Review: The Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library Review

Hands down my favorite resource for medical information is the Cochrane Library.  It was created to review medical studies from around the world.

Almost every morning the news reports on a ‘study’ that concludes that such and such does something wonderful or horrible to our body’s, or that such and such is the best or worst way to treat an ailment.  The problem is that many of those studies won’t stand up under scientific scrutiny or simply don’t have enough data to prove their theory.  The Cochrane Collaboration works to look at all of the available data on a subject, scrutinize the techniques used to produce it, and give us and the medical world a summary of the findings.

The Cochrane Library is an excellent resource to help you understand the risks and benefits of different procedures.  This will allow you to make the best choices concerning your care. Both for pregnancy and childbirth and for all other medical issues or questions that may come up now or in the future.

You can look at reviews by topic (ex pregnancy and childbirth) or search by specific issue (ex continuous fetal monitoring during labor.)  They do have a membership system that makes it that you may not always be able to read the entire article.  Thankfully they tend to include enough that you get the main information.  Also, you are frequently given the option to click on an older page of the same article and read it in it’s entirety.  If the science bit is a bit more than you care to read skip down to the author’s conclusion or the plain language summary to get a quick recap of the findings.

The reason I love the Cochrane Library so much is that it is a respected source of medical information.  It can be such a pain to locate true information on the web.  It’s so easy to post things online that it is difficult to sift through the bloat to get to the heart of the matter.  That site is not about opinion.  They are recognized by The World Health Organization.  If you bring up to a doctor something you read on there you have a much better chance of being respected and having an open conversation than if you just heard it from a friend or read it ‘online.’

Having access to unbiased information can be critical when making medical decisions.  I hope that the Cochrane Library can assist you now and in the future as it has certainly helped me!

Cochrane Library
“Trusted evidence.
Informed decisions.
Better health.”

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