How Relevant and Useful Is the Cochrane Library as a Resource for Evidence in Burn Care, Practice, and Management?

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Abstract

The Cochrane Library, in particular, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR), is a compilation of reviews that have collated and assessed all the available clinical research on a particular topic into a summary about its safety and effectiveness. We conducted a study of the CDSR to evaluate the relevance of this database to burns care. Using prespecified criteria, two reviewers independently screened 4041 titles from Issue 3, 2005, of CDSR for possible relevance to burns care. Agreement regarding relevance to was resolved by discussion. Screening of the 4041 titles identified 78 titles as being potentially (unclear) or clearly (clear and directly related) relevant to burns care. Independent scoring of the 78 titles indicated that 9 were directly relevant to burns care and 28 were indirectly relevant to burns care. The remaining 43 reviews were deemed not relevant. The majority of relevant titles in the CDSR were produced by three Cochrane Review Groups. These included five reviews from Injuries, three from Wounds, and one from Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care. In summary, approximately 37, or just less than 1%, of the CDSR, Issue 3, 2005, completed reviews or protocols had some relevance to burns care and management. Increased burn clinician involvement in the Cochrane Library would help to increase the number of reviews conducted on questions relevant to burns care and would enhance the value of this evidence based medicine resource.

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