Postgrad Med J doi:10.1136/postgradmedj-2011-130652
  • Original article

Dissemination of systematic reviews in a hospital setting: a comparative survey for spreading use of the Cochrane Library

  1. Ken N Kuo2,3
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
  2. 2Division of Preventive Medicine and Health Services Research, Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan
  3. 3Center for Evidence Based Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
  4. 4School of Public Health, College of Public Health and Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ya-Wen Chiu, Division of Preventive Medicine and Health Services Research, Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, 35 Keyan Road, Zhunan, Miaoli County 35053, Taiwan; bettychiu{at}; yawenchiu{at}
  1. Contributors Y-HW and Y-WC developed the study protocol. All authors jointly conducted the study, analysed data, and wrote the paper. Y-WC is the guarantor.

  • Received 30 November 2011
  • Accepted 11 April 2012
  • Published Online First 12 May 2012


Introduction The Cochrane Library is the most important online evidence retrieval database of systematic reviews. Since 2007, the National Health Research Institutes has offered Taiwan's regional hospitals free access to the Cochrane Library. This study investigated how these hospitals disseminate its utilisation.

Methods The usage rate of Cochrane reviews was measured in the participating hospitals from January 2008 to December 2009. Thereafter, a questionnaire survey was conducted for each regional hospital disseminator at the beginning of 2010 to analyse their methods of disseminating Cochrane reviews.

Results The hospitals were stratified into three groups according to the relative rate of access: high (n=15), medium (n=16) and low (n=13). In comparison with the low-usage hospitals, the high-usage hospitals tended to assign a disseminator of evidence-based medicine to take charge of the dissemination of Cochrane reviews (p<0.001). In addition, the high-usage hospitals more often used the following six methods: providing relevant information via email (p<0.05), investing in early adopters (p<0.05), using assistance from designated personnel (p<0.05), highlighting the activity of early adopters (p<0.05), conducting workshops (p=0.001), and inviting experts to speak (p<0.001). There was no significant difference between high- and low-usage hospitals in organisational barriers.

Conclusion This study has identified several helpful strategies used by Taiwan's hospitals to enhance dissemination of the Cochrane Library, including raising of awareness, active delivery of information, mentoring relationships, and educational training. The data suggest that disseminating evidence-based medicine simultaneously is a key element.


  • Funding This work was supported by a research grant from the National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan (PH-099-SP02).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics Review Board of the National Health Research Institutes.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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