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The complex and challenging role of Cochrane Fields: moving Cochrane evidence into practice

Date and Location




Friday 20 September 2013 - 15:30 - 17:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Denise Thomson

Contact person

Denise Thomson
Abstract text
Background: As the Cochrane Collaboration celebrates its 20th anniversary, this is an opportunity to reflect on the many innovative parts of its mission. The establishment of Cochrane Fields early in the Collaboration’s history was an acknowledgement of the crucial importance of moving evidence into practice – taking the findings of Cochrane reviews and connecting them with those making practice and policy decisions. Fields have played a crucial bridging role in moving Cochrane evidence out into the world. Objectives: To review the development and contribution of Fields to the Cochrane Collaboration. Geographic and disciplinary spread of Fields: Fields focus on a dimension of health care other than a specific healthcare problem - such as the setting of care, the type of consumer, the type of provider, the type of intervention, or a major division of health care which embraces an area too large to be covered by a single Review Group – and represents its interests (Cochrane Policy Manual). The current geographic and disciplinary spread of Fields is displayed in Table 1. Ongoing activities: Cochrane Fields take the evidence produced by Cochrane Review Groups and connect it with the practitioners and policy makers who need it. We engage in a range of knowledge translation activities, including: podcasts; overviews of reviews; briefings to legislators and policy makers; summaries; commentaries; reformatting reviews; training; journals and journal supplements; etc. All of these activities are customized to the individual Field’s audience and area of focus. Conclusions: Fields are Cochrane’s resident experts in moving knowledge into practice, in identifying gaps in information, and advocating for evidence in health care research and practice. As such, Fields represent a vital part of the Collaboration and their activities may serve as guides for others wishing to bridge gaps between Cochrane evidence and the needs of consumers, clinicians and policy-makers.