Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases that contain high-quality systematic reviews and evidence to inform and support healthcare decision making.
Click here for the Cochrane Library (no login required)

Cochrane PICO Search

Cochrane PICO search is a new discovery tool for finding Cochrane Reviews, now available in the Cochrane Library as a Beta release. With Cochrane PICO searchBETA you can search over 4500 Cochrane intervention reviews published since 2015 by:

  • Population (or Patient or Problem): what are the characteristics of the patient or population – e.g. a condition?
  • Intervention: what is the intervention under consideration for this patient or population – e.g. a drug or surgical intervention?
  • Comparison: what is the alternative to the intervention – e.g. a different drug or a placebo?
  • Outcome: what are the relevant outcomes – e.g. quality of life or adverse events?

How does Cochrane PICO searchBETA work?

Cochrane’s Information Specialists and other experts have described the ‘PICO’ components in Cochrane Reviews using controlled vocabulary terms. PICO searchBETA allows you to use these PICO terms to find the Cochrane Reviews most relevant to your healthcare question. In particular, it allows you to find reviews in which a term is used specifically as a population, an intervention, a comparison, or an outcome. For example, the term ‘diabetes mellitus’ is used in Cochrane Reviews in some cases as a population term, and in some other cases as an outcome term. PICO searchBETA allows you to search specifically on the PICO context that’s of interest to you.

PICO searchBETA in the Cochrane Library

To find the evidence you need with PICO searchBETA on the Cochrane Library, you can:

Why use PICO search?

Use PICO search to:

  • Find reviews that answer your questions fast
  • Discover the full range of:
    • Interventions assessed for a population
    • Populations associated with an intervention
    • Outcomes evaluated for an intervention
  • Learn about new topic areas by exploring PICO terms
  • Develop search skills by building PICO questions
  • Release the full potential of Cochrane Reviews.

Cochrane PICO searchBETA is made available in the Cochrane Library as a pre-release for large-scale testing. Our aim is to learn from this to prioritize future developments and enhancements of PICO search.
A feedback form is available at PICO search BETA feedback. Cochrane are keen to hear your comments.


Cochrane Clinical Answers provides summaries of the best available evidence on a range of clinical questions in a format designed to make it easy to incorporate into best practice.
Click here for Cochrane Clinical Answers (no login required)


Online Tutorials

Here are some quick links to online help. For more in-depth assistance, click here to book knowledge skills training.

Find out more about the work of Cochrane UK and get some useful resources here.

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