Cochrane’s logo illustrates the summary results from an iconic systematic review: Antenatal corticosteroids for accelerating fetal lung maturation for women at risk of preterm birth.
Each horizontal line represents the results of one study, while the diamond represents the combined result - our best estimate of whether the treatment is effective or harmful. The diamond sits clearly to the left of the vertical line representing “no difference”; therefore the evidence indicates that the treatment is beneficial. We call this representation a “forest plot”. This forest plot within our logo illustrates an example of the potential for systematic reviews to improve health care. It shows that corticosteroids given to women who are about to give birth prematurely can save the life of the newborn child.
Despite several trials showing the benefit of corticosteroids, adoption of the treatment among obstetricians was slow. The systematic review (originally published by Crowley et al. and with a new update published 21 March) was influential in increasing use of this treatment. This simple intervention has probably saved thousands of premature babies.
- Read the news item on Cochrane.org
- Listen to the podcast interview
- Read a personal impact story: “Wearing Cochrane evidence”
- Watch “What is a Systematic Review?”
- Read about the history and meaning of the Cochrane logo
- Read BMJ Opinion Blogpost: “Iain Chalmers: Should the Cochrane logo be accompanied by a health warning?”
- Read “Prenatal Corticosteroids for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality after Preterm Birth” on the history of Modern Biomedicine.