Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy, and are internationally recognised as the highest standard in evidence-based health care. They investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. They also assess the accuracy of a diagnostic test for a given condition in a specific patient group and setting. They are published online in The Cochrane Library.
Each systematic review addresses a clearly formulated question. All the existing primary research on a topic that meets certain criteria is searched for and collated, and then assessed using stringent guidelines, to establish whether or not there is conclusive evidence on a specific treatment. The reviews are updated regularly, ensuring that treatment decisions can be based on the most up-to-date and reliable evidence.
Cochrane Reviews are designed to facilitate the choices that practitioners, consumers, policy-makers and others face in health care.
Each review is prepared by an "author team" with support from specialist librarians, methodologists, copy and content editors, and peer reviewers, taking hundreds of hours of work from start to finish.
A number of factors may motivate authors to undertake a systematic review. For example, reviews can be conducted in an effort to resolve conflicting evidence, to address questions of clinical uncertainty, to explore variations in practice or to highlight a need for further research, but the overarching aim in preparing a review is to help people make well-informed decisions about health care.
More detailed information about becoming an author is available only in Spanish (click here).