The scope of Cochrane Vascular is broad, and includes prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for all diseases of the arteries and veins, but excludes the heart (remit of Cochrane Heart), carotid vessels (remit of Cochrane Stroke) and venous ulcers (remit of Cochrane Wounds).
Only evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs) is used for reviewing health care interventions. Outcomes of importance to both clinicians and patients are included in the reviews. Guidelines on outcome measures have been developed within the Group following wide consultation.
In addition to producing systematic reviews the Cochrane Vascular Information Specialist maintains and administers a Specialised Register (SR) of controlled trials at the editorial base. All trials in which allocation to an intervention has been described as random or quasi-random are included in the register. Furthermore, all trials which are potentially random (i.e. the method of allocation is not stated as random but the trial design suggest it may be so) are included, together with CCTs. Before a reference is entered onto the database, a copy is obtained, and codes are assigned for characteristics of the trial including the method of randomisation, condition being treated, and type of intervention. The SR presently contains over 13,000 references relevant to peripheral vascular diseases. An electronic and/or hard copy of each reference in the SR is kept at the editorial base. Global searches which cover the scope of the group have been developed and are run in CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and AMED. In addition to this 38 core journals relating to peripheral vascular diseases have been handsearched, as have a variety of conference proceedings. The full list of the databases, journals and conference proceedings which have been searched, as well as the search strategies used are described in the Specialised Register section of the Cochrane Vascular module in the Cochrane Library.