Cartoon from the HERD blog

Does vitamin C really prevent the common cold? Can antibiotics help in alleviating the symptoms of a sore throat? Does smoking affect schizophrenia? If you are looking for reliable evidence on questions like these, then you might be looking for a Cochrane review.

The Cochrane Collaboration is an international, non-profit, independent organisation that was established in 1993 to ensure that up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of healthcare interventions is readily available worldwide. There are more than 28,000 people working within The Cochrane Collaboration in over 100 countries  to produce Cochrane Reviews – systematic assessments of evidence of the effects of healthcare interventions. There are over 4,500 Reviews so far.

A recent Cochrane Review examines the effectiveness of school-based universal programs for the prevention of alcohol misuse in young people. The reviewers looked at 53 well-designed experimental studies and found that certain generic psychosocial and developmental prevention programs can be effective in reducing alcohol misuse, especially drunkenness and binge drinking.

Readers of this blog might be interested in the reviews listed below. If not, there’s still several thousand other reviews you can browse in the Cochrane Library.

Brown HC, Smith HJ. Giving women their own case notes to carry during pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2004, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD002856. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002856.pub2

Doggett C, Burrett SL, Osborn DA. Home visits during pregnancy and after birth for women with an alcohol or drug problem. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD004456. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004456.pub2.

Foxcroft DR, Tsertsvadze A. Universal school-based prevention programs for alcohol misuse in young people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD009113. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009113

Hodnett ED, Fredericks S, Weston J. Support during pregnancy for women at increased risk of low birthweight babies. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD000198. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000198.pub2.

Lui S, Terplan M, Smith EJ. Psychosocial interventions for women enrolled in alcohol treatment during pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD006753. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006753.pub2.

Sibley LM, Sipe TA, Brown CM, Diallo MM, McNatt K, Habarta N. Traditional birth attendant training for improving health behaviours and pregnancy outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD005460. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005460.pub2

Smith EJ, Lui S, Terplan M. Pharmacologic Interventions for Pregnant Women Enrolled in Alcohol Treatment. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD007361. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007361.pub2.

Stade BC, Bailey C, Dzendoletas D, Sgro M, Dowswell T, Bennett D. Psychological and/or educational interventions for reducing alcohol consumption in pregnant women and women planning pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD004228. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004228.pub2.

Terplan M, Lui S. Psychosocial interventions for pregnant women in outpatient illicit drug treatment programs compared to other interventions. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD006037. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006037.pub2