Cochrane's 'logo review' gets an update

Cochrane's 'logo review' gets an update

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.

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March 21, 2017