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Barriers to the registration and conduct of Cochrane systematic reviews of traditional East Asian medicine therapies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number101008
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
Volume32
Early online date10 Nov 2019
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 5 Nov 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Nov 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Dec 2019

Abstract

Introduction
Traditional East Asian medicine (TEAM) is widely used in Asia and increasingly in the West. Systematic reviews (SRs) are the best summaries of the potential benefits or harms of interventions, and Cochrane is a leading international SR organization. Cochrane perspectives on the barriers to the initiation and completion of Cochrane SRs of TEAM therapies were solicited.

Methods
Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs) were identified from the online listing of CRGs at cochrane.org and a link to an online survey was e-mailed to the primary contact for each CRG.

Results
Forty-eight responses were received on behalf of 49/53 (92%) CRGs. Most CRGs had experience producing TEAM reviews, primarily in acupuncture or herbal medicine. The main barriers to taking on a new TEAM review were difficulty in understanding and assessing the intervention, and the low priority of TEAM topics. Problems with the quality and accessibility of randomized trials in TEAM were cited as a major concern. CRGs suggested that the quality and accessibility of randomized trials should be improved, that the methodological and language expertise of authors should be enhanced, and that further peer review expertise should be made available to CRGs.

Conclusions
TEAM topics are covered in Cochrane reviews but are often considered low-priority. This survey highlights Cochrane concerns about the quality of the underlying evidence base and the training of the author teams as barriers to successful SR completion. Specific approaches are proposed to increase the number of TEAM reviews and address the limitations of TEAM research processes within Cochrane.

    Research areas

  • traditional East Asian medicine, systematic reviews, Cochrane, survey, Barriers

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876382019308753 . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 134 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 10/11/20

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    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

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