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CRISP: online summaries of Cochrane reviews for policy

Date and Location




Monday 23 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Steve McDonald

Contact person

Steve McDonald
Abstract text
Background: Systematic reviews are a key source of research to guide health policy, however, relevant reviews can be difficult for policy-makers to identify and are often challenging to apply in practice. CRISP (Cochrane Reviews Identified and Summarised for Policy) provides web-based summaries of Cochrane reviews that are relevant to health policy. Objectives: To support the use of research to inform health policy by providing policy makers with access to reliable and relevant research in an accessible format. Methods: Each issue of The Cochrane Library is scanned to identify new and updated reviews relevant to health policy. Reviews are appraised using AMSTAR, and the location of the included studies and the authors of the review are indicated on a map. The key messages derived from the review are displayed on the front page of the summary along with the essential characteristics of the review (PICO, study settings and study quality). Users of the site can click through for more details about the review (“What the authors looked for” and “What they found”) plus a summary of the main results. There are also links to the review in The Cochrane Library and to related reviews within the CRISP site and within the Library. Results: The CRISP website ( currently contains more than 150 summaries of Cochrane reviews. To enable browsing, reviews are grouped into six broad categories (e.g. population health; health systems) and then by sub-groups within each category (e.g. injury prevention; financing). Individual reviews are then linked to narrow questions, such as ‘What works to prevent occupational injuries’. The site also supports free-text searching. Conclusions: Cochrane reviews are a valuable source of evidence to inform health policy decisions but can be difficult to use. CRISP summaries present the key information and findings of policy-relevant reviews through an easily accessible site.