Background: Health care systems have recognized the importance of clinical effectiveness as demonstrated by systematic reviews (SRs). However, related efforts for developing SRs and its subsequent outcomes vary among countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Purpose: This study examines the development of SRs and compares the performance among 11 countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific in order to identify feasible promotion strategies for alliances in this part of the world. Methods: We retrieved data on published SRs from PubMed by employing previously developed search strategies to examine the developing situation, not only in general but also in each country and region. We then compared the performance of each country with regard to SRs in terms of several predefined aspects. In addition to comparing the raw number of publications, this study also took into account other factors such as the total number of physicians and gross domestic product. Results: Among the 11 countries and regions included in the study, Australia set an outstanding example in SR activities. New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and India also contributed significantly to this body of knowledge. Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan could improve by producing more Cochrane or non-Cochrane style SRs. Conclusion: The findings reveal the importance of governmental support for the development of SRs. This includes providing the required resources such as research infrastructure, funding, and manpower. The principles and methods of SRs also need further promotion. In addition, it is crucial to bring together all research partners in the region, particularly those with already established Cochrane entities, to reduce unnecessary barriers to communication and to accelerate progress in SR research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Medicine(Taiwan)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Cochrane Library
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Health policy
  • International comparison
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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