Since the birth of systematic reviews, technology has been an integral part of efforts to understand health evidence. In recent years a combination of increasing frustration with the limitations of current systematic review technologies, an awareness of the impact technological developments have had in other fields, and promising results of recent innovations have led to an increasing focus on the opportunities afforded by emerging technologies. These will be discussed at the forthcoming second #CochraneTech Symposium.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness. The story of the availability of two drugs that can treat this condition, bevacizumab (Avastin) and ranibizumab (Lucentis), is complex and evolving. The story also highlights the crucial role of independent research in producing relevant evidence for decision-makers on the safety and effectiveness of affordable health interventions. A recent Cochrane Review is a good example of a timely and rapidly conducted systematic review to support regulatory bodies efficiently allocate resources for access to cost-effective treatments.
Authors of Cochrane Reviews are also sometimes authors of trials eligible for inclusion in the Cochrane Review. This dual authorship is clearly a competing interest. This editorial unpacks the dilemma of dual authorship, examines the extent of the problem with existing reviews, and comments on the current Cochrane editorial policy on dual authorship and its implementation.
Motivational interviewing is a counselling technique based on a collaborative conversation that explores and resolves ambivalence. A recent Cochrane Review summarises the current state of knowledge regarding the use of motivational interviewing for alcohol misuse in adults up to 25 years old. The review authors conclude that there no substantive, meaningful benefits, and discuss how this review shows the importance of seeing results not in terms of conventional thresholds of statistical significance, but more crucially in terms of clinical relevance of the effect sizes on key outcome measures.
One of the goals of The Cochrane Collaboration's Strategy to 2020 is to make Cochrane evidence accessible and to put the needs of users at the heart of content design and delivery. The Cochrane derivatives programme is a key element of this knowledge translation initiative, aimed at making Cochrane evidence available via a range of content platforms so it resonates with and meets the needs of different audiences. Cochrane Clinical Answers are evidence-based answers to clinical questions based on Cochrane Reviews and have been created to support health professionals in decision making.