For the public

Cochrane is a not-for-profit organisation which produces systematic reviews on the effects of healthcare interventions. These systematic reviews are continuously published when ready in an online database, the Cochrane Library.

What is a systematic review?
A systematic review asks a question about a specific healthcare intervention in a group of people with a health condition or problem. These reviews summarise the results of all the studies that can be found on that condition and give evidence on how effective the current interventions are. The reviews look at what clinical trials have been conducted, the quality of those trials and the health outcomes measured. The authors combine all the data about the effects of the treatment and the benefits and harms.

For more information about what the public can get from systematic reviews, please visit the Cochrane Consumer Network website.

If you need information about a specific health condition go to http://summaries.cochrane.org/ and search for the information you require or alternatively contact joy.oliver@mrc.ac.za