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UK Cochrane Centre

Guidelines Project


Impact of Cochrane reviews –
informing evidence-based clinical guidelines

One method we are using to monitor the impact of Cochrane reviews in healthcare decision-making is to identify whether they have been used to inform evidence-based clinical guidelines. At the UKCC, we started a systematic search of national and international clinical guidelines beginning with those designated as current by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN). At this time (up to and including November 2013), we also have data from the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and the NICE Public Health Guidance.

We found the reviews had been used in a variety of ways, mostly for data analyses needed to address the clinical questions within the guidelines but sometimes to inform the background sections to set the research in context, to contribute data for economic modelling, to supply references to relevant studies for inclusion as well as for forward citation tracking, and to supply baseline search strategies for refining.

At the UKCC, we have set up and now maintain a database linking Cochrane reviews to the guidelines they have informed, which enables us to generate tailored information for each Cochrane review group. Earlier this year we provided individual reports to the CRGs on the use of their reviews to inform NICE and SIGN guidelines to assist them in completing reports for funders and The Cochrane Collaboration.

As we continue our systematic search of national clinical guidelines from other countries, we send periodic reports to the CRGs, as each source or time period are completed. At other times, report updates are issued on request to support CRGs in editorial decision-making, promotional activities, and in seeking programme grants or other funding opportunities. Please contact Anne Eisinga (anne.eisinga@cochrane.nhs.uk) for this service.

We also monitor guideline developers’ websites concurrently to capture newly published guidelines to maintain the currency of the data. We are liaising with the Cochrane Editorial Unit to determine how best to populate, maintain and make accessible this growing data set for linking reviews to guidelines in the longer term.

In an allied project, Phil Alderson (based at NICE) is working with CRGs to identify opportunities to work with guideline developers in the UK. All CRGs have been provided with a list of NICE’s current and planned clinical guidelines. He is exploring specific projects with several CRGs to feed reviews directly into guideline development. He is also piloting some work with guideline developers to make better use of CRGs’ knowledge when starting a guideline.

Click here to see the 'Use of Cochrane reviews to inform clinical guidelines and other evidence-based recommendations (SIGN, NICE, WHO)' PDF of the figures collected so far, up to August 2013 and for 'Use of Cochrane reviews to inform UK-published healthcare guidance (NICE, SIGN, NICE Public Health Guidance)' PDF of figures collected so far, up to November 2013 as well as 'Use of Cochrane reviews to inform the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Public Health Guidance' PDF of the figures collected so far, up to November 2013.

Page last updated: Mon 19th May 2014 16:24:49 CEST