Cochrane News

Cochrane seeks Director of Development

1 month 3 weeks ago

Specifications: Full Time (Permanent)
Salary: £85,000 per annum
Location: Flexible
Application Closing Date:  19 December 2021

Cochrane is a global, independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesizing research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm and where more research is needed. Our work is recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. An understanding of Cochrane’s work and health research more generally is an advantage, but not essential.

We are now looking to recruit our first Director of Development, whose role will be to work with the global community to grow our fundraising income substantially in the coming years.  As a member of the executive leadership team, they will lead the Development Directorate and establish a fundraising operation that works collaboratively to deliver significant global income growth.

Key to success in this role will be the development and implementation of fundraising, marketing, communications, and engagement and influencing strategies – as well as understanding and ideally experience of international fundraising. As such, we are seeking an ambitious and creative individual who relishes a challenge, loves collaborative working, delivers results and has extensive experience of successfully delivering strategy.

The majority of Cochrane Central Executive staff are located in London, UK, however flexible location and/or working arrangement are possible for the right candidate.

How to apply
For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here.  The deadline to receive your application is by 19 December 2021.  The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples.

First interviews likely to be held week beginning 10 January 2022

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 Category: Jobs
Lydia Parsonson

The Centre for Epidemic Intervention Research seeks researchers - Oslo, Norway

1 month 3 weeks ago

The Centre for Epidemic Intervention Research at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, located in Oslo, Norway,  is currently seeking applicants for the following positions:

The overall mission for the newly established centre is to produce more and better evidence on the effects of public health and social interventions, and non-pharmacological infection control measures, specifically. This also includes adverse consequences. The centre will collaborate with researchers, institutions, organisations, and stakeholders both nationally and internationally. The centre works closely with the World Health Organization's intiative to strengthen the evidence base for decisions about public health and social measures.

Application deadline 15 December 2021.

Friday, November 19, 2021 Category: Jobs
Muriah Umoquit

Using patient questionnaires for improving clinical management and outcomes

1 month 4 weeks ago

In this interview with lead author Christopher Gibbons, we find out more about the recently published review,  Routine provision of information on patient-reported outcome measures to healthcare providers and patients in clinical practice.

Tell us about this review
The aim of this Cochrane Review was to find out whether healthcare workers who receive information from questionnaires completed by their patients give better health care and whether their patients have better health. We collected and analysed all relevant studies.

What did you find out?
Patient questionnaire responses fed back to health workers and patients may result in moderate benefits for patient\provider communication and small benefits for patients' quality of life. Healthcare workers probably make and record more diagnoses and take more notes. The intervention probably makes little or no difference for patient's general perceptions of their health, social functioning, and pain. There appears to be no impact on physical and mental functioning, and fatigue. Our confidence in these results is limited by the quality and number of included studies for each outcome.

What was studied in the review?
When receiving health care, patients are not always asked about how they feel, either about their physical, mental or social health. This can be a problem as knowing how the patient is feeling might help to make decisions about diagnosis and the course of the treatment. One possible solution is to ask the patients to complete questionnaires about their health, and then give that information to the healthcare workers and to patients.



What are the main results of the review?
We found 116 studies (49,785 participants), all of which were from high income countries. We found that feeding back patient questionnaire responses to healthcare workers and patients probably slightly improves quality of life and increases communication between patients and their doctors, but probably does not make a lot of difference to social functioning. We are not sure of the impact on physical and mental functioning or fatigue of feeding back patient questionnaire responses as the certainty of this evidence was assessed as very low. The intervention probably increases diagnosis and note taking. We did not find studies reporting on adverse effects defined as distress following or related to Patient reported outcomes measures (PROM) completion.
 
What would you like to see happen next to provide more evidence in this area?
I would like to see more large, high quality, cluster randomized clinical trials that increase the evidence base for the intervention that use Computerized Adaptive Testing in the measurement of patient reported outcomes. In these interventions, the information which is fed-back combines standardized and individualized measurement, these randomize patients and clinicians to different modalities of feed-back interventions and recipients (including patient only, patient and professional, professional only).

Outcomes of interest include:

  • adverse effects
  • general health perceptions,
  • specific symptoms, (cough, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, constipation, diarrhoea),
  • clinicians ratings of severity,
  • counselling,
  • different types of visits, admissions and their length,
  • patient physician relationship,
  • unmet patient needs,
  • quality of care and costs;
  • and that focus on people with multimorbidity

Further research on the mechanisms by which the intervention operates is needed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Lydia Parsonson

Vaccines for preventing rotavirus diarrhoea: an updated Cochrane review

2 months ago

The latest update of the Cochrane review ‘Vaccines for preventing rotavirus diarrhoea: vaccines in use’ has found that rotavirus vaccines pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO) (Rotarix, RotaTeq, Rotasiil, and Rotavac), prevent episodes of rotavirus diarrhoea in children and no increased risk of serious adverse events was found.

Rotavirus infection is a common cause of diarrhoea in infants and in young children, and can cause mild illness, hospitalization, and death. Since 2009, the WHO has recommended that a rotavirus vaccine be included in all national infant and child immunization programmes. To date, 107 countries have followed this recommendation. In the years before infants and children started receiving rotavirus vaccine, rotavirus infection resulted in about 0.5 million deaths per year in children under five years of age, mainly in low- and middle-income countries.

This Cochrane Review, processed by the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG) editorial base at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, was first published in 2004 and has been updated five times. In 2012, in consultation with the WHO, the data underwent major restructuring by country mortality rates to reflect the observation that vaccine efficacy profiles are different in countries with different mortality rates.

The 2012, 2019, and 2021 review updates were preceded by systematic reviews commissioned by the WHO Immunization, Vaccines & Biologicals department and were used for WHO policy decisions on rotavirus vaccination schedules. These reviews were carried out by members of the author team and the subsequent Cochrane review updates built on the WHO reviews and vice versa.

The most recent review includes 60 studies: Rotarix (36 trials), RotaTeq (15 trials), Rotasiil (5 trials), and Rotavac (4 trials). The findings were presented at Session 6 - Rotavirus Vaccines at the October 2020 SAGE Meeting and was provided to SAGE Members as key background material to inform discussions (access presentation and background materials here).  As a result of this SAGE discussions, an updated WHO Rotavirus Vaccine Position Paper was published on 16 July 2021).  This position paper provides global advice on rotavirus vaccine policy.  In turn, the updated WHO position paper and the supporting background materials support Regional and National Immunization Technical Advisory group discussions which lead to decisions for local rotavirus vaccine policies.



Lead author, Hanna Bergman, noted, “The two globally established vaccines already have a proven track record and we now have high confidence in the two newer vaccines, all showing similar efficacy in preventing severe rotavirus diarrhea in infants and young children in high-mortality settings. This review also reinforces that more work needs to be done to improve and explore the reasons behind the lower efficacy of rotavirus vaccines seen in high-mortality countries.”

Bergman H, Henschke N, Hungerford D, Pitan F, Ndwandwe D, Cunliffe N, Soares‐Weiser K. Vaccines for preventing rotavirus diarrhoea: vaccines in use. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2021, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD008521. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008521.pub6.

The editorial base of the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group is funded by UK aid from the UK government for the benefit of low- and middle-income countries (project number 300342-104). The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.

Thursday, November 18, 2021
Lydia Parsonson

Special Collection - Influenza: evidence from Cochrane Reviews

2 months 1 week ago

Cochrane Library Special Collections provide a round-up of up-to-date Cochrane evidence on a specific topic. This Special Collection contains Cochrane Reviews summarizing data on the benefits and harms of several interventions for preventing and treating influenza. The Cochrane Reviews look at  vaccines, antiviral drugs, and physical interventions, such as the use of masks and hand washing.

This evidence for physical interventions may help inform policies and practices relevant to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These comprehensive reviews provide valuable information for patients, doctors, and healthcare decision-makers about what steps to take or interventions to use to prevent influenza or aid its treatment.

Thursday, December 9, 2021
Muriah Umoquit

The Cochrane Library App

10 months ago

Monthly issues will cease after Issue 12 (December), 2021. All downloaded content will continue to be available within the app.

Thank you to everyone who has downloaded and read Cochrane Reviews via the app.

The Cochrane Library App presents the latest up-to-date evidence from the Cochrane Library in a convenient, easy to navigate format which provides you with relevant, accessible research, when you need it, from the world’s leading experts in evidence-informed health care.

All content in the app is free and new issues will download regularly.

Our monthly issues feature a hand-picked selection of Cochrane Systematic Reviews, specifically chosen by the Editor-in-chief.  Abridged Cochrane Reviews provide the best possible tablet and phone reading experience and they are downloadable for reading offline. The Bookmark feature allows you to create your own special collection of Cochrane Reviews across issues. Additionally, the title page for every review includes a link to the full version of the review available on the Cochrane Library.

Hello, and welcome to the December 2021 issue of the Cochrane Library app.

This month’s edition covers a variety of topics including exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation for coronary heart disease, decision coaching for making healthcare decisions, rehabilitation for older people with hip fractures, antiemetics to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy,  antibiotics for hospital-acquired pneumonia in neonates and children, prevention of dementia and cognitive decline, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for women undergoing breast surgery, and vitamin C supplementation for prevention and treatment of pneumonia.

Our main review this month is ‘Vaccines for preventing rotavirus diarrhoea: vaccines in use’. Rotavirus is a common cause of diarrhoea, diarrhoea‐related hospital admissions, and diarrhoea‐related deaths worldwide. Authors from the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group evaluated rotavirus vaccines prequalified by the WHO for their efficacy and safety in children.

The abridged versions of these reviews are available in this issue. Visit www.cochranelibrary.com to read the full versions.

Our monthly issues produced exclusively for the app feature a hand‐picked selection of Cochrane Systematic Reviews, specifically abridged to provide the best possible mobile reading experience. You can create your own special themed collection of Cochrane Reviews across issues in the app on topics such as occupational health by using the app’s Bookmark feature.

The title page for every review included in this and previous issues includes a link to the full version of the review available on the Cochrane Library at www.cochranelibrary.com

Friday, December 17, 2021
Muriah Umoquit

The Cochrane-Wikipedia Partnership in 2022

1 year 11 months ago

Cochrane has a commitment to producing and sharing high quality health evidence to as broad an audience as possible. Cochrane partnered in 2014 with Wikipedia, with the joint goal of improving the quality and reliability of human health-related articles that people are accessing online.

Jennifer Dawson, PhD, is a Wikipedia Consultant for Cochrane . Her role includes maintaining and building further relations with Wikipedia, connecting new editors to the Wikipedia community, and supporting requests for engagement in Wikipedia work from the Cochrane community. We interviewed Jennifer to learn more about the Cochrane-Wikipedia partnership:


Why should we care about Wikipedia?
Millions of people around the world access health-related information on Wikipedia each day. Medical-related articles are available in over 286 languages on Wikipedia and often come up early on an internet search. The readership base varies broadly and includes members of the public, medical students, medical professionals, journalists, and policy makers (More info here). Given that so many people are consulting Wikipedia on a daily basis, we feel that Cochrane’s commitment to producing and sharing high quality health evidence includes sharing that evidence where people are accessing it.



How can I get involved?
Nearly half of all Cochrane Reviews are already shared on Wikipedia! Cochrane is presently the most frequently cited peer-reviewed medical journal on Wikipedia (More info here).  English Wikipedia includes over 36,000 health-related articles and there are over 3000 Cochrane reviews that are not yet shared on Wikipedia. There are two main ways you can get involved:

1.    Add new Cochrane Evidence to Wikipedia - Every three months, a new list of Cochrane Reviews to consider for Wikipedia is generated. Reviews to consider for Wikipedia are organized by Cochrane Review Group and can be access here:  Cochrane Review List (English).

2.    Ensure that the evidence already shared on Wikipedia is accurate, unbiased, and up to date. - Volunteers are needed to review what is presently shared in Wikipedia. Wikipedia articles that include out dated versions of Cochrane Reviews need to be updated. Cochrane maintains a list of Reviews that need updating. This list is refreshed monthly to include recently updated Cochrane Reviews: Cochrane-Wikipedia Update Project.



How can I edit Wikipedia in languages other than English?
Cochrane has active projects in many different languages including Spanish, French, and Dutch. Please visit the “Projects” tab project page to learn more about specific projects: Cochrane-Wikipedia Projects.



How can I learn how to edit Wikipedia?
Cochrane has developed and collated numerous training resources. Our newest resource, the Wikipedian in Training Resource, is the best place to begin. This resource shares suggested first steps, ideas for how to practice editing, and an example of the general workflow of editing Wikipedia and sharing Cochrane evidence.

Jennifer can be found on Wikipedia at: JenOttawa and by email at jdawson@cochrane.org. Please visit the Cochrane-Wikipedia Project Page for more information.

Monday, January 10, 2022 Category: The difference we make
Muriah Umoquit

VIDEO: What are systematic reviews?

3 years ago

A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view aimed at minimizing bias, to produce more reliable findings to inform decision making. 

Here is a video from Cochrane Consumers and Communication that explains what a systematic review is clearly and simply for people who may not be familiar with the concepts and terminology of systematic reviews: what they are, how researchers prepare them, and why they’re an important part of making informed decisions about health - for everyone. 

Cochrane evidence provides a powerful tool to enhance your healthcare knowledge and decision making. This video from Cochrane Sweden explains a bit about how we create health evidence, including systematic reviews, and other activities of Cochrane. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022
Anonymous

Updated review: Insufficient evidence for use of Omega-3 supplements in treating depression

6 years 2 months ago

Updated Cochrane research concludes that there is insufficient evidence for the use of Omega-3 fatty acid supplements in treating major depressive disorder.

Omega-3 fatty acids are widely thought to be essential for good health and are naturally found in fatty fish such as mackerel; other seafood; and some nuts and seeds.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been widely promoted globally for a variety of health concerns, and are readily available as an over-the-counter supplement. These supplements have hugely increased in popularity over the last decade, together with a range of other supplements including ginseng, garlic, green tea, vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

There have been various studies that have suggested a role for Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in treating major depressive disorder. Adults with major depressive disorders are characterized by depressed mood or a lack of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities for at least two weeks, in the absence of any physical cause, that impact on everyday life.

Figures published in 2018 estimated prevalence rates for major depressive disorders of 163 million cases in 2017, and global incidence rates of 242 million cases, resulting in 33 million years lived with disability globally, an increase of 12.6% since 2007.


This updated Cochrane Review, published recently in the Cochrane Library, gathered together data from 28 randomized trials involving a total of 1944 participants. The trials investigated the impact of giving an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement in a capsule form and compared it to a dummy pill. In one study, involving 40 participants, researchers also investigated the impact of the same supplementation compared to an anti-depressant treatment.

The Cochrane authors found that, whilst people who were given Omega-3 fatty acids reported lower symptom scores than people with the dummy pill, the effect was small and there were important limitations that undermined their confidence in the results. Their analyses showed that although similar numbers of people experienced side effects, more data would be required to understand the risks of taking Omega-3 fatty acids.



Lead author Katherine Appleton from Bournemouth University said, “This is an update of an existing Cochrane Review, using the same methods as we previously used, with some refinements. The update includes 8 randomised controlled trials published since 2015, in addition to the 20 trials included in the previous review.

Our conclusions however remain unchanged. We found a small-to-modest positive effect of Omega-3 fatty acids compared to placebo for depressive symptomology, but the size of this effect is unlikely to be meaningful to people with depression, and we considered the evidence on which this conclusion was based to be of low or very low quality. All studies contributing to our analyses were of direct relevance to our research question, but most of these studies are small and of low quality. We also found insufficient evidence to clearly determine the effects of omega-3 oils on negative side effects or when compared with anti-depressants.”

She added, “At present, we just don’t have enough high-quality evidence to determine the effects of Omega-3 fatty acids as a treatment for major depressive disorder. It’s important that people who suffer from depression are aware of this, so that they can make more informed choices about treatment.”

 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Nancy Owens
Checked
11 hours 35 minutes ago
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