Cochrane Kidney and Transplant Register of Studies

Cochrane Kidney and Transplant (CKT) develop and maintain a database known as the Cochrane Kidney and Transplant Register of Studies.

studies and reportsIt is a database of randomised controlled  trials in kidney disease that reflects  the scope of our Group. It  has been developed primarily to support  authors writing systematic reviews,  although it is also  a unique and comprehensive resource for the nephrology community, providing support for the development of quality evidence-based practice and research by kidney physicians, nurses, researchers, policy makers, other health-related professionals, and consumers.

The database is study-based i.e. all reports or publications of a study (or trial) are linked  together under a unique  Study name (example of a study record in the database).  It is a relational database containing review information and bibliographic and study details, where the STUDY is the unit of data. The decision to develop a study-based database was based on the following assumptions that:

  • the identification of duplicate publications is vital to producing an accurate systematic review. If multiple reports of a single trial are included as individual trials i.e. the trial participants are counted multiple times, then the effect of a particular intervention may be over or under estimated, leading to wrong conclusions of its efficacy. Unless all reports or publications from a study were linked, the possibility exists of including data from the same trial more than once in a systematic review; 
  • a study-based register would be able to reduce the workload of authors in the screening process

The database is currently maintained in MeerKat,  study-based software based on MS-Access. The database:

  • contains bibliographic and study details and review information where the study is the unit of data
  • links multiple reports to a single study
  • links studies to reviews
  • tracks the progress of reviews by linking studies sent to and used by authors

register sourcesThe database is populated from a variety of sources:

All reports are screened for relevance in terms of the scope of Cochrane Kidney and Transplant  & study design (i.e randomised controlled trial (RCT) or quasi-randomised controlled trial (CCT)).  The full-text of all potential reports is obtained.

Each report is checked against MeerKat to see if the report is part of a study that already exists. If so, the report is added to that study in MeerKat.

If the report is a new study, a new study is created and the reference added to that study. Individual reports can be linked to more than 1 study.

Studies and reports are coded with interventions, health care conditions and a review number (i.e. a review that is registered or published with CKT) to which the study may be relevant.  A potential review title may also be added. Study registration IDs (e.g. NCT001123456) are also obtained and added where available.