1.2.1  The need for systematic reviews

Healthcare providers, consumers, researchers, and policy makers are inundated with unmanageable amounts of information, including evidence from healthcare research. It is unlikely that all will have the time, skills and resources to find, appraise and interpret this evidence and to incorporate it into healthcare decisions. Cochrane reviews respond to this challenge by identifying, appraising and synthesizing research-based evidence and presenting it in an accessible format (Mulrow 1994).