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Cochrane vignettes: use of Cochrane Reviews in a Cochrane Learning continuing medical education program

Date and Location




Friday 20 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Lorenzo Moja

Contact person

Lorenzo Moja
Kusala Pussegoda
Abstract text
Background: One of missions of the Cochrane Collaboration is to promote access to its outputs. Although the Collaboration has emphasised the role of online continuing medical education (CME) in the dissemination of systematic review (SR) findings, it has not proposed specific strategies for the incorporation of SR contents into CME programs. Objectives: We developed a suite of online CME modules targeting Canadian family physicians based upon Cochrane SRs. Methods: The CME modules are based upon published Cochrane SRs addressing gastrointestinal, back, inflammatory bowel, and musculoskeletal conditions. Each module includes 5 multiple choice questions plus a fictional and memorable vignette featuring “Dr. Cochrane”. Vignettes are produced through a multi-step editorial process to ensure scientific, editorial, and educational rigour. This process conforms to the requirements of several CME accreditation authorities in North America. We reviewed the experience of the editorial unit who completed the program. Results: To date, sixty-four Cochrane vignettes have been developed. Abstracts, Summary of Findings Tables, and primary results were the sections of Cochrane SRs most useful for developing CME activities; methods and secondary results sections were rarely used. The relevance of certain reviews for primary care and educational purposes was challenged during peer review, and a few vignettes raised questions of the social, cultural, and clinical suitability of interventions and patient-physician interactions. We also encountered tensions between the accreditation requirements and the design of the Dr Cochrane programme, most of which were solved to meet the accreditation criteria. Conclusions: CME programs represent an opportunity to improve the relevance and accessibility of Cochrane SRs to health professionals. Progress in the development and dissemination of Cochrane-based CME programs will require innovation leadership, sufficient resources to maintain top scientific and editorial standards and the expansion to other countries and health professionals. Funding Sources: A CIHR Knowledge Translation Supplement Grant provided funding.