Overview of Cochrane Systematic Reviews synthesised as an evidence map
2Cochrane Rehabilitation, Italy
3Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University "La Statale"; IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy
Background. There exists a lot of evidence synthesis guidance and methodology to characterize and examine the literature relating to a particular topic, including systematic reviews, scoping reviews, umbrella reviews, narrative reviews, integrative reviews, and evidence maps. Since Cochrane Systematic Reviews (CSRs) are the reference standard for systematic reviews due to their methodological rigour and quality, we decided to gather the most robust available evidence from these reviews leading an Overview of CSRs using the evidence map methodology for the synthesis for developing the Package of Interventions for Rehabilitation (PIR) proposed by the WHO.
Methods. We performed an overview of all the CSRs according to the inclusion criteria defined by WHO. The CSRs search was led using the tagging process. The search strings were composed of terms defining the “health condition” and “rehabilitation” and ran in the Cochrane Library from the inception of the Cochrane Library (1996) to May 30, 2022. The CSRs identified during the screening process were summarised using an evidence map. The novelty was that we mapped outcomes and comparisons of included CSRs indicating the effect and the certainty of evidence to provide a comprehensive view of what is known.
Results. Out of 816 CSRs tagged in the Cochrane Rehabilitation database, three were related to Spinal Cord Injury, six to Traumatic Brain Injury, 17 to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, eight to Cerebral Palsy and ten to Rheumatoid Arthritis. They provide data within 106 comparisons for a total of 644 primary studies. The evidence map showed a prevalence of low-quality evidence in all conditions, making it difficult to ascertain the effectiveness of several recommended rehabilitation interventions.
Conclusion. The evidence map allowed us to give immediate information about the certainty of evidence and, consequently, the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions in patients with different health conditions. The current evidence needs to be confirmed by better-quality research.
This methodology could be helpful to summarise evidence for all decision-makers and generate informed and transparent, evidence-based healthcare policy in the rehabilitation field.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: N/A