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Fam Pract. 2008 Dec;25 Suppl 1:i60-6. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmn072. Epub 2008 Oct 26.

Diet and nutrition advice from the Cochrane Library: is it useful for the consumers and family physicians?

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Department of Health Information, German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWIG), Dillenburger Strasse 27, D-51105 Köln, Germany.



The role of nutrition in public health is well established. This raises the need for reliable and up to date evidence and its ready accessibility for health professionals and consumers.


The principal objectives are to evaluate whether nutrition-related Cochrane Systematic Reviews contain clear guidance on nutritional aspects that may be applicable to individual patient care.


We screened and searched the Cochrane reviews of Issue 3, 2007 of the Cochrane Library. The abstracts were assessed to identify nutrition-relevant reviews which are applicable in the consulting room. All irrelevant studies were excluded and a questionnaire was filled in for each review by the consumers and a Nutrition specialist.


The screening and search of the Cochrane Library Issue 3, 2007 retrieved overall 270 reviews. After excluding the irrelevant results, from the remaining reviews, 17 reviews were about the nutrition and feeding of infants, 44 of the reviews were on diet and nutrition and 78 on nutritional supplementations. From the 38 reviews on nutrition, seven did not have clear translation for the consulting room.


Our study provided an overview of the number of Cochrane reviews on diet and nutrition in Issue 3, 2003 of the Cochrane Library and highlighted the need for more clear and understandable evidence-based information in the field of nutrition.

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