An evidence-based birthday

By now, our regular readers know that here at EBL, we value systematic reviews above other forms of evidence. That’s because these reviews collect all of the available evidence on a given topic to provide a summary of what we know and an assessment of the data quality. In short, they’re the best way to find a definitive answer about what does and doesn’t work.

One of the largest sources of systematic reviews today is an England-based organization called the Cochrane Collaboration, an international network for more than 30,000 researchers who write, publish and publicize systematic reviews on a wide variety of topics.

This year, the Collaboration celebrates its 20th birthday – a milestone that shows the importance of using evidence in our daily lives and especially in health care settings. To commemorate the milestone, the Collaboration put together a video series that explain the history of the organization, and how its reviews are used today.

Specifically, the videos demonstrate that the Collaboration spearheaded efforts to create systematic reviews in the scientific community, how the reviews are produced, and how doctors in low-income countries use Cochrane evidence to treat patients.

The take-home message here: Systematic reviews are vitally important to ensure we’re using the best evidence available to treat patients in health care settings. The Cochrane Collaboration is an important part of that story.

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