Hey, Cochrane - quick answers to medical questions05 Jun 2018 | Reading time: 1 min
Cochrane is a body which produces meta-analyses on medical topics – basically, they pick a subject to review, trawl through all the existing scientific papers that have been published, throw away almost all of them because they’re too small, not statistically rigorous, or have some other methodological problem, and then use what’s left to make a judgement on the topic.
Cochrane reviews are pretty much the gold standard for “truth” in medical science. They very much err on the side of caution, so it’s possible that an intervention does work but that the evidence put forward for it isn’t strong enough to be sure. But if Cochrane comes out singing a treatment’s praises – as they did with the HPV vaccine – you can be pretty confident that it works.
But there isn’t a good place to find summaries of these findings, so I thought I’d make one.