This is an archived version of the Handbook. For the current version, please go to or search for this chapter here.  ‘Characteristics of included reviews’ table

Each Overview should contain one or more tables using the format shown in Figure 22.3.a to allow readers to rapidly review the essential features of the Cochrane reviews included in the Overview.


Notes on completing columns

The ‘Reference ID’ for each included review (see Section


Date assessed as up to date

This column should list the date on which the included review was last assessed as up to date (see Chapter 3, Section 3.3.2). This date should be within approximately six months of a search for studies, and the results of this search should have been incorporated into the review.



Use this column to note any specific features of the population covered in the Cochrane review, i.e. any restrictions in age, sex, ethnicity, stage of disease, co-morbidity, etc should be noted here.



List the specific interventions covered within the scope of the review, whether or not studies with data concerning those interventions were identified and included in the Cochrane review.


Comparison interventions

List the types of comparison interventions that were used (e.g. placebo, no-treatment or alternative intervention control groups).


Outcomes for which data were reported

Include important outcomes for which the review presented data, whether or not the outcomes are included in the summary data presented in the Overview.


Review limitations

In this column, provide a brief description of any important limitations of methods used in the Cochrane (or other) review. Do not use this column to summarize the quality of studies identified in the review – that information can be included in the ‘Overview of reviews’ table (see Section