Cochrane Clinical Answers: facilitating the use of Cochrane reviews by clinicians within the clinical decision-making pathway

1 - 2.30pm


To provide a forum to discuss data interpretation and good review reporting practices to facilitate creation of Cochrane Clinical Answers.


Writing a Cochrane Review is a challenge, with a range of skills required throughout the systematic review process. The focus on the complex methodology during study selection, data extraction data, and the synthesis of results, can mean losing sight of the clinical implications of the data. Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCAs; aim to place the results of Cochrane Reviews within the context of current clinical practice, and in doing so increase the usage of Cochrane Reviews to inform healthcare decisions.

The process of CCA production has been developed over the last two years or so; we have produced in the region of 600 CCAs, across a wide range of diseases and conditions. The process is now well-established for conventional reviews reporting pairwise comparisons of interventions, with developments ongoing for narrative reviews and those using network meta-analysis. .

In order to enhance the clinical usability of Cochrane reviews, CCAs concentrate on the data most relevant to clinicians, with the aim to allow the results of a review to be individualized to the patient in terms of the populations, interventions, comparators and outcomes (PICO). The reporting of PICO details vary considerably across Cochrane Reviews, as does the interpretation of the results of meta-analyses. Taking examples from Cochrane Reviews as a basis for the discussion, this session aims to develop consensus about good practice and generate ideas about how to better provide a clinical perspective when writing a Cochrane Review.

Target audience

Managing editors, Review authors, Clinicians


Jane Burch (CEU), Karen Pettersen (Wiley)

Jane Burch

Jane Burch joined the Cochrane Editorial Unit in March 2014. Jane both produces CCAs and helps with the continuing development of the process. Before joining the CEU Jane worked for 10 years as a systematic reviewer; during this time, she also produced critical abstracts for the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE). Jane believes that derivative products that target a specific audience are a good way to disseminate the results of complex research such as systematic reviews, and that they broaden the audience-base for Cochrane Reviews.

Karen Pettersen

Karen Pettersen joined John Wiley & Sons Ltd. in January 2012 as an editor to work on the project to develop Cochrane Clinical Answers. Karen has extensive experience of systematic reviewing, having been involved with the BMJ Publishing Group’s EBM journal, Clinical Evidence, since its inception in 1999. Karen recognizes the quality and depth of knowledge within Cochrane Reviews and believes that CCAs offer a strong mechanism for increasing review dissemination and implementation in clinical practice.