We started Evidently Cochrane in September 2012. In 2015 it won the UK Blog Award for Best Health Blog and we are continuing to build on our success.
Evidently Cochrane is edited by Sarah Chapman and Selena Ryan-Vig, Cochrane UK’s Knowledge Brokers. Most of our ‘in-house’ blogs are written by Sarah, and we also have blogs from our Senior Fellows in General Practice, Robert Walton and Lynda Ware. We also invite blogs, and contributions to blogs, from healthcare professionals, researchers, patients and others with relevant expertise and experience, sharing their experience and expertise alongside the evidence, which is most often from Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews. In systematic reviews we search for and summarize studies that answer a specific research question (e.g. is paracetamol effective and safe for treating back pain?). The studies are identified, assessed, and summarized by using a systematic and predefined approach. They inform recommendations for healthcare and research..
When are the blogs published?
Blogs are published weekly, most often on a Friday. We will continue to have blogs at other times to tie in with special events or publication of high profile and newsworthy reviews. We also have occasional special series, with multiple blogs and other resources on one broad topic published over one month.
What are the blogs about?
Most of the weekly blogs focus on one health topic and feature Cochrane reviews. We choose reviews to blog on the basis that there is new evidence to share, or they are relevant to health topics being discussed in the media, featured in health awareness events, or to one of our special series. We prioritise health concerns which are relevant (though not limited) to the UK The group of people being studied. Populations may be defined by any characteristics e.g. where they live, age group, certain diseases.. We have a keen interest in the use of social media to share and discuss evidence and include occasional blogs on this. We also have blogs exploring the concepts underpinning evidence-based health care.
We have blog series on nursing, maternity care, and allied health for health professionals and clinical support staff. We also have a series for anyone making health choices and series for those wanting to understand more about evidence and the principles underlying it: Understanding Evidence and “Oh Really? 12 things to help you question health advice”.
What can you expect from the blogs?
The blogs vary in format but generally aim to set the evidence in context and you will often find experience and other reflections shared alongside the evidence. The blogs make it clear what information comes from the Cochrane Reviews or other research and what is opinion-based. We also make sure we tell you about the The certainty (or quality) of evidence is the extent to which we can be confident that what the research tells us about a particular treatment effect is likely to be accurate. Concerns about factors such as bias can reduce the certainty of the evidence. Evidence may be of high certainty; moderate certainty; low certainty or very-low certainty. Cochrane has adopted the GRADE approach (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) for assessing certainty (or quality) of evidence. Find out more here: https://training.cochrane.org/grade-approach and highlight problems with it, as this is really important to know when using evidence to inform decisions. Cochrane Reviews do not contain recommendations for practice, but sometimes blogs may refer to recommendations from clinical guidelines and the source should be clear. Links to full reviews and other sources mentioned are given within the blog and/or at the end.
Since they are blogs, they are not peer-reviewed or checked by consumers.
Cochrane Reviews are regularly updated to take account of new evidence and we will update the blogs when this happens to ensure that they reflect the latest version of the review.
We are keen to hear your views so do leave a comment at the end of the blog or chat to us on Twitter, where you can follow us @CochraneUK.
Page last updated: 1 October 2020