Instructions to use the literature database 2023 and onwards

Outline of the database

The database consists of a table of the included studies displaying:

  • Title with PubMed link: to enable you to find the abstract and full-text of the study.
  • Disease category the preventive intervention is targeted at: For this categorization we have used the ICD-11 disease categories. As some preventive interventions are not targeted at preventing a specific disease, but e.g. at improving lifestyle, we have added the category ‘General (non-disease-specific) prevention’ for preventive interventions not targeted at specific diseases.
  • Disease subcategory the preventive intervention is targeted at: For these sub-categories we have used the ICD-11 codes that are one level below the overall disease-codes. For the category ‘General (non-disease-specific) prevention’ we have formulated the sub-codes:
    • 'smoking’
    • 'sport and exercise’
    • ‘poverty, debt and health’
    • 'healthy aging’
    • 'living environment’
    • healthy behaviour’.
      The latter subcategory ‘healthy behaviour’ is meant for prevention goals that are not covered by any other sub-categories.
  • The type of preventive interventions, with the following categories:
    • Vaccination
    • Screening/testing
    • Lifestyle 
    • Behavioural​​​​​
    • Medication
    • Environmental
    • Community
    • Financial/regulatory
    • Combination/multiple
    • Other​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
      The category ‘combination/multiple’ is used when a study assesses (a combination of) multiple interventions. The category ‘other’ is used when interventions do not fit the other categories. This, for instance, is the case for certain digital preventive interventions.
  • First author
  • Year of publication



You can search through the database:

  1. By selecting the disease categories and/or the categories of preventive interventions you are interested in (not available yet).
  2. By entering a specific search term in the ‘search’ field. The term will be sought in all columns of the database (e.g. title, disease categories, intervention types)

We strongly recommend to use the search function to get the most comprehensive overview of the information you are looking for.


Classification dilemma’s

Through entering studies in the database, we encountered some classification dilemma’s. Below you can find how we decided to proceed in these cases:

  • Virus: When it concerns the prevention of a specific virus through vaccination, the virus can sometimes not be easily classified in the ICD-11. Therefore, if this is the case, we focus on the symptoms/complaints that occur most often following the virus infection. Often all these symptoms fit within the same ICD-11 sub-category. If this is not the case, we focus on the most common symptom/complaint. See some examples in the table below:


Categorized under



Certain infectious or parasitic diseases - Human immunodeficiency virus disease

This virus is classified in the ICD-11 under this (sub)category.

Human papillomavirus

Certain infectious or parasitic diseases – Predominantly sexually transmitted infections

This virus is classified in the ICD-11 under this (sub)category.

Pneumococcal infection

Diseases of the respiratory system – Upper respiratory tract disorder

This virus causes mainly upper respiratory symptoms, such a coughing. Therefore it is classified here.


Certain infectious or parasitic diseases – Gastroenteritis or colitis of infectious origin

This virus is classified in the ICD-11 under this (sub)category.


  • Infection prevention in newborns/fetuses: Sometimes, preventive measures are targeted at mothers to prevent infections in their unborn child. For instance, screening and vaccination of mothers for viruses that are specifically dangerous to fetuses or newborn, such as screening for the cytomegalovirus or streptococcal vaccination. Such preventive measures that aim to prevent diseases in the fetus or newborn through their mother are classified under “Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period - Infections of the fetus or newborn”
  • Cancer: The ICD-11 does not distinguish the site of the cancer. Instead it focusses more on other characteristics of the tumor, such as whether it is malignant, in situ and whether the behaviour is unknown. This does not fit the wording used in abstracts that often only mention the site, e.g. breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, not any other characteristics of the tumor. Therefore, we decided tot classify all studies focusing on the prevention of cancer under “Neoplasms – Malignant neoplasms, except primary neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic, central nervous system or related tissues”, except when this category clearly does not fit.
  • Multiple diseases: Sometimes studies focus on the prevention of two or three specific diseases. In this case, we decided to classify the study under the first disease that is mentioned in the title. Through the search function the study can still be found using one of the other diseases as the search term.
  • Cardiovascular diseases: Some studies focus on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases in general. In such a case, it is not possible to select a sub-disease-category. Therefore, these studies are classified under ‘Diseases of the circulatory system’, while the sub-category is left blank.
  • Dental health problem prevention: Some studies focus on the prevention of dental health problems, e.g. caries prevention. These studies are classified under “Diseases of the digestive system – Diseases or disorders of orofacial complex”.