The Authority is pleased to announce a further upgrade to its website (www.rma.gov.au). Those visitors to the website who wish to search for Statements of Principles (SOPs) that cover particular conditions, or factors that are included in SOPs, can now utilise the additional search functions which have been added to the SOPs page of the RMA website.
Search for Condition or SOP Name
In the right hand column titled SOP Search, the search field located under 'Condition or SOP Name' allows a person to search for the SOPs that cover a particular disease or injury. The SOP titles are linked to synonyms for each disease or injury so that other terms commonly used for a disease or injury will also identify the correct SOPs for the condition. For example, typing myocardial infarction into the 'Condition or SOP Name' search field will identify the SOPs concerning ischaemic heart disease.
On searching for the SOPs that cover a particular condition, if there are no SOPs identified, it may be that the list of synonyms does not include the particular term used in the search. Visitors should continue to contact the RMA Secretariat for advice on whether a SOP has been determined for a particular condition, or to advise of a synonym which should be added for a condition.
Search for Factor
The search field located under 'Factor' enables visitors to search current SOPs to identify all SOPs which contain a specified word or phrase in a factor, allowing SOPs containing particular exposures to be easily identified.
The 'Factor' search can be operated using a variety of modes, either by typing in a single keyword for searching, or by typing in special characters in association with keywords. The 'Factor' search can be conducted using any of the following methods:
- keyword – search will match records containing exactly this keyword
- "keyword1 keyword2 keyword3" – use inverted commas around the phrase - search will match records containing exactly this phrase
- +keyword – use of + sign means records must contain this keyword
- -keyword – use of – sign means records must NOT contain this keyword
- keyword* – use of * allows search for part of a word - search will match records with words beginning with this keyword
You can use combinations of these as well to try to restrict the search, for example +pressure -barometric +"arterial pulsation" will identify the SOPs concerning atherosclerotic vascular disease.
Note that these special characters and search modes only apply when using the 'Factor' search field.
You should be aware that there are limitations with the 'Factor' search function. The 'Factor' search results will identify the condition/s in which the factor is included, but does not identify whether it is included in the reasonable hypothesis or balance of probabilities SOP.
Also the results may not be exhaustive as the search function generally only matches the exact term or phrase searched for. For example, a search using the term 'benzene' will only identify SOPs that contain the word 'benzene', but not those SOPs that contain alternately worded factors such as the term 'aromatic hydrocarbons' (which also includes benzene). For most factors, the search function cannot locate alternatively worded exposures in factors, only the exact words used are identified.
However for a limited number of factors, the 'Factor' search function has been enhanced to allow identification of all SOPs that contain a particular factor, whether it is expressed using that exact term or covered by an alternatively worded factor.
For example, 'mefloquine' itself is included as a factor in a number of SOPs, but is also covered by factors alternatively worded as 'antimalarial agent', 'synthetic antimalarial drugs', 'quinine derivatives', and 'a drug that causes oxidation of haemoglobin'. Using the search term 'mefloquine' will now identify all the SOPs that include exposure to mefloquine as a risk factor however expressed.
SOPs have been 'tagged' to allow searches for the following factors which are expressed either using that term or alternatively worded in various ways:
- Passive smoking
If interested in SOPs containing factors concerning 'passive smoking', the search term 'secondhand' must be used. The terminology ‘secondhand smoke’ is used in recently determined SOPs to describe passive smoking, although a number of SOPs contain alternatively worded factors that cover passive smoking and these SOPs will also be identified using the search term ‘secondhand’.