February 2016: Evidently Cochrane has released a great blog, linked to Eddie Izzard and his marathon challenge for Sport Relief, with evidence on running-related muscle soreness and soft tissue injury and pain relief. This features several of our reviews: 'Interventions for preventing lower limb soft-tissue running injuries', 'Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise', 'Whole-body cryotherapy (extreme cold air exposure) for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise in adults' and 'Whole-body cryotherapy for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise'.
Evidently Cochrane aims to make Cochrane evidence really accessible, and to encourage discussion about it, through weekly blogs, which usually feature new or updated Cochrane reviews on a health topic. It is for everyone who is interested in finding and using the best quality evidence to inform decisions about health.
For patients and carers
Many of the blogs are written with patients and carers in mind. They give accessible summaries of reliable evidence to help when making choices about healthcare, written with a non-medical audience in mind and giving an explanation for medical and research terms when we need to use them. For example, we’ve had blogs summarizing evidence on things that parents can do to help reduce babies’ pain during a medical procedure, on interventions to help people with rheumatoid arthritis manage fatigue and on therapies to help people with chronic pain. Many of them are about treatments, but not all; you can find evidence here about whether care in a specialist stroke unit aids recovery better than alternative settings, for instance.
For people looking for evidence to help them make healthy lifestyle choices
There’s lots of Cochrane evidence that can help us make decisions about aspects of our lifestyles such as diet and exercise, and these too are covered in the blogs. You can read blogs on whether the Mediterranean diet can help keep your heart healthy, on how expectant mothers can increase their chances of a good birth experience, and on the many things older people can do to reduce their risk of falling.
For healthcare professionals (HCPs), commissioners and policy-makers
We think that the blogs written for a non-medical audience will be of interest to healthcare professionals too, as Cochrane evidence on interventions is important for both, but some of the blogs are written primarily for HCPs, policy-makers and commissioners. These include blogs focusing on warfarin loading doses, pressure ulcer risk assessment and on diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) reviews. We are especially pleased to include blogs on DTA reviews, as they are not yet published with a Plain Language Summary and can be hard to interpret.
For health researchers
As well as finding blogs about Cochrane evidence in your health area of interest, you may be interested in other blogs which highlight challenges for research and current problems which are common across fields, such as the need for core outcome sets for specific conditions. Many of the blogs end with a consideration of what needs to be done next, and where the review includes a particularly useful discussion of the implications for research then this is mentioned in the blog. Some of the blogs include comments from review authors, health professionals working in the field, or patients, which you may also find useful.
For people interested in social media for sharing evidence
We are really interested in the possibilities offered by social media platforms like Twitter, and an ever-expanding array of apps such as Vine, in terms of sharing evidence with a vast audience and in a variety of ways, so you’ll find blogs about social media and our experiences with it on Evidently Cochrane.