Background: Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCAs) provide a readable, digestible, clinically-focused entry point to rigorous research from Cochrane Reviews (www.cochranelibrary.com/cca). They are designed to be actionable and to inform point-of-care decision making. Each CCA contains a clinical question, a short answer, and data for the outcomes from the Cochrane Review deemed most relevant to practising healthcare professionals, our target audience. Each CCA is produced as a collaborative effort of CCA editors and experienced practising healthcare professionals.
Objectives: to assess and discuss the diversity of CCAs in terms of contributors, subject areas covered, and types of Cochrane Review selected.
Methods: we extracted information from our database on the clinicians and other healthcare professionals who collaborate with the CCA team; the number of CCAs produced for different subject areas; and the number of CCAs produced for Cochrane Reviews that use methods other than standard pairwise meta-analyses (such as network meta-analyses, overviews and narrative reviews).
Results: on 1 April 2019, we had 160 clinicians in our CCA database; 51 based in the USA/Canada, 36 in the UK, 21 in other European countries, 18 in Australia/New Zealand, 11 in South America, 9 in India/Pakistan, 6 in Africa, 5 in South Asia, 2 in Central America, and 1 in Israel. 43% are not Cochrane Review authors. Seventy-seven were classified as active.
On 1 April 2019, there were 2014 CCAs, published in the Cochrane Library or in progress, based on 1857 Cochrane Reviews. These covered 37 broad subject areas. The most commonly studied areas were: heart and circulation (200 CCAs), pregnancy and childbirth (161 CCAs), cancer (158 CCAs), lungs and airways (155 CCAs), and infectious disease (154 CCAs). There were 21 CCAs based on network meta-analyses (NMA), 18 based on overviews of reviews, 2 based on NMA/overview, and 43 based on narrative reviews.
Conclusions: CCAs are an important tool in the Cochrane Library to inform decision making and to help embrace diversity. Not only do CCAs cover a diverse range of topic areas, but they also draw on the knowledge and experience of clinicians and other healthcare professionals from around the world and include Cochrane Reviews using different analytical methods.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: none