Table 5

Characteristics of included systematic reviews
Review question / objective Data sources Interventions Data collection and analysis
Reference [16]
What are the most effective communication tools to improve patient understanding of ‘evidence’? Cochrane Library, Medline, Psychinfo, Embase, Cancerlit, authors’ personal files. 10 SRs and 17 RCTs on tailored print information, decision aids, consultation summaries or instructions (audiotapes, written and verbal), provider training in a patient-centred approach with or without risk communication, video, interactive computer aids/touch screens, evidence-based leaflets, and question prompts. Conducted duplicate study selection, critical appraisal (of RCTs and SRs using validated checklists) and data extraction; and narrative synthesis and meta-analysis, as appropriate.
Last search: June 2004
Reference [17]
Are educational meetings and workshops effective in improving professional practice or healthcare outcomes? EPOC trials register, EMBASE, reference lists 81 RCTs of educational meetings (alone or as part of multifaceted interventions); conducted in North America (31 studies), Europe (34), Australia and New Zealand (4), South East Asia (4), Latin America (3), and sub-Saharan Africa (4). Conducted duplicate study selection, critical appraisal (of RCTs and SRs using validated checklists) and data extraction; and narrative synthesis and meta-analysis, as appropriate.
Last search: March 2006.
Reference [18]
Are educational outreach visits effective in improving health professional practice and healthcare outcomes? EPOC register, Medline, EMBASE, reference lists 69 RCTs of educational outreach visits (alone or as part of multifaceted interventions); conducted in North America (23 RCTs), Europe (36), Australia (8), and South East Asia (3). Conducted duplicate study selection, critical appraisal (of RCTs and SRs using validated checklists) and data extraction; and narrative synthesis and meta-analysis, as appropriate.
Last search: March 2007.
Reference [19]
Is audit and feedback effective in improving professional practice and health care outcomes? EPOC register, Medline, EMBASE, reference lists 118 RCTs of audit and feedback (alone or as part of multifaceted interventions); conducted in North America (67), Europe (30), Australia (9), South East Asia (3), and sub-Saharan Africa (1). Conducted duplicate study selection, critical appraisal (of RCTs and SRs using validated checklists) and data extraction; and narrative synthesis and meta-analysis, as appropriate.
Last search: February 2006
Reference [20]
To determine the effectiveness of printed educational materials in improving process outcomes and patient outcomes. EPOC register, Medline, EMBASE, CENTRAL, DARE, CINAHL, CAB Health, reference lists. 12 RCTs, 1 CBA, and 10 ITS of printed educational materials; conducted in North America (14) and Europe (9). Conducted duplicate study selection, critical appraisal (of RCTs and SRs using validated checklists) and data extraction; and narrative synthesis and meta-analysis, as appropriate.
Last search: March 2007
Reference [21]
To assess the overall effectiveness of patient reminder or recall systems, or both, in improving immunisation coverage EPOC register, Medline, EMBASE, CENTRAL, PsychINFO, CINAHL, Sociological Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, reference lists. 40 RCTs and 3CBAs of of patient reminder or recall systems; conducted in North America (37), Europe (2) and Australia and New Zealand (4) Conducted duplicate study selection, critical appraisal (of RCTs and SRs using validated checklists) and data extraction; and narrative synthesis and meta-analysis, as appropriate.
Last search: May 2007
Reference [22]
To assess the effects of lay health worker interventions in primary and community health care on maternal and child health and the management of infectious diseases. Medline, EMBASE, CENTRAL, PsychINFO, CINAHL, Sociological Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, British Nursing Index and Archive, POPLINE, WHOLIS, ISI Web of Science, Healthstar, reference lists. 82 RCTs on use of lay health worker interventions; conducted in high-income countries (55), middle-income countries (12), and low-income countries (15). Conducted duplicate study selection, critical appraisal (of RCTs and SRs using validated checklists) and data extraction; and narrative synthesis and meta-analysis, as appropriate.
Last search: February 2010
Reference [23]
To assess the effect mass media interventions on utilisation of health services. EPOC register, Medline, EMBASE, Eric, PsycLit, hand search of relevant journals, reference lists. 20 ITS and 1 CBA of mass media campaigns (using radio, television, newspapers, posters and leaflets); conducted in Europe (10), North America (5), Australia (4), and Latin America (1). Conducted duplicate study selection, critical appraisal (of RCTs and SRs using validated checklists) and data extraction; and narrative synthesis and meta-analysis, as appropriate.
Last search: 1999
Reference [24]
To assess the effectiveness of conditional monetary transfers in improving access to care and health outcomes, in particular for poorer populations in LMICs. EPOC register, CENTRAL, Medline, EMBASE, Popline, CAB-Direct, WHOLIS, LILACS, many other databases and websites/online resources, reference lists. 4 RCTs and 2 CBAs of conditional cash transfer programmes; conducted in Latin America (5) and sub-Saharan Africa (1). Conducted duplicate study selection, critical appraisal (of RCTs and SRs using validated checklists) and data extraction; and narrative synthesis and meta-analysis, as appropriate.
Last search: May 2009.
Reference [25]
To assess the effectiveness of risk protection mechanisms in improving access to care in LMICs EPOC register, CENTRAL, Medline, EMBASE, Popline, CAB-Direct, WHOLIS, LILACS, many other databases and websites/online resources, reference lists. Authors found few reports of social health insurance schemes operating at national level in LMICs; but none of these studies was an RCT, CBA, or ITS. Duplicate screening of search output and assessment of potentially eligible studies for inclusion.
Last search: May 2009.

EPOC Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group, SR systematic review, RCT randomised controlled trial; controlled before-and-after study, ITS interrupted time series analyses, CENTRAL Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, DARE Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, LMICs low and middle-income countries.

Wiysonge et al.

Wiysonge et al. BMC Public Health 2012 12:578   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-578

Open Data