The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews – Issue 1 of 2010

The first issue of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) for 2010 sees the addition of nearly 100 full Cochrane reviews and substantial changes to the conclusions of 20 existing reviews. These reviews, along with the other 116 reviews that have been updated since the last release of CDSR in October 2009, and nearly 4000 other Cochrane reviews are available in The Cochrane Library. This library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the Internet at Every one of the Cochrane reviews includes full information on the methods used, details of the eligible research, results of the included studies and the conclusions of the Cochrane researchers.

The new and updated reviews cover a wide range of health issues and a wide variety of interventions. They are accompanied by a collection of podcasts on, in English and other languages. The Cochrane Journal Club also features the new reviews, with the one for January investigating the combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for women with cervical cancer (1). The Journal Club resources include a specially prepared introductory summary, slideshow, author profile, collection of discussion points and related articles and are available free at

As well as the new review of treatments for cervical cancer, issue 1 2010 includes fresh evidence on exercise for patients with Parkinson's disease (2), different modes of delivery for insulin (3), long-term opioids for the control of chronic pain (4), and fluoride concentration in toothpaste, which uses a network meta-analysis of more than 70 randomized trials (5). There are new reviews showing the benefits of beta-blockers for lowering blood pressure (6), motivational interviewing as a patient-centred style of counseling for people trying to quit smoking (7), and braces for idiopathic scoliosis in children and young people (8).

There is also a new Cochrane review that casts doubt on the fairly widespread practice of denying women food and drink while they are in labor (9), a compilation of the research on home based care for people infected with HIV/AIDS showing the lack of trials in low and middle income countries where the burden of disease is highest (10), and a substantially updated Cochrane methodology review of ways to improve recruitment to randomized trials (11).

Over the next few pages, some of the Cochrane authors who prepared podcasts for earlier issues of The Cochrane Library, tell us about their reviews.