Individual researchers, who conduct clinical trials to evaluate the benefits of new drugs, diagnostic tests, specific therapies, or surgical interventions, publish their results in peer-reviewed journals. While various researchers conduct studies on specific interventions, their findings may or may not be the same as those of previous publishers. This can lead to difficulties in choosing appropriate therapy for the practitioner. For example, if four studies testing the effect of an antibiotic for sore throat conclude that the drug was not effective, while two others conclude that was extremely effective, and five studies fmd that the drug can actually worsened the disease, the clinicians are unable to determine the effectiveness of the drug. These contradictory outcomes need to be resolved to clarify the direction of the "collective evidence" to enable doctors to offer the most appropriate therapy to their patients. In 1992, an international group of scientists launched a process systematically evaluating and updating existing evidence concerning how medical practice is carried out. These scientists also conceived a means for timely dissemination of the existing evidence for the practice of medicine. This new statistical and review method or "Systematic Reviews" is a painstaking process of searching all the published literature, selecting the most appropriate studies, summarizing the study results in a systematic and unbiased manner, and writing the fmdings in a manuscript format describing the results of summary or the 'current best evidence.'Such manuscripts are usually published by medical joumals, or specialized review groups The purpose of this acquisition, is to have the contractor periodically perform high quality systematic reviews and meta-analyses on published reports on diagnostic tests, and medical and surgical treatment interventions in the neonatal? pprinatal medicine, and provide the individual reports in a specified electronic format to the NICHD for posting on its public website. The electronic manuscript with summary evidence is made available on the NICHD website to help pediatricians across USA to access it freely, guiding their practice. By posting the systematic reviews on a federal webpage, this will allow students, medical, surgical, and nursing practitioners across USA to have FREE access to the valuable reviews, which otherwise would need to be paid for. This is a unique accomplishment for NICHD, since this is helping to bridge a much needed gap within the medical community.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Research and Development Contracts (N01)
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University of Vermont & St Agric College
United States
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