Informing methods for preparing public health overviews of reviews: a comparison of public health overviews with Cochrane Overviews published between 1999 and 2014

James, Brendan M., Baker, Philip R.A., Costello, Joseph T., & Francis, Daniel P. (2014) Informing methods for preparing public health overviews of reviews: a comparison of public health overviews with Cochrane Overviews published between 1999 and 2014. In 22nd Cochrane Colloquium, 21 - 26 September 2014, Hyderabad, India.

View at publisher (open access)

Abstract

Background: Overviews of systematic reviews (SRs) are useful for public health policy; however there is an absence of Cochrane Overviews covering public health (PH) topics.

Objectives: We sought to analyze the methodological approaches used in existing Cochrane Overviews and Protocols for overviews (primarily clinical in nature), and compare these to the methods and approaches used in PH overviews (non-Cochrane). The intent was to identify issues that would be relevant for undertaking Cochrane overviews.

Methods: We conducted a descriptive analysis of overviews published between 1999 and 2014. We searched the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for Cochrane Protocols for overviews and Cochrane Overviews, and the HealthEvidence.org for PH overviews. The primary characteristics of the overviews and elements of the methodology were extracted and compared.

Results: A total of 61 overviews of SRs were included in our analysis; specifically, this included 21 Cochrane Protocols for overviews, 15 Cochrane Overviews, and 27 non-Cochrane PH overviews. Amongst the overviews, the most significant differences are that PH overviews (non-Cochrane) tend to: include earlier and more reviews, greater number of participants, allow lower levels of evidence, use assessment tools other than AMSTAR (A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews, i.e. a tool for assessing quality of SRs), not assess quality of evidence in reviews, search more databases overall, specify search limits including English-only reviews, and not consider recent primary studies for inclusion. Some of these differences clearly related to quality, however many relate to the nuances of PH interventions.

Conclusions: The methodology in Cochrane overviews and PH overviews varies widely. Future PH overviews may benefit from the Cochrane methodology but the Cochrane approach requires modification to accommodate PH research methodology. Additionally, the use of databases that pre-screen and quality assess relevant PH systematic reviews may help expedite the search process.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

47 since deposited on 23 Mar 2015
12 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 82740
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Cochrane review, systematic review methods, overview review, public health, physical activity
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Cochrane Collaboration
Deposited On: 23 Mar 2015 23:05
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:48

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page