What is a cochrane review

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What is a Cochrane Review?A Cochrane Review is a systematic review of research in health care and health policy that is published in theCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Types of Cochrane Review

  • Intervention reviewsassess the benefits and harms of interventions used in healthcare and health policy.
  • Diagnostic test accuracy reviewsassess how well a diagnostic test performs in diagnosing and detecting a particular disease.
  • Methodology reviewsaddress issues relevant to how systematic reviews and clinical trials are conducted and reported.
  • Qualitative reviewssynthesize qualitative evidence to address questions on aspects of interventions other than effectiveness.
  • Prognosis reviewsaddress the probable course or future outcome(s) of people with a health problem.

Cochrane Review methods Cochrane Reviews base their findings on the results of studies that meet certain quality criteria, since the most reliable studies will provide the best evidence for making decisions about health care. Authors of Cochrane Reviews apply methods which reduce the impact of bias across different parts of the review process, including:

  • Identification of relevant studies from a number of different sources (including unpublished sources);
  • Selection of studies for inclusion and evaluation of their strengths and limitations on the basis of clear, predefined criteria;
  • Systematic collection of data;
  • Appropriate synthesis of data.

These methods are described in detail in theCochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventionsand theCochrane Handbook for Diagnostic Test Accuracy Reviews(in development).

Cochrane Reviews are updated to reflect the findings of new evidence when it becomes available because the results of new studies can change the conclusions of a review. Cochrane Reviews are therefore valuable sources of information for those receiving and providing care, as well as for decision-makers and researchers.