A call to heighten quality of education in developing systematic reviews concerning traditional Chinese medi­cines in China

Tags: Poster
Yang X, Zhuo Q, Zeng X, Wu T

Background: The Chinese Cochrane Centre has conducted education and training for Cochrane systematic reviews since it was officially endorsed by the Chinese Ministry of Health in July 1997. Hitherto, nearly 1700 Chinese authors from all over China have attended training events and more than 500 reviews have been completed. However, there are still a number of authors who are inadequately trained. Objectives: To evaluate the quality of the education provided by the Chinese Cochrane Centre and to discuss appropriate ways to improve the quality of education of Cochrane authors in China. Methods: A seven-item questionnaire was distributed to 79 authors who had recently received training from the Chinese Cochrane Centre. Results: Although 90% (71/79) said yes to the question ‘Do you know how to identify the authenticity of trials concerning traditional Chinese medicines (TCM)?’, only 11% (9/79) could recall the valid methods to identify the authenticity of TCM trials. This revealed that a majority of authors overlooked the exclusive methods in appraising TCM research. Conclusions: We cannot ignore the urgency to improve the training of Cochrane authors, especially in the TCM field due to the popularity of research into complementary medicines. Since China possesses a large quantity of TCM resources and the disturbing problems pertaining to the authenticity of TCM research, it is necessary for Chinese authors to produce high quality Cochrane systematic reviews by making the best of the original trial results.