Update of Strategies to Translate Evidence from Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group Systematic Reviews for Use by Various Audiences Journal Articles uri icon

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  • For rheumatology research to have a real influence on health and well-being, evidence must be tailored to inform the decisions of various audiences. The Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group (CMSG), one of 53 groups of the not-for-profit international Cochrane Collaboration, prepares, maintains, and disseminates systematic reviews of treatments for musculoskeletal diseases. While systematic reviews provided by the CMSG fill a major gap in meeting the need for high-quality evidence syntheses, our work does not end at the completion of a review. The term “knowledge translation” (KT) refers to the activities involved in bringing research evidence to various audiences in a useful form so it can be used to support decision making and improve practices. Systematic reviews give careful consideration to research methods and analysis. Because the review is often long and detailed, the clinically relevant results may not be apparent or in the optimal form for use by patients and their healthcare practitioners. This paper describes 10 formats, many of them new, for ways that evidence from Cochrane Reviews can be translated with the intention of meeting the needs of various audiences, including patients and their families, practitioners, policy makers, the press, and members of the public (the “5 Ps”). Current and future knowledge tools include summary of findings tables, patient decision aids, plain language summaries, press releases, clinical scenarios in general medical journals, frequently asked questions (Cochrane Clinical Answers), podcasts, Twitter messages, Journal Club materials, and the use of storytelling and narratives to support continuing medical education. Future plans are outlined to explore ways of improving the influence and usefulness of systematic reviews by providing results in formats suitable to our varied audiences.


  • Rader, Tamara
  • Pardo Pardo, Jordi
  • Stacey, Dawn
  • Ghogomu, Elizabeth
  • Maxwell, Lara J
  • Welch, Vivian A
  • Singh, Jasvinder A
  • Buchbinder, Rachelle
  • Légaré, France
  • Santesso, Nancy
  • Toupin April, Karine
  • O’Connor, Annette M
  • Wells, George A
  • Winzenberg, Tania M
  • Johnston, Renea
  • Tugwell, Peter

publication date

  • February 2014