Targeted Updates

What are they?

Targeted Updates are targeted four-page documents that use Cochrane Reviews as their foundation, but focus on updating only one or two important comparisons, and the seven most relevant outcomes.

The final choice of comparisons and outcomes are made in consultation with the commissioner and Cochrane content experts, including the original review authors and Cochrane editorial team. 

Cochrane methods are used so that any new data can then be used by Cochrane review authors to facilitate a full Cochrane Review update where appropriate.

Click here, to see an example Targeted Update.

Targeted Updates are accessible evidence reports produced in a short timeline by using focused questions, a short review format, and Cochrane methodology.

What’s included?

The report includes an updated ‘Summary of Findings’ table, a detailed plain language abstract, and summary evidence statement. The search results, risk of bias assessments, analyses, and references are made available in a supplementary report.

Targeted Updates are customizable, and analyses can be included in the main report, along with other information that needs to be readily available in your evidence reports.

Case studies

Targeted Updates have successfully been used by the Australian National Blood Authority, Norwegian Health Directorate and Swiss Medical Board as an efficient and cost effective way to update recommendations within their guidelines and HTA reports. The Targeted Updates also allowed them to commission updates for questions of interest when their PICO differed slightly from the Cochrane Review.

"Our Targeted Update was a joy to do. It took about four weeks for the Cochrane Group to produce the update, which was extraordinary; and was of really high quality."
Jennifer Roberts, Director Clinical Evidence, National Blood Authority.

"Our experience with them has been very positive. All the timelines were met and the communication with the Cochrane Response team has been effective. We would highly recommend this service, in particular if timelines are tight."
Prof. Dr. med. Peter Suter, President Swiss Medical Board

Targeted Updates helped the Cochrane Skin Group to prioritize future work. The commissioned Targeted Updates indicated that there was no need for a fully updated Cochrane Review, and helped to accelerate the updating of a large Cochrane Review within which there were rapidly developing interventions that could be targeted.

"I love the format - easy to read and fit for purpose."
Professor Hywel Williams, Co-ordinating Editor, Cochrane Skin.

A Targeted Update commissioned by the Swiss Medical Board will help the Cochrane Gynaecological, Neuro-Oncology and Orphan Cancer Review Group to update the full Cochrane Review. The search, screening and data extraction carried out for the Targeted Update will be used for the review update.

"We have a great starting point with the data which has been added to the RevMan file."

"It was an excellent collaboration as far as we are concerned and a great learning opportunity. The TU is clear and concise. We’d be happy to do more."
Gail Quinn and Clare Jess, Managing Editors, Cochrane Gynaecology, Neuro-oncology and Orphan Cancers Group

Contact us

For more information about how to commission a Cochrane Targeted Update please contact: