Impact of National Institute for Health Research Cochrane Incentive Scheme on the time to deliver Cochrane Reviews




Poster session 3


Tuesday 25 October 2016 - 10:30 to 11:00


All authors in correct order:

Bailey S1, Clarke M2, Zhang Y2
2 Queens University, Belfast, UK
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Sally Bailey

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: For the past decade, the Department of Health in England has funded an annual incentive scheme through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) whereby small payments (generally £5000 per review) were offered to Cochrane Review Groups for updating an existing Cochrane Review or preparing a new one to an agreed, accelerated timetable. Approximately 20 awards have been made per year, on the basis of 50-70 proposals.

Objectives: To examine the impact of the awards through:
1. proportion of reviews completed to the agreed timetable;
2. comparison of time taken to complete reviews selected for an award versus those that were proposed but not selected;
3. case studies showing the impact of the funded reviews.

Methods: The time from commissioning the selected reviews in each year to the publication of their next stage (updated or new, as appropriate) in the Cochrane Library will be compared for those selected for an award versus those that were proposed but not selected. The proportion of selected reviews that were completed to the agreed timetable will be presented, and contrasted with the proportion of the other reviews that were completed in a similar timescale. Examples of how funded reviews have influenced policy and practice in health and social care in the UK will be presented.

Results: Analyses are ongoing and will be presented at the Cochrane Colloquium. Preliminary analysis suggest that the NIHR incentive awards might have had a substantial impact in reducing the time taken to prepare a new Cochrane Review or to update an existing one.

Conclusions: Conclusions will be presented at the Colloquium, but are likely to highlight the benefits of this unique funding scheme for accelerating the production of Cochrane Reviews.