Cochrane reviews

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews is an electronic publication increasingly favoured by both clinicians and researchers. (4°) It contains the full text and data of reviews undertaken to the most rigorous systematic standards (41> and is updated quarterly. There is often a considerable lag time for traditional journal publication and this can result in the publication of good-quality but misleading systematic reviews. For example, an important systematic review on the effects of family intervention for schizophrenia was published in August 1994.(42) Just 2 weeks later the same authors re-summated relevant data in an electronic version and the results were much less favourable than had been previously reported. ^.Z) In the considerable period between completion of the paper version and its publication, less favourable trials appeared. Further updates of this review suggest that the trend is continuing. By using electronic publishing the Cochrane Database of

Systematic Reviews allows trends over time to be highlighted and reviews to be maintained.

The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases supplying high-quality evidence to inform all those interested in the evaluation of health care. It is published quarterly on CD-ROM and the Internet, and includes the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (40) the source of many of the reviews quoted in this chapter,2,2i,32) the DARE abstracts,(39) and The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register. (2Z>

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