Updated press release to October 2004 Cochrane Review

The Cochrane Collaboration wishes to report that the review 'Interactive Health Communication Applications for people with chronic disease' (1) has been found to contain errors. The review originally determined that, among other findings, chronically ill people using interactive programmes had worse clinical outcomes than those who did not. Regrettably, errors in data analysis meant that these outcomes were reported incorrectly. The authors are currently re-analysing their data and will be resubmitting their results to The Cochrane Library (2) in the future. It is expected that the revised results will be published in April 2005.

Interactive Health Communication Applications (IHCAs) are computer-based interactive programmes for patients that combine health information with at least one mode of support social support, decision support or behavioural change support. IHCAs are designed to provide people with chronic disease with the opportunity to become better informed about their disease and the various treatment options available.

The Cochrane Collaboration supports high standards of quality control and welcomes comments on and corrections to any reviews published in The Cochrane Library. Compared with traditional paper journal publishing, the Collaboration's open and transparent process ensures that all Cochrane reviews are available for real-time correction, providing experts and healthcare consumers alike with the opportunity to give their input. Crucially, this process also allows researchers and others to inform review authors of previously unreported or unrecognised trial results, allowing them to improve the quality of reviews as they are periodically updated over time. The Cochrane Collaboration regrets that this particular review was found to contain inaccuracies, apologises unreservedly, has acted swiftly to mitigate both this error (which arose from individual error and not systemic failures) and the likelihood of it being repeated

Contact: David Greenberg
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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