Background: The Cochrane Library has been regarded as the most important online evidence retrieval database of systematic reviews. This study is to investigate the potential incentives for spreading Cochrane reviews.
Methods: Cochrane reviews are freely available since 2007 for the regional hospitals of Taiwan. The online logs of the Cochrane reviews were examined from January 2008 to December 2009. A questionnaire survey was conducted in 2010 to determine the strategies for disseminating Cochrane reviews. The hospitals were stratified into three groups by the relative rate of access: high (n = 15), medium (n = 16), and low (n = 13).
Results: To compare with the low-usage hospitals, the high-usage hospitals tended to assign a disseminator of evidence-based medicine as the leader to take charge of the dissemination (p < 0.001) of usage. In addition, the high-usage hospitals more often used the following 6methods: providing relevant information via e-mail (p < 0.05), investing in early adopters (p < 0.05), having assistance of designated personnel (p < 0.05), making the activity of early adopters' observable (p < 0.05), conducting workshops (p = 0.001), and inviting experts for speeches (p < 0.001). The high-usage group also more often used three or more methods than subjects in the low-usage group (p < 0.001). The organizational barriers carried no significant difference among the hospitals between high- and low-usage groups.
Conclusion: This study has identified several strategies to enhance the dissemination of Cochrane Library, including awareness raising, active delivery of information, mentoring relationships, and educational training. The data suggest disseminating evidence-based medicine simultaneously is a key element.