The Cochrane LibraryThe Cochrane Library's Logo

Updated quarterly. Includes reliable and up-to-date information on the effectiveness of interventions that include drugs, therapies, diagnosis, screening, the organization of healthcare and health promotion. Provides information and evidence to support decisions taken in health care and to inform those receiving care. Consists of a regularly updated collection of evidence-based medicine databases, including:

Reflects the current practice in medicine to base clinical decisions on accumulated evidence from the primary medical literature. In these databases the research literature is evaluated by peers.

"Using these sources clinicians can quickly understand and apply to their practice important changes in medical knowledge, without having to read and snythesize for themselves thousands of journal articles." (Brian Haynes)

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Cochrane Reviews)

Includes the full text of the regularly updated systematic literature reviews of the effects of healthcare prepared by The Cochrane Collaboration. The reviews are presented in two types: Complete systematic reviews and Protocols.

A systematic review identifies an intervention for a specific disease or other problem in health care, and determines whether or not this intervention works. To do this authors locate, appraise and synthesise evidence from as many relevant scientific studies as possible. They summarise conclusions about effectiveness, and provide a unique collation of the known evidence on a given topic, so that others can easily review the primary studies for any intervention.

Systematic reviews differ from other types of review in that they adhere to a strict design in order to make them more comprehensive, thus minimising the chance of bias, and ensuring their reliability.  They are also updated on a regular basis.

Protocols are reviews in preparation.  There are over 5000 reviews and protocols in the database.

This database also contains methodology reviews which are systematic reviews of methodological studies.

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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness (Other Reviews)

DARE includes structured abstracts of individual systematic reviews from around the world, which have been evaluated by reviewers at the National Health Service Center for Reviews and Dissemination in the UK. Only reviews that meet minimum quality criteria are included in DARE. These reviews cover topics that have yet to be addressed in Cochrane reviews.

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Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (Clinical Trials)

CCTR contains over 530,000 bibliographic references to controlled trials in health care. Trials are identified from multiple sources, including searches of bibliographic databases, (MEDLINE and EMBASE) handsearches of many hundreds of journals and conference proceedings, and searches of other trial registers. Since the overriding aim is to create an unbiased source of data for systematic reviews, all known controlled trials are included in CENTRAL irrespective of language of publication or where and when the studies were conducted.

This database is not full text. Click "Links" (next to the title) and then "Go here for SFX"

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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.

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Health Technology Assessment Database (Technology Assessments)

Contains information on healthcare technology assessments. The database contains details of ongoing projects and completed publications from health technology assessment organisations. HTA records follow a standard structure. Some records contain the title of the project, with the name of the center responsible and an indication of where further details can be obtained. Other records contain publication details, with structured abstracts where available. Records do not, in either case, contain the full text of the report.

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NHS Economic Evaluation Database (Economic Evaluations)

Contains structured abstracts of articles describing economic evaluations of health care interventions. Articles are identified by searching through key medical journals, bibliographic databases and less widely available literature. Papers are included if they provide a comparison of treatments and examine both the costs and outcomes of the alternatives.

The database also includes bibliographic details of articles examining relevant topics, and short abstracts of studies originally included in the Department of Health Register of Cost-Effective Studies. Records do not contain the full text of the original article.

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Help Guide for the Cochrane

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This information was gathered from the two help guides listed above: The Australasian Cochrane Centre Guide and the Cochrane Colloboration web site.