Evidence-based interventions

Examples of systematic reviews, from the Cochrane Collaboration‘s recent newsletter,

  • Don’t bother with intravenous rehydration for diarrhoea – oral rehydration works just as well

In wealthy countries it is fashionable to prefer intravenous therapy (IVT) over oral rehydration therapy (ORT). A Cochrane Review published, however, shows that ORT is just as effective as IVT.

  • Treating water at home is effective in preventing diarrhoea, a major cause of death in young children in developing countries

Supplying clean water to a community helps reduce gastrointestinal diseases, but interventions that kill disease-causing waterborne micro-organisms (or microbes) once it has reached the home can be even more effective. These are the conclusions of a systematic review that considered the outcome of 38 field trials involving more than 53,000 participants.

Before you can carry out systematic reviews, you must have well-designed studies to review. Then you can generalize from those studies. “38 field trials involving more than 53,000 participants”. Sigh. How many useful, well designed field trials do we have in conservation?


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