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RCT databases - reducing research wastage from the systematic review process

Date and Location




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


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Finola Delamere

Contact person

Finola Delamere
Helen Nankervis
Hywel Williams
Abstract text
Background: When a systematic review is conducted, the effort in finding and extracting data from studies is usually only used for that one review. The same process is then repeated by other researchers when creating a systematic review on the same condition. As information and communication technology has developed sharing of research data is now easier than ever. The Global Resource of EczemA Trials (GREAT) database allows researchers to quickly and easily find and appraise randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of eczema treatments gathered in the process of creating a systematic review. Objective: To describe how information and communication technology can be used to extend and enhance the life of trial data gathered whilst conducting a systematic review. Methods: The GREAT database has two levels of data. The publicly accessible data provides enough detail for trials to be identified and screened for inclusion in further reviews or studies. This includes details about trial design, outcome measures and participant inclusion criteria. The second level of data in the GREAT database can be used in collaboration and includes extracted results data for clinically relevant outcomes. Results: The GREAT database ( contains entries for over 500 RCTs and links to published systematic reviews of eczema treatments. The database can be searched and filtered using keywords or browsed using categories such as treatment, year, author or journal. The database provides links to PubMed and full citations for all trials. Conclusions: The GREAT database will facilitate future research on eczema treatments by greatly speeding up the identification of relevant trials. The creation of similar databases for other diseases could replicate this. This will avoid duplication of effort by researchers around the world searching for evidence to produce systematic reviews that will be used to inform guidelines.