Key Points

• Tables and figures help to present included studies and their findings in a systematic and clear format.

• Forest plots are the standard way to illustrate results of individual studies and metaanalyses. These can be generated using Review Manager software, and a selection of them can be chosen for inclusion in the body of a Cochrane review.

• A 'Summary of findings' table provides key information concerning the quality of evidence, the magnitude of effect of the interventions examined, and the sum of available data on all important outcomes for a given comparison.

• The Abstract of a Cochrane review should be targeted primarily at healthcare decision makers (including clinicians, informed consumers and policy makers); and a 'Plain language summary' conveys the findings in a straightforward style that can be understood by consumers of health care.

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