As every healthcare intervention carries some risk of harm, decision making needs to be supported by a systematic assessment of the balance of benefits to harms. A systematic review that considers only the favourable outcomes of an intervention, without also assessing the adverse effects, can mislead by introducing a bias favouring the intervention. The emphasis on treatment benefit, together with lack of information on harmful effects, creates difficulties for people who are trying to make balanced decisions.
The Cochrane Adverse Effects Methods Groups aims to redress this imbalance.
After a meeting to discuss the formation of a Drug Safety Methods Group in 2000, the group soon became a Sub-Group of the Cochrane Non-Randomized Studies Methods Group (NRSMG). The group later expanded its remit to beyond drug safety to adverse effects of all types of interventions. In recognition of the complex issues in systematic reviews incorporating adverse effects, beyond the inclusion of non-randomized studies the group then evolved to a separate entity becoming the Adverse Effects Methods Group (possible) and then official registration was achieved with the Cochrane Collaboration on the 14th June 2007.
The group has over 150 members from 26 countries and these numbers continues to grow.
The group has no official funding source, but does receive full support from Cochrane.
The Cochrane Adverse Effects Methods Group official website address is; www.aem.cochrane.org/