KSR Pain Evidence

KSR Pain Evidence provides a user-friendly, time-efficient way to access best available evidence in pain management. We summarise systematic reviews and meta-analyses published on the topic of pain since 2010 and provide a short, accessible “bottom line”. Our “bottom line” gives the key clinically relevant implications of the results reported in the article and includes information about the reliability of these results. The database also includes all randomised controlled trials on the topic of pain since 2010.


The KSR Pain Evidence database has been developed with the aim of helping users to make sense of the ever increasing volume and complexity of evidence, in relation to decision making in health care.

Who should use the KSR Pain Evidence database?


This database was developed by Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd (KSR) (www.systematic-reviews.com). KSR is an independent research company that produces and disseminates systematic reviews, cost-effectiveness analyses and health technology assessments of research evidence in health care.

Pain management is a complex topic and covers many clinical specialities. The database was developed to provide an easy to search resource with usable summary information on systematic reviews and meta-analyses. In many articles meta-analysis is a term used interchangeably for systematic reviews, hence these have also been included and critically appraised.

The KSR Pain Evidence database brings together information on all systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials of pain management. Trials are identified using a highly sensitive, comprehensive search strategy that is compatible with standard Cochrane methodology.


Systematic reviews were critically appraised using the Risk of Bias Assessment Tool ROBIS (http://www.robis-tool.info/). We used an adapted version of this tool to enable us to provide the necessary summary information which will be useful to busy health care professionals, researchers, and other end users. The Risk of Bias tool looks at four domains:

  1. Study eligibility criteria
  2. Identification and selection of studies
  3. Data collection and study appraisal
  4. Synthesis and findings

From this information we provide an overall summary of the risk of bias and a “bottom line”. The bottom line will inform users whether or not the review has been conducted in line with accepted methods of undertaking systematic reviews and if the evidence is reliable.

Searching is a laborious task that involves wading through hundreds and sometimes thousands of individual references, followed by scrutiny of full paper copies of studies and their associated citation lists in order to obtain a few papers of interest. Often the use of a very sensitive search strategy is necessary in order to be as inclusive as possible, as is the case when conducting a Cochrane systematic review. The more sensitive the search, the more complete the results, however, this adds to the number of references which need to be manually filtered, thereby increasing the time taken to complete a project.

The database was designed to provide enough information for a decision to be made on whether to obtain the full paper or not and therefore saves the time taken to conduct a search, filter the results and read the papers to extract the main information. All systematic reviews were critically appraised by one person and checked by a second reviewer.

Users can follow links within the database, or use the citation provided in order to obtain a copy of the full published paper for their own research.

Search strategy

We developed a comprehensive search strategy to identify systematic reviews, meta-analyses and randomised controlled trials in the area of pain management. Our searches encompassed a large number of databases.

Articles were included if they claimed to be either a systematic review or a meta-analysis, or if the methods used in the paper were those of a systematic review.

The database is updated on a quarterly basis.

How to Cite

Please cite the KSR Pain Evidence database as:

KSR Pain Evidence. Accessed at http://www.ksrevidence.pain.com on ....

Where the KSR Pain Evidence database is searched as part of your research, please cite the database in the methods/search section of your published research as above.

How to Comment on a Review

If you want to provide feedback on this database, please email ksrpain@systematic-reviews.com with details of your comment.