CEV@US database of systematic reviews in eyes and vision

WHAT: A database of systematic reviews and meta-analyses (SRMAs) across all eyes and vision conditions.

PURPOSE: To identify existing SRMAs in eyes and vision that investigators, guideline developers, editors, reviewers, patients and other stakeholders can use to inform decision-making and explore major gaps in research.

HOW: Working with information professionals from the Johns Hopkins Welch Medical Library, Cochrane Eyes and Vision United States (CEV@US) investigators search electronic databases including PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, and The Cochrane Library annually for SRMAs in eye and vision. All records included in the database meet two eligibility criteria: (1) the publication reported on at least one eye and vision condition and (2) the publication described one or more systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses. We consider SRMAs to be either those that were labeled by the author(s) of the report as a systematic review and/or meta-analysis, anywhere in the title, abstract, or full-text reports; or that meet the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) definition of a systematic review, when these terms are not used. Pairs of research assistants working independently screen the titles and abstracts of each records to identify potentially relevant SRMAs and then reviewed the full-text reports to confirm eligibility. Content experts (e.g. ophthalmologists, eye epidemiologists) assign one or more condition tags to each record.

CONTENTS: The current (September 2020) version of the database contains 4786 records spanning 32 eyes and vision conditions and related tags. All records in the database are tagged with one or more of the following:

Adverse events of interventions

Age-related macular degeneration

Blood vessel occlusion



Corneal problems

Diabetic retinopathy

Dry eye

Eyelid problems (including surrounding structures)


Graves’ ophthalmopathy

Infection/inflammation (including allergy)

Iris problems

Neuro-ophthalmologic problems

Ocular cancer/tumor

Ocular surgery

Ocular trauma


Orbital problems

Patient-reported outcomes

Refractive errors/Refractive surgery


Retinopathy of prematurity

Other retinal problems



Uveal melanoma


Vision disorders/deficits

Vision impairments/blindness

Vision rehabilitation

Vision and eye diseases screening



DISCLAIMER: Based on our previous research, not all SRMAs included in the database are reliable [see below]. We encourage users to be critical in using the information. All users of this database must acknowledge CEV@US in presentations or publications resulting from any subsequent analyses involving data from the database.


  • Li T, Vedula SS, Scherer R, Dickersin K. What comparative effectiveness research is needed? A framework for using guidelines and systematic reviews to identify evidence gaps and research priorities. Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(5):367-77.

  • Li T, Ervin A, Scherer R, Jampel H, Dickersin K. Setting priorities for comparative effectiveness research: A case study using primary open-angle glaucoma. Ophthalmology. 2010;117(10):1937-45.

  • Li T, Dickersin K. Citation of previous meta-analyses on the same topic: A clue to perpetuation of incorrect methods? Ophthalmology 2013;120:1113–1119.

  • Yu T, Li T, Lee KJ, Friedman DS, Dickersin K, Puhan MA. Setting priorities for comparative effectiveness research on management of primary angle closure: a survey of Asia-Pacific clinicians. J Glaucoma. 2015;24(5):348-55.

  • Lindsley K, Li T, Ssemanda E, Virgili G, Dickersin K. Interventions for age-related macular degeneration: are practice guidelines based on systematic reviews? Ophthalmology 2016. 123(4):884-97.

  • Golozar A, Chen Y, Lindsley K, Rouse B, Musch DC, Lum F, Hawkins BS, Li T. Identification and description of reliable evidence for 2016 American Academy of Ophthalmology Preferred Practice Pattern Guidelines for Cataract in the Adult Eye. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018;136(5):514-523.

  • Mayo-Wilson E, Ng SM, Chuck RS, Li T. The quality of systematic reviews about interventions for refractive error can be improved: a review of systematic reviews. BMC Ophthalmol. 2017;17(1):164.

  • Le JT, Hutfless S, Li T, Bressler NM, Heyward J, Bittner AK, Glassman A, Dickersin A. Setting priorities for diabetic retinopathy clinical research and identifying evidence gaps. Ophthalmol Retina. 2017;1(2):94-102.

  • Le JT, Qureshi R, Twose C, Rosman L, Han G, Fapohunda K, Saldanha IJ, Scherer RW, Lum F, Al-Rajhi A, Musch DC, Hawkins BS, Dickersin K, Li T. Evaluation of systematic reviews of interventions for retina and vitreous conditions. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(12):1399-405.

  • Saldanha IJ, Lindsley KB, Lum F, Dickersin K, Li T. Reliability of the evidence addressing treatment of corneal diseases: A summary of systematic reviews. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(7):775-785.

  • Michelessi M, Li T, Miele A, Azuara-Blanco A, Qureshi R, Virgili G. Multiple diagnostic test accuracy systematic reviews on optical coherence tomography for diagnosing glaucoma: an overview of systematic reviews. Br J Ophthalmology. 2021;105(4):490-495.

  • Qureshi R, Azuara-Blanco A, Michelessi M, Virgili G, Breda J, Cutolo C, Pazos M, Katsanos A, Garhofer G, Kolko M, Prokosch V, Al Rajhi A, Lum F, Much D, Gedde S, Li T. What do we really know about the effectiveness of glaucoma interventions: an overview of sytematic reviews. Ophthalmol Glaucoma. 2021;4(5):454-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ogla.2021.01.007.

  • Le J, Qureshi R, Rouse B, Twose C, Rosman L, Lindsley K, Hawkins BS, Li T. Development and content of a database of systematic reviews for eyes and vision. Eye. 2022;36(4):883-5. doi: 10.1038/s41433-021-01514-0.

Suggested citation:

Cochrane Eyes and Vision, United States. CEV database of systematic reviews in eyes and vision. September 2020. Accessed XXXX. Available at: https://eyes.cochrane.org/resources/cev-database-systematic-reviews-eyes-and-vision

Click here to access the database

The database can also be found on the CrowdCARE platform, an open-access platform for users to search and retrieve potentially relevant systematic reviews. CrowdCARE also permits crowdsourced evaluation such that over time, the reviews contained in the database will receive ratings regarding their quality and the evidence to further improve the usability of the database. 

Click here to access the CrowdCARE database