Background: The Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) funded through the United Kingdom National Institute for Health Research undertakes systematic reviews evaluating the research evidence on health and public health questions of national and international importance. CRD is involved in methods research and produces internationally accepted guidelines for undertaking systematic reviews. A core product of the Centre are the CRD databases; a key resource for health professionals, policy makers, and researchers around the world. Research evidence evaluating the effects and cost-effectiveness of healthcare interventions is growing year on year, and can be difficult and time consuming to identify and appraise. The databases assist decision makers by systematically identifying and critically describing systematic reviews and economic evaluations, appraising their quality and highlighting their relative strengths and weaknesses; and providing a comprehensive listing of ongoing and published health technology assessments.
Methods and Results: This article briefly outlines the processes behind each of the three databases, gives details of the records, the information they contain and the value added by CRD. An overview of the new public interface for the CRD databases to be launched later this year is given. Improvements and innovations to supplement existing functions are listed, including enhanced and new search options, the addition of quick links to relevant material from within individual records, an integrated PubMed search and the ability to select personal preferences.
Conclusions: CRD's databases provide free access to an important knowledge base and are used widely to underpin evidence informed healthcare decisions in the United Kingdom and internationally.
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