Do Cochrane summaries help student midwives understand the findings of Cochrane systematic reviews: The BRIEF randomised trial

Authors: Alderdice, F., Hundley, V. et al.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/23275/

http://2014.colloquium.cochrane.org/abstracts/do-cochrane-summaries-help-student-midwives-understand-findings-cochrane-reviews-brief

Start date: 25 September 2014

Background: Abstracts and plain language summaries (PLS) are often the first, and sometimes the only, point of contact for systematic reviews. It is important to identify how they are used and to know the impact of different elements, including the authors’ conclusions.

Objectives: To assess whether (1) the abstract or the PLS of a Cochrane Review is a better aid for midwifery students in assessing the evidence; (2) inclusion of authors’ conclusions helps them; (3) there is an interaction between the type of summary and the presence or absence of the conclusions.

Methods: 813 midwifery students from 9 universities in the UK and Ireland were recruited to this 2 x 2 factorial trial (abstract v PLS, conclusions v no conclusions). They were randomly allocated to one of the four groups and asked to recall knowledge after reading one of four types of summaries of two Cochrane Reviews, one with clear findings and one with ambiguous findings (as assessed by an expert panel). The primary outcome was the proportion who gave the response the panel judged to be correct.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference in correct response between Abstract and PLS groups in the clear findings example (Abstract: 59.6%; PLS: 64.2%; Risk difference 4.6%; CI -0.2 to 11.3) or the ambiguous findings example (42.7%; 39.3%; -3.4%; -10.1 to 3.4). There was no significant difference between conclusions and no conclusions groups in the example with clear findings (conclusions: 63.3%; no conclusions: 60.5%; 2.8%; -3.9 to 9.5) but there was a significant difference in the example with ambiguous findings (44.7%; 37.3%; 7.3%; 0.6 to 14.1 p=0.03). PLS without conclusions in the ambiguous findings example had the lowest proportion of correct responses (32.5%). Students given a PLS were more likely to report wanting to read the full review than those given the abstract.

Conclusions: Abstracts with and without conclusions generated similar student responses. PLS with conclusions gave similar results to abstracts with and without conclusions but removing the conclusion from a PLS with ambiguous findings led to more problems with interpretation.

This data was imported from PubMed:

Authors: Alderdice, F., Hundley, V. et al.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/23275/

Journal: Syst Rev

Volume: 5

Pages: 40

eISSN: 2046-4053

DOI: 10.1186/s13643-016-0214-8

BACKGROUND: Abstracts and plain language summaries (PLS) are often the first, and sometimes the only, point of contact between readers and systematic reviews. It is important to identify how these summaries are used and to know the impact of different elements, including the authors' conclusions. The trial aims to assess whether (a) the abstract or the PLS of a Cochrane Review is a better aid for midwifery students in assessing the evidence, (b) inclusion of authors' conclusions helps them and (c) there is an interaction between the type of summary and the presence or absence of the conclusions. METHODS: Eight hundred thirteen midwifery students from nine universities in the UK and Ireland were recruited to this 2 × 2 factorial trial (abstract versus PLS, conclusions versus no conclusions). They were randomly allocated to one of four groups and asked to recall knowledge after reading one of four summary formats of two Cochrane Reviews, one with clear findings and one with uncertain findings. The primary outcome was the proportion of students who identified the appropriate statement to describe the main findings of the two reviews as assessed by an expert panel. RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference in correct response between the abstract and PLS groups in the clear finding example (abstract, 59.6 %; PLS, 64.2 %; risk difference 4.6 %; CI -0.2 to 11.3) or the uncertain finding example (42.7 %, 39.3 %, -3.4 %, -10.1 to 3.4). There was no significant difference between the conclusion and no conclusion groups in the example with clear findings (conclusions, 63.3 %; no conclusions, 60.5 %; 2.8 %; -3.9 to 9.5), but there was a significant difference in the example with uncertain findings (44.7 %; 37.3 %; 7.3 %; 0.6 to 14.1, p = 0.03). PLS without conclusions in the uncertain finding review had the lowest proportion of correct responses (32.5 %). Prior knowledge and belief predicted student response to the clear finding review, while years of midwifery education predicted response to the uncertain finding review. CONCLUSIONS: Abstracts with and without conclusions generated similar student responses. PLS with conclusions gave similar results to abstracts with and without conclusions. Removing the conclusions from a PLS with uncertain findings led to more problems with interpretation.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Alderdice, F., Hundley, V. et al.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/23275/

Journal: Systematic Reviews

Volume: 5

Issue: 1

eISSN: 2046-4053

DOI: 10.1186/s13643-016-0214-8

© 2016 Alderdice et al. Background: Abstracts and plain language summaries (PLS) are often the first, and sometimes the only, point of contact between readers and systematic reviews. It is important to identify how these summaries are used and to know the impact of different elements, including the authors' conclusions. The trial aims to assess whether (a) the abstract or the PLS of a Cochrane Review is a better aid for midwifery students in assessing the evidence, (b) inclusion of authors' conclusions helps them and (c) there is an interaction between the type of summary and the presence or absence of the conclusions. Methods: Eight hundred thirteen midwifery students from nine universities in the UK and Ireland were recruited to this 2 × 2 factorial trial (abstract versus PLS, conclusions versus no conclusions). They were randomly allocated to one of four groups and asked to recall knowledge after reading one of four summary formats of two Cochrane Reviews, one with clear findings and one with uncertain findings. The primary outcome was the proportion of students who identified the appropriate statement to describe the main findings of the two reviews as assessed by an expert panel. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in correct response between the abstract and PLS groups in the clear finding example (abstract, 59.6 %; PLS, 64.2 %; risk difference 4.6 %; CI -0.2 to 11.3) or the uncertain finding example (42.7 %, 39.3 %, -3.4 %, -10.1 to 3.4). There was no significant difference between the conclusion and no conclusion groups in the example with clear findings (conclusions, 63.3 %; no conclusions, 60.5 %; 2.8 %; -3.9 to 9.5), but there was a significant difference in the example with uncertain findings (44.7 %; 37.3 %; 7.3 %; 0.6 to 14.1, p = 0.03). PLS without conclusions in the uncertain finding review had the lowest proportion of correct responses (32.5 %). Prior knowledge and belief predicted student response to the clear finding review, while years of midwifery education predicted response to the uncertain finding review. Conclusions: Abstracts with and without conclusions generated similar student responses. PLS with conclusions gave similar results to abstracts with and without conclusions. Removing the conclusions from a PLS with uncertain findings led to more problems with interpretation.

This data was imported from Web of Science (Lite):

Authors: Alderdice, F., Hundley, V. et al.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/23275/

Journal: SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS

Volume: 5

ISSN: 2046-4053

DOI: 10.1186/s13643-016-0214-8

This data was imported from Europe PubMed Central:

Authors: Alderdice, F., Hundley, V. et al.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/23275/

Journal: Systematic reviews

Volume: 5

Pages: 40

eISSN: 2046-4053

Abstracts and plain language summaries (PLS) are often the first, and sometimes the only, point of contact between readers and systematic reviews. It is important to identify how these summaries are used and to know the impact of different elements, including the authors' conclusions. The trial aims to assess whether (a) the abstract or the PLS of a Cochrane Review is a better aid for midwifery students in assessing the evidence, (b) inclusion of authors' conclusions helps them and (c) there is an interaction between the type of summary and the presence or absence of the conclusions.Eight hundred thirteen midwifery students from nine universities in the UK and Ireland were recruited to this 2 × 2 factorial trial (abstract versus PLS, conclusions versus no conclusions). They were randomly allocated to one of four groups and asked to recall knowledge after reading one of four summary formats of two Cochrane Reviews, one with clear findings and one with uncertain findings. The primary outcome was the proportion of students who identified the appropriate statement to describe the main findings of the two reviews as assessed by an expert panel.There was no statistically significant difference in correct response between the abstract and PLS groups in the clear finding example (abstract, 59.6 %; PLS, 64.2 %; risk difference 4.6 %; CI -0.2 to 11.3) or the uncertain finding example (42.7 %, 39.3 %, -3.4 %, -10.1 to 3.4). There was no significant difference between the conclusion and no conclusion groups in the example with clear findings (conclusions, 63.3 %; no conclusions, 60.5 %; 2.8 %; -3.9 to 9.5), but there was a significant difference in the example with uncertain findings (44.7 %; 37.3 %; 7.3 %; 0.6 to 14.1, p = 0.03). PLS without conclusions in the uncertain finding review had the lowest proportion of correct responses (32.5 %). Prior knowledge and belief predicted student response to the clear finding review, while years of midwifery education predicted response to the uncertain finding review.Abstracts with and without conclusions generated similar student responses. PLS with conclusions gave similar results to abstracts with and without conclusions. Removing the conclusions from a PLS with uncertain findings led to more problems with interpretation.

The data on this page was last updated at 05:09 on February 20, 2020.