Many couples experiencing infertility will seek treatment in the form of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or another type of assisted reproductive technology (ART). These treatments are complex and costly, and the stakes are high, so each step should be supported by good evidence from well-designed studies. A recent overview of Cochrane Reviews of ART summarises the evidence from 54 systematic reviews on ART procedures and treatment options. As the number of published systematic reviews increases, overviews are increasingly important to facilitate decision-making for patients and doctors, as well as for guideline panels, policy-makers, and caregivers. The ART overview is by far the largest overview to date and can be used to guide clinical practice, helping to improve live birth rates and reduce adverse events such as multiple pregnancy, cycle cancellation, and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
The Cochrane Collaboration's risk of bias tool has been used in hundreds of systematic reviews over the last five years. There is debate about whether to include funding source as a standard item in the tool. In this editorial, Lisa Bero puts the case for including funding source in the Cochrane risk of bias tool.
The Cochrane Collaboration's risk of bias tool has been used in hundreds of systematic reviews over the last five years. There is debate about whether to include funding source as a standard item in the tool. In this editorial, Jonathan Sterne presents the arguments against including funding source in the Cochrane risk of bias tool.
As Cochrane's 20th anniversary year comes to a close, it is a good time to reflect on what we have learnt and to consider how well the organisation will overcome the challenges ahead. Recently, as a passenger with a well-known commercial airline, one of us experienced the stark difference between an ageing Boeing 747 and one of the new state-of-the-art, double-decker Airbus A380s. The 747 has served the travelling public very well over the past 40 years, but different models are better suited for modern travel. And Cochrane would be a unique organisation if it did not require some structural refreshment to achieve its global vision.
Systematic reviews addressing a wide range of healthcare questions, and drawing on a range of different study designs, are increasingly available in the literature. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews currently considers Cochrane Reviews on the effectiveness of health interventions and the accuracy of screening and diagnostic tests, as well as overviews of reviews and methodology reviews. November 2013 marks an important milestone for The Cochrane Collaboration with the publication of a review of qualitative studies. This synthesis of qualitative evidence addresses barriers and facilitators to the implementation of lay health worker (LHW) programmes.