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Med Lav. 2009 Jul-Aug;100(4):258-67.

Writing a Cochrane systematic review on preventive interventions to improve safety: the case of the construction industry.

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Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Department: Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



The objective of this paper is to describe the main steps and to conduct a systematic literature review on preventive interventions concerning work-related injuries and to illustrate the process.


Based on the Cochrane handbook, a structured framework of six steps was outlined for the development of a systematic review. This framework was used to describe a Cochrane systematic review (CSR) on the effectiveness of interventions to prevent work related injuries in the construction industry.


The 6 main steps to write a CSR were: formulating the problem and objectives; locating and selecting studies; assessing study quality; collecting data; analysing data and presenting results; and interpreting results. The CSR on preventing injuries in the construction industry yielded five eligible intervention studies. Re-analysis of original injury data of the studies on regulatory interventions, through correcting for pre-intervention injury trends led to different conclusions about the effectiveness of interventions than those reported in the original studies.


The Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions provides a practical and feasible six-step framework for developing and reporting a systematic review for preventive interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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