We speak of evidence-based medicine when medical health-care decisions consistently take the best, most up-to-date scientific knowledge into account. As a reliable basis for evidence-based medicine, the Cochrane network has provided systematic reviews which summarise the research findings on health-care questions for over 20 years.
For years, the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS) has actively made sure that as many doctors and other health-care specialists as possible have access to the Cochrane Library free of charge, so that they can keep up to date following their training. This is because the Cochrane Reviews are recognised internationally as the standard of quality and represent the latest knowledge. Against this background, the SAMS thus applied for a national licence for the Cochrane Library. From 1 January 2016, the access to the Cochrane database is therefore free of charge from within Switzerland. Not only professionals can benefit from this, but also laypeople who want to be able to make informed decisions regarding health-care questions.
The national licence is financed through substantial contributions from the SAMS and the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), with further contributions from university libraries and hospitals.
How do I use the Cochrane Library?
The Reference Guide provides comprehensive instructions in English:
Cochrane Library. Reference Guide
Cochrane Kompakt provides summaries of reviews in German:
How is the Cochrane network organised?
Around 37,000 people in over 130 countries contribute to Cochrane’s work. The health-care information is prepared based on scientific methods, is reliable, and free of commercial sponsorships or other conflicts of interest. The national Cochrane groups are located in academic and medical institutions. Cochrane Switzerland is located at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUMSP) in Lausanne.
The second Cochrane group in Switzerland, Cochrane Insurance Medicine, is managed by the Swiss Academy of Insurance Medicine (asim) at the University of Basel and the Basel University Hospital.