DARE (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects) is focused primarily on systematic reviews that evaluate the effects of health care interventions and the delivery and organisation of health services.
The database also includes reviews of the wider determinants of health such as housing, transport, and social care where these impact directly on health, or have the potential to impact on health.
Every week we undertake extensive searches and assess thousands of citations to identify potential systematic reviews. Full details of the search strategies are available on request (email@example.com).
Those citations identified as potential systematic reviews are then independently assessed for inclusion by two researchers using the following criteria:
- Were inclusion/exclusion criteria reported?
- Was the search adequate?
- Were the included studies synthesised?
- Was the quality of the included studies assessed?
- Are sufficient details about the individual included studies presented?
To be included, reviews must meet at least four criteria (criteria 1-3 are mandatory).
As soon as a review is identified as meeting the inclusion criteria, brief details are published on the database and the review is prioritised for abstract writing. Database users can request that we fast track the writing of individual critical abstracts (requests from the UK NHS get priority).
Critical abstracts are written and independently checked by researchers with in-depth knowledge and experience of systematic review methods. Each abstract contains a ‘bottom line’ summary of the topic, findings and reliability of the conclusions. Brief details are then given of the review methods, the results and conclusions and, uniquely, a critical assessment of the methods used and the reliability of the conclusions drawn. The purpose of this commentary is to help users of the database to judge the overall validity and reliability of the review.
Abstracts are checked and proof read by a technical editor to ensure consistency and readability prior to publishing. On final completion of an abstract, a copy is sent to the original authors for information. Authors are invited to reply with corrections to factual errors, and other relevant research. Where applicable, this information is added to the abstract.
DARE also includes records of all Cochrane reviews and protocols and provides details of those reviews that appear in publications other than in the Cochrane Library but are based on or related to a Cochrane review. Details of Campbell reviews are included where the interventions evaluated impact directly on health or have the potential to impact on health.