The World Health Organization (WHO) launched in February 2017 “Rehabilitation 2030 - a call for action”. This is likely to have a deep impact on health systems in the next few years. Cochrane has approved the new Rehabilitation Field and has been invited by WHO as a relevant stakeholder in this effort.
WHO recognises the dramatic changes in health and demographic profiles of populations that are characterising the 21st century. People are living longer, with disabling chronic conditions and disabilities that impact their functioning and well-being. The main goals of WHO are to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, and to articulate the importance of promoting healthy life expectancy. Health systems are confronted with these emerging challenges; hence, health policies are placing increased emphasis on services targeted at improving functioning, and not only at decreasing morbidity and mortality.
According to WHO, rehabilitation could be an answer to this need. Cochrane’s strategy becomes significant in this context, as it is based on the production of high-quality evidence through systematic reviews to inform health decision making.
Cochrane Rehabilitation is the appropriate instrument in this endeavour: its main goal is to convey to all rehabilitation professionals the best-available evidence as gathered by high-quality Cochrane systematic reviews, but also to improve the Cochrane methods for evidence synthesis. This will help rehabilitation professionals to make decisions according to the best and most appropriate evidence.
An important challenge of Cochrane Rehabilitation in the future is to respond to the WHO “Rehabilitation 2030” call for action.