Cochrane summaries


What was this research?

The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group is internationally recognised and based at the University of Nottingham. The group produce systematic reviews on the latest evidence about schizophrenia. The reviews focus on the latest randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the treatment of schizophrenia. Treatments can include medical or psychological approaches used in treating schizophrenia or other severe mental illnesses. The systematic reviews look at the latest evidence. All reviews have a plain language summary (PLS) that explains the research in simple language that a lay person can understand. This makes the scientific reviews more understandable and able to reach people with mental health problems, carers and health professionals. As well as a PLS, a group of ‘experts by experience’ was formed to add a lived experience perspective to the reviews and summaries. They communicated via email and the service user blog.


Why was this research important?

This research was important as it communicated the latest research and trial evidence. Often, mental health practice is not based on current research and evidence. The Cochrane summaries provide the latest information on treatments for mental illness. By producing plain language summaries, this highly scientific evidence is explained in simple language that is understandable to people with mental health problems, carers and health professionals.


What were we doing?

All Cochrane reviews have a concise and easy to understand summary. These summaries were written by a Senior Peer Researcher – Ben Gray. Once these summaries were published by Cochrane, they were shared with an ‘experts by experience’ group of 20 people with mental health problems and carers. This ensured that a lived experience perspective was added to the summaries, so balancing very scientific information with the added value of people’s experiences.


What is the current status of the project?

Nearly 90 summaries were written over several years, of which 40 have been published online. The Cochrane Schizophrenia Collaboration continues.

For current updates:



Who do I contact for more information?

If you would like more information about the study, please do get in touch: