health Care”] OR “primary”:ti,ab,kw,pt OR general pract*:ab,ti OR “gp”:ab,ti OR “gps”:ab,ti)

Sources of Additional Filters

Sources of Additional Search Filters or Hedges

Please see the McGill Library Systematic Reviews, Scoping Reviews, and Other Knownledge Syntheses guide's page on Search Filters or Hedges.

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