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Making Cochrane reviews more clinically accessible: Cochrane Clinical Answers

Date and Location




Sunday 22 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Karen Pettersen

Contact person

Karen Pettersen
Abstract text
Background: Research among clinicians in the USA conducted by Wiley publisher in 2008 suggested that, although Cochrane systematic reviews are widely used and highly regarded, there is a need for evidence translation to make Cochrane reviews more immediately useful at the point of care (e.g. before, during and after a patient consultation). Objectives: To create a user-friendly entry point to the high-quality evidence from Cochrane reviews; Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCAs). Methods: Step 1: Initial subject areas for development decided in collaboration with Cochrane review groups and reviews selected as source material for CCAs based on currency of search date and clinical utility Step 2: Editorial team recruited to oversee strategic development, develop CCA editing protocols, and source appropriate CCA authors Step 3: Population, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome (PICO) data agreed as core content required to allow the results of a review to be individualized to the patient and thus be useful at the point of care. PICOTron data extraction program designed to automatically extract as much of these data as possible directly from Cochrane reviews Step 4: Additional data required to inform PICO manually extracted from text of Cochrane reviews, primarily using Characteristics of Included Studies tables Step 5: Practicing clinicians commissioned and trained to author CCAs and their output approved by editorial team Results: Cochrane Clinical Answers website ( has been designed and market tested and to date 100 Clinical Answers based on single Cochrane reviews have been published Conclusions: Translating Cochrane reviews into bite-sized, quickly digestible Clinical Answers is challenging but rewarding. A key challenge relates to the lack of standardized presentation of PICO data within Cochrane reviews. Good progress has been made on developing CCAs based on single Cochrane reviews and further development will focus on synthesising the evidence from more than one Cochrane Review.