Cochrane Library

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  • Updated.jpg This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, August 2018


See also DynaMed (EBSCO) | Evidence-based health care | First Consult | Point-of-care tools in medicine | PubMed - MEDLINE | UpToDate

The Cochrane Library is an online library of research and intellectual outputs from the Cochrane Collaboration. The organization, named after the British epidemiologist Archie Cochrane, maintains at least six databases of high-quality independent evidence to aid health professionals in their clinical-decision making. The Cochrane Library aims to make the results of well-conducted controlled trials readily available and is a key resource in evidence-based medicine. The Cochrane Library provides access to sources of reliable information such as systematic reviews, abstracts, technology assessments, economic evaluations and clinical trials. Two commercial products provide access to Cochrane: OVID's Evidence-based medicine reviews, and Wiley. For updated statistics on the Cochrane Library, and number of protocols and systematic reviews, see the Cochrane Library website.

EBMR provides access to four databases; the latter to these six:

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Cochrane Reviews)

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews is a core database in evidence-based practice on par with Medline in importance. It provides access to systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) completed by groups of the international Cochrane Collaboration. SRs identify interventions in health and determine whether interventions work. Authors find, appraise and synthesize evidence from studies (RCTs). Conclusions about effectiveness are summarized; summaries provide a view of the evidence so that others see patterns and trends in the data. SRs differ from other reviews because they adhere to strict rules and criteria. Bias is minimized; rather than reflecting certain views or evidence in certain studies (as with narrative reviews), SRs aim to include all known studies in the analysis.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE)

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Message for DARE database users: From January 2015 no new records/commentaries will be added to DARE. Existing content will continue to be accessible via the CRD site. NIHR funding to produce DARE ceases at the end of March 2015. From 1 April 2015 the NIHR's Dissemination Centre will make available new summaries of research which has been identified as important to clinicians, patients and managers. For some, commentaries and insights will be added, to make the findings more relevant to key people. The NIHR Dissemination Centre will make the most of existing clinical, patient and research networks and key contacts to get information to the right people at the right time. This is a new venture for the NIHR bringing research findings closer to patients and the public."

DARE is the only database to contain abstracts of systematic reviews that have been quality assessed. Each abstract includes a summary of the review together with a critical commentary about the overall quality. The database is a key resource for busy decision makers and can be used for answering questions about the effects of specific interventions, whether such questions arise from practice or when making policy. DARE covers a broad range of health related interventions and includes over 3000 abstracts of reviews in fields as diverse as diagnostic tests, public health, health promotion, pharmacology, surgery, psychology and the organization and delivery of healthcare. DARE complements the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews by quality-assessing and summarizing reviews that have not yet been completed by the Cochrane Collaboration. DARE is produced by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD), University of York, UK.

Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Clinical Trials)

CENTRAL includes details of published articles taken from bibliographic databases (notably MEDLINE and EMBASE), and other published and unpublished sources. CENTRAL records include the title of the article, information on where it was published (bibliographic details) and, in many cases, a summary of the article. They do not contain the full text of the article. About three-fifths of the records in CENTRAL are taken from MEDLINE. In addition, each Cochrane Review Group maintains and updates a collection of controlled trials relevant to its own area of interest, these are called "Specialized Registers". Each group may also collect items which are not relevant to its own field of interest; these are known as "Handsearch Results". The registers and handsearch results are assembled and collated by the US Cochrane Center before incorporation into The Cochrane Library.

The Cochrane Methodology Register (Methods Studies)

The Cochrane Methodology Register is a bibliography of publications which report on methods used in the conduct of controlled trials. It includes journal articles, books and conference proceedings; these articles are taken from the MEDLINE database and from hand searches. The database contains studies of methods used in reviews and more general methodological studies which could be relevant to anyone preparing systematic reviews. CMR records contain the title of the article, information on where it was published (bibliographic details) and, in some cases, a summary of the article. They do not contain the full text of the article. CMR is produced by the UK Cochrane Centre, on behalf of the Cochrane Methodology Review Group.

Health Technology Assessment Database (Technology Assessments)

The HTA database brings together details of completed and ongoing health technology assessments (studies of the medical, social, ethical and economic implications of health care interventions) from around the world. The aim of the database is to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. HTAD is produced by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) at the University of York, UK, using information obtained from members of INAHTA and other health technology assessment organizations.

NHS Economic Evaluation Database (Economic Evaluations)

Since health resources are finite, information about costs and effects is essential to make evidence-based decisions about health care interventions. But information about effectiveness can be difficult to identify, appraise and interpret. NHS EED assists decision-makers by identifying economic evaluations from around the world, appraising their quality and highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. The database contains over 5000 abstracts of quality assessed economic evaluations. NHS EED is produced by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) at the University of York, UK.


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