Archive for September, 2010
The field of health care is continually changing. New research evidence is produced every day, providing us with valuable information about how to best treat various health conditions. This research is used by practitioners, health care policy-makers and patients. It is critically important that these individuals have access to up-to-date, high quality research to ensure that they are able to make evidence-informed health care decisions. However, it can be challenging to make sense of the vast amount of evidence generated regarding the effectiveness of any given health care intervention. As a result, researchers can carefully summarize all of this information into a concise document known as a systematic review. Systematic reviews take into account all the evidence on a particular treatment to determine if the treatment is effective. Thus, rather than searching through hundreds of research studies, a research user can consult a systematic review to effectively inform his or her health care decision.
The Cochrane Collaboration
The Cochrane Collaboration is an international non-profit organization dedicated to making up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of health care readily available worldwide. It produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health research. Established in 1993, The Cochrane Collaboration has over 20,000 research contributors in 90 countries throughout the world. The goal of The Cochrane Collaboration is to provide timely, high quality information to health care consumers and decision-makers. Cochrane reviews are considered the gold standard for determining the effectiveness of different health care interventions. No other organization dedicated to the production of systematic reviews produces as many reviews as The Cochrane Collaboration across such a wide range of health research topics and using such rigorous research methods.