Plain Language Summaries

The CAM Field collaborated with the Norwegian branch of the Nordic Cochrane Center to communicate the message of Cochrane Reviews to the general public, through the creation of Summary of Findings tables/Plain Language Summaries (SoF/PLS) of CAM-related Cochrane Reviews.

The SoF tables were developed and then used as a basis for the PLS. In each SoF table, we present the most important outcomes of the review, the effect of the intervention on each outcome, and the quality of the evidence for each outcome. The process of developing the SoF table involves deciding which outcomes to present for which time points and evaluating the strength and quality of the evidence for the outcomes.

The review authors were also contacted to request clarification on any points that are not understood in the Cochrane review and also to request their review of the SoF. The development of a vehicle for disseminating the bottom line message of Cochrane reviews in as simplified a format as possible has been underway within the Cochrane Collaboration since 2000. The resulting SoF format, based on the GRADE approach for evaluating the strength and quality of evidence [GRADE Working Group; BMJ  2004], is the final summary format that has been decided upon by the Cochrane Collaboration.

The following SoF/PLS have been prepared by Claire Glenton PhD, Elin S. Nilsen MS, Ingvil Sæterdal PhD, Vigdis Underland MS, and Gunn Vist PhD on behalf of the Cochrane Complementary and Alternative Medicine Field and with funding from the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the US National Institutes of Health (grants number R24 AT001293).