Cochrane News

New Cochrane review on family-centred interventions for Indigenous early childhood well-being by primary healthcare services

2 months 2 weeks ago

Family-centred care is a way of providing care that focuses on the needs of children while providing planned care around the whole family unit. A new Cochrane review published recently found there was a small improvement in the overall health and well-being of Indigenous children and their families when they participated in family-centred care programmes at a primary healthcare service.

‘Family centred-care is not new,’ says lead author Dr Natalie Strobel, Senior Research Fellow at Edith Cowan University’s Centre for Improving Health Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families. ‘Aboriginal Medical Services have been doing this for years. For example, they don’t just immunise babies, they talk to mums, aunts, uncles, grandparents and everybody that’s part of that family unit – trying to ensure that everybody's getting care. That’s both health and social care, so it might be making sure there’s appropriate housing, referrals to services that they needed or for other types of support.’

‘We know that primary healthcare, particularly Indigenous-led services, are well placed to deliver services that reflect the needs of Indigenous children and their families. Of our author team of nine, four are Aboriginal and have worked in health services as nurses and midwives for a long time. Families want primary healthcare services that both support them and recognise Indigenous ways of knowing and doing business. This can be delivered through environmental, communication, educational, counselling, and family support approaches.’

A key finding of this new review was that family-centred care delivered by primary healthcare services may improve the overall health and well-being of children and their families, however, due to a range of factors, the evidence was rated as very low certainty. There was also evidence to suggest that families who participated in family-centred care increased their parenting knowledge and awareness to a small degree. However, for all other outcomes it was unclear whether family-centred care improves specific child health and well-being outcomes. Ultimately more high quality trials are needed to generate evidence to determine whether family-centred care improves the health and well-being of Indigenous children.

‘We consider family-centred care to be really promising, but we’re not confident in the evidence for a range of reasons, which are quite complex,’ Natalie says. ‘For example, people in the studies were aware of what intervention they were getting, many people did not come back to report their results, and not all the studies reported the information we were interested in. Also, some of the issues around low quality of evidence are really hard for communities that are doing this type of work to get around.’

‘For instance, in the United States you're delivering the intervention on a reservation and there's not a huge number of people to do this work. Often the person who delivers the intervention also collects the data. We know that's got a significant level of bias involved in it, but it's also very pragmatic, that's what happens and how it has to work because there's not enough people to complete the project. This highlights the challenges of conducting high quality studies, and underscores the need to build capacity and support people in communities.’

‘I think with the advent of this type of research, it will give people an idea of what's going on in the field so that they know where potentially they could identify and collect better evidence to add to this emerging evidence base. Ultimately it is quite a tricky space, and realistically when you are trying to do things that are good for your community, you have to make allowances and be pragmatic about how research is delivered.’

‘Overall, this was a huge and complex review that was really challenging to deliver but we’re so pleased we did,’ Natalie says. ‘I really have to hand it to the team though. It was their sheer persistence that delivered this review, and the reward now for us is having this really high quality piece of work that people from health services can use to show how effective their programs are. We wanted to support local services to advocate for themselves and now they can use this information as they need – either to show where they might need to make changes or to demonstrate that what they're doing is effective and benefits children, families and communities. They are really making a difference.’

Strobel NA, Chamberlain C, Campbell SK, Shields L, Bainbridge RG, Adams C, Edmond KM, Marriott R, McCalman J. Family‐centred interventions for Indigenous early childhood well‐being by primary healthcare services. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2022, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD012463. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012463.pub2.

Written by  Shauna Hurley, Cochrane Australia 

 

Thursday, January 19, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Physical exercise helps to improve symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

2 months 2 weeks ago

Physical exercise can help to improve the severity of movement-related symptoms and the quality of life in people with Parkinson’s Disease. Findings from the first Cochrane review of the available evidence found that any type of structured exercise is better than none.

The Cochrane Movement Disorders review looked at 156 randomised controlled trials comparing physical exercise with no physical exercise or with different types of exercise, and it included a total of 7,939 people from around the world, making it the largest and most comprehensive systematic review to study the effects of physical exercise in people with Parkinson’s Disease. 

The review from Cochrane, a collaboration of independent, international experts, was led by Dr Elke Kalbe, Professor of Medical Psychology at the University of Cologne, Germany. It found that physical exercise ranging from dance, water-based exercise, strength and resistance exercise and endurance exercise, to tai chi, yoga and physiotherapy, made mild to large improvements to the severity of movement-related (‘motor’) symptoms and quality of life. 

“Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that mostly affects people over 60,” said Professor Kalbe. “Symptoms begin gradually and include movement problems such as trembling, stiffness, slowness of movement and balance, and lack of coordination. People can also have emotional and mood problems, fatigue, sleep problems and cognitive difficulties. Parkinson’s Disease cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be relieved, and physiotherapy or other forms of exercise may help too. Until now it has been unclear whether some types of exercise work better than others. We wanted to find out what exercise works best to improve movement and quality of life.”

The average age of the participants in the studies included in the review was between 60 and 74 years. Most had mild to moderate disease and no major impairment of their thinking processes. The review found that most types of exercise worked well for the participants compared to no physical exercise.

The first author of the review, Mr Moritz Ernst, is a member of Cochrane Haematology and deputy head of the working group on Evidence-based Medicine, which is led by co-author of the study, Professor Nicole Skoetz, at University Hospital Cologne. He said: “We observed clinically meaningful improvements in the severity of motor symptoms for most types of exercise. These included dancing, training to improve gait, balance and movement, multi-exercise training, and mind-body training.  

“We saw similar benefits in the severity of motor symptoms for water-based training, strength and resistance training, and endurance training, but the estimates of improvement were rather imprecise, meaning that we are not as confident in saying that these improvements are clinically meaningful.

“For the effects on quality of life, we observed clinically meaningful beneficial effects for water-based training, and effects that are probably clinically meaningful for several types of exercise, such as endurance training, mind-body training, training to improve gait, balance and movement and multi-exercise training. Again, these estimates were rather imprecise.”

The certainty in the estimates for the effects on symptoms from different forms of exercise varied because some studies were very small, and not all provided information on the severity of motor symptoms and quality of life for all the participants. However, the authors say that their review highlights that most types of exercise produced meaningful improvements, and they found little evidence of much difference between different exercises.

Prof. Kalbe said: “We think that our results are good news because they indicate that people with Parkinson’s Disease can benefit from various structured exercise programmes to improve the severity of motor symptoms and quality of life. Our review highlights the importance of physical exercise in general, while the exact exercise type may be secondary. Therefore, the personal preferences of people with Parkinson’s Disease should be given special consideration to help motivate them to adhere to an exercise programme. Any exercise counts! 

“It is important to point out that our conclusions do not rule out that certain motor symptoms may be treated most effectively by programmes, such as physiotherapy, that are designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s disease.”

Mr Ernst concluded: “Although our results are quite promising for people with Parkinson’s Disease, the certainty in the evidence on the efficacy of different exercise types and on potential differences between them, was usually limited. This was also because most studies had a very small sample size. Therefore, although there is already a large amount of research in this field, we would encourage researchers to conduct larger studies with clearly defined samples, as this would help to draw conclusions with more confidence. In addition, it would be admirable to see studies that focus on people with more advanced disease and thinking impairment, so that we could find out if physical exercise could also be beneficial for these people.”

Ernst M, Folkerts A-K, Gollan R, Lieker E, Caro-Valenzuela J, Adams A, Cryns N, Monsef I, Dresen A, Roheger M, Eggers C, Skoetz N, Kalbe E. Physical exercise for people with Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review and network meta‐analysis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2023, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD013856. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD013856.pub2.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Celebrating Archie Cochrane

2 months 3 weeks ago

Cochrane is named in honour of Archie Cochrane, a British medical researcher who contributed greatly to the development of epidemiology as a science. 

Archie Cochrane is best known for his influential book, Effectiveness and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Health Services, published in 1972. The principles he set out in it so clearly were straightforward: he suggested that, because resources would always be limited, they should be used to provide equitably those forms of health care which had been shown in properly designed evaluations to be effective. In particular, he stressed the importance of using evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) because these were likely to provide much more reliable information than other sources of evidence. Cochrane's simple propositions were soon widely recognised as seminally important - by lay people as well as by health professionals.

How can we have a rational health service if we don’t know which of the things being done in it are useful and which are useless or possibly even harmful? — Archie Cochrane

In 1979 he wrote, "It is surely a great criticism of our profession that we have not organised a critical summary, by specialty or subspecialty, adapted periodically, of all relevant randomised controlled trials." His challenge led to the establishment during the 1980s of an international collaboration to develop the Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials.

In 1987, the year before Cochrane died, he referred to a systematic review of RCTs of care during pregnancy and childbirth as "a real milestone in the history of randomized trials and in the evaluation of care", and suggested that other specialties should copy the methods used. His encouragement, and the endorsement of his views by others, led to the opening of the first Cochrane Centre (in Oxford, UK) in 1992 and the founding of  Cochrane in 1993.

Archie portrait made up of contributors pictures

Today Cochrane members and supporters come from 190 countries . We are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, and people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere. Our global independent network gathers and summarizes the best evidence from research to help you make informed choices about treatment and we have been doing this for 30 years.

Thursday, January 12, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Guidance for Colloquium abstract submissions

2 months 4 weeks ago

Cochrane London 2023: Forward together for trusted evidence
4-6 September 2023
Central London, UK

Cochrane UK is delighted to be hosting the  Cochrane Colloquium at the Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Centre in London, UK from the 4 to 6 of September 2023, with satellite events and meetings on the 3rd September.

Cochrane is an international non-profit network that provides evidence-based scientific knowledge to improve healthcare for all people worldwide. Cochrane Reviews summarise all available research on a specific health question. They are up-to-date, follow a rigorous scientific methodology, and are free from commercial conflicts of interest. Health professionals, patients, and policy makers trust Cochrane Reviews for their healthcare decision-making. Cochrane works with researchers, health professionals, patients, policy makers, and media representatives from around the world to make Cochrane Reviews relevant and usable.

Cochrane holds an annual conference, known as a Colloquium, that brings together Cochrane researchers, clinical professionals, early career professionals, patients and carers, policymakers, and anyone interested in evidence synthesis and evidence-based healthcare. The events are a mix of keynote speakers, training opportunities, workshops, presentations, and a lively social and networking atmosphere. They are an exciting opportunity for a community of evidence synthesis enthusiasts to share, learn, and connect.  

We invite everyone to visit the website - colloquium2023.cochrane.org - for all information related to the colloquium as it's released, including submissions for abstracts and awards/prizes, registration, stipend applications, and the event programme.

The theme of the Colloquium is 'Forward together for trusted evidence', which explores the challenges for the future around the trustworthiness of healthcare information whilst also celebrating 30 years of producing trusted evidence. Today, we have launched guidance and recommendations to help you prepare in advance for your abstract submissions. The official call for abstracts will open on the 30 January 2023.

We invite abstract submissions for the following streams: producing trusted evidence; advocating for trusted evidence; informing health and care decisions; and co-production and working together. 

Catherine Spencer, Cochrane CEO said, “The Cochrane Colloquium will bring people together in one place to discuss, develop and promote Cochrane’s work. I am looking forward to a packed programme at my first colloquium and encourage you to start to think about your contributions now as the call for abstracts will be open soon.”

Martin Burton, Director of Cochrane UK, said: “We are really looking forward to receiving submissions of abstracts for London 2023.  We’d like to encourage everyone to start thinking about their contributions now – whether they are planning oral presentations, workshops or posters. We have prepared this guidance to help everyone to prepare their contributions in good time before submissions are formally opened on 30 January 2023.” 

  Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane seeks Support Officer - Flexible location, remote work

3 months 1 week ago

Location: Flexible location (remote working) – contract type dependent on location.
Specifications: Permanent position. Employment contract if successful applicant based in UK, Germany or Denmark. Consultancy contract in other locations.
Hours: Full-time (37.5 hours per week) or part-time (please specify desired working hours)
Salary: £30,000 per annum, prorata
Application Closing Date: Tuesday 17 January 2023 (Midnight GMT).

This role is an exciting opportunity to use your communication and problem-solving skills to make a difference in the field of healthcare research and publishing. 

Cochrane implemented Editorial Manager in 2021 as the editorial and production system for Cochrane Reviews. This role has a significant focus on supporting authors, editors and peer reviewers in using Editorial Manager for submission and peer review; and our linked system Convey for managing Declarations of Interest. Applications are particularly welcomed from candidates with experience of using these or similar systems.

The Cochrane Support team provides technical and user support to Cochrane editorial teams and review authors; and handle enquiries from members of the public about Cochrane’s work. We pride ourselves on our timely and coordinated support service, covering a broad range of areas, with a focus on Cochrane review-writing software and editorial processing and publication.

The team works closely with Cochrane’s Central Editorial Service and other related departments, to ensure accurate, consistent responses to queries on Cochrane technology, policies and methods.

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.

Cochrane welcomes applications from a wide range of perspectives, experiences, locations, and backgrounds; diversity, equity and inclusion are key to their values.

How to apply: 

  • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here  
  • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples.
  • If you are applying for part-time work, please specify the number of hours you are interested in working.
  • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
  • Deadline for applications: Tuesday 17 January 2023 (12 midnight GMT)

 

Thursday, December 22, 2022 Category: Jobs
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane seeks IT Infrastructure Operations Manager - Remote, UK

3 months 1 week ago

Location: Remote, UK. 
Specifications: Permanent contract.
Hours: Full-time week (flexible working considered) – 37.5 hours.
Salary: £52,363 per annum.
Application Closing Date: 8 January (Midnight GMT Time)

    We are a global, independent organization that strives to inform health-care decisions every day. We gather and summarize the best evidence from research to help doctors, nurses, patients, carers, researchers, funders, and policymakers. We do not accept commercial or conflicted funding, and work to minimize risk of bias, in order to generate authoritative and reliable information.

    As our new IT Infrastructure Operations Manager, you will ensure the fitness-for-purpose, cost-effectiveness, availability, and security of Cochrane’s IT systems infrastructure and operations. Monitor and help manage the lifecycle of our in-house software. Set policy for, and advise on the provision of, IT for the Cochrane Central Executive team (ca. 100 people).

    Cochrane welcomes applications from a wide range of perspectives, experiences, locations, and backgrounds; diversity, equity and inclusion are key to their values.

    How to apply:

    • For further information on the job description and how to apply, please click here
    • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples. 
    • Note that we will assess applications as they are received, and therefore may fill the post before the deadline.
    • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
    • Deadline for applications: 8 January 2023 (Midnight GMT).
    • Interviews to be held on: W/C 16 February 2023(times and exact dates to be confirmed).
    Thursday, December 22, 2022 Category: Jobs
    Muriah Umoquit

    Cochrane seeks Senior Managing Editor

    3 months 1 week ago

    Specifications: Full Time (Permanent)
    Salary: £51,489 per annum
    Location: Ideally based in the UK, Germany or Denmark. Candidates from the rest of the world will be considered; however, Cochrane’s Central Executive Team is only able to offer consultancy contracts outside these countries (1-year fixed-term contracts)
    Application Closing Date: 8th January 2023

    Cochrane has established a centrally-resourced Editorial Service to support the efficient and timely publication of high-quality systematic reviews in the Cochrane Library. The reviews that are published through the Central Editorial Service address some of the research questions considered to be the most important to decision makers.

    Working as part of a friendly and supportive international team, the Senior Managing Editor will be responsible for managing the efficient and timely editorial processing of a portfolio of approximately 150 publications per year.  The role holder will be expected to prioritise and delegate editorial tasks as appropriate. They will also need to be an advocate for the Editorial Service internally and externally to Cochrane and remain alert to immediate demands of delivering high-quality review content for publication in a timely fashion.      

    Reporting to the Executive Editor and working with members of the Editorial Production and Methods Directorate, the role holder will need to have good awareness of Cochrane guidance for different types of standard and complex systematic reviews (intervention, qualitative, diagnostic test accuracy, prognosis, rapid and overview), plan how they will need to be handled in their team, and work to ensure that deadlines are met. The role holder will also be required to ensure that pilots aimed at innovating the editorial process can be supported as needed.  

    The majority of Cochrane Central Executive staff are located in London, UK, however flexible locations are possible for the right candidate. Please note, however, that we are only able to offer consultancy contracts outside of the UK, Germany or Denmark.

    We will consider extended notice periods if required for applicants who wish to honour existing contracts. We fully support remote and flexible working arrangements.  

    How to apply

    • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here
    • The deadline to receive your application is by 8th January 2023. 
    • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples.
    • Note that we will assess applications as they are received, and therefore may fill the post before the deadline.
    • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
    Wednesday, December 21, 2022 Category: Jobs
    Lydia Parsonson

    Citizen Scientist event by Cochrane Mexico makes over 250,000 study classifications for researchers

    3 months 1 week ago

    Cochrane Crowd is a global community of volunteers who are helping to classify the research needed to support informed decision-making about health care. Recently Cochrane Mexico held an in-person screening challenge that helped introduce students to randomized control trials and evidence assessment while contributing to global research efforts. 

    The job of the Cochrane Crowd community is to review descriptions of research studies to identify and classify randomized controlled trials (RCTs), a type of study that is considered the gold standard for clinical trials. Reports of RCTs are then fed into Cochrane’s Central Register of Controlled Trials, helping Cochrane authors and other systematic reviewers around the world quickly find the evidence they need to determine whether a treatment works, or whether a diagnostic test is accurate.

    8,000 RCTs identified in 24-hour student event

    The Cochrane Mexico Associated Centre at Sinaloa’s Pediatric Hospital and the Autonomous University of Sinaloa took on their second in-person Cochrane Crowd challenge. For 24 hours students from both logged into Cochrane Crowd, screened studies, and identified RCTs. In total, 579 students performed more than 250,000 classifications, which identified 8,712 RCTs. This 24-hour event topped the number of RCTs identified in Cochrane Mexico’s first Cochrane Crowd event in 2018, which lasted for 3 days.

    Students who screened more than 1,000 records received their Cochrane membership . In addition, evidence-based medicine books were awarded to all those who exceeded 1,000 classifications, had a sensitivity greater than 95%, and an overall accuracy greater than 70% to identify clinical trials. 

    Giordano Perez-Gaxiola, director of Cochrane Mexico and key challenge organizer, says: “Cochrane Crowd is a great introduction to systematic reviews and randomized control trials for students. Having students participate in a time-limited challenge is a fun way to engage students and was simple for us to set-up. The students exceeded all our expectations this year and we are so proud of them! Many of the students enjoyed it so much and could see results of their efforts for global health research that they are continuing to do screening on Cochrane Crowd!”

    Anyone can join Cochrane Crowd and no previous experience is necessary

    “Cochrane sends its thanks to all those involved in this citizen scientist challenge using Cochrane Crowd – what an amazing achievement in just 24 hours!” says Anna Noel-Storr, Head of Cochrane’s Evidence Pipeline. “We hope these students inspire everyone to give Cochrane Crowd a try. From medical students, to clinicians, to anyone with an interest in health research – being a part of Cochrane Crowd can help individuals develop skills in understanding health evidence while collectively contributing to global research efforts.” 



    Has Cochrane Mexico inspired you to organise a Cochrane Crowd challenge at your workplace or university? If so, please get in contact and we will support you to get one up and running: crowd@cochrane.org.

    Thursday, January 12, 2023
    Muriah Umoquit

    End of year message from Cochrane's CEO, Catherine Spencer

    3 months 1 week ago

    Dear Cochrane Colleagues, Members and Supporters, 

    Thank you to everyone across our community for your dedication and commitment to Cochrane during 2022. The last few years have at times felt tumultuous, both due to Covid and world events, but also because of the changes we are making to ensure that Cochrane is fit for a future that meets our vision of a world of better health for all people, where decisions about health and care are informed by high-quality evidence. 

    We are well on our way to creating an evolved impact-driven organisation to support evidence-based health and social care. With your help we are building on your enormous achievements, over the past thirty years, to create new ways of producing the right evidence, in a timely manner, to support decision making.  

    Our updated Future Cochrane micro-site demonstrates the scale of progress at Cochrane and the work under way to transition to our new model. The site is designed to be a one-stop shop for news and information on the change process.  

    In November we announced Cochrane’s first seven new Thematic Groups. The first groups are: 

    • Global Ageing 
    • Health Equity 
    • Nutrition and Physical Activity 
    • Person-Centred Care, Public Health and Health Systems 
    • Sexual and Reproductive Health 
    • Vascular 
    • Work and Health and Social Security 

    Feature profiles of each Thematic Group will be published in the months ahead, with Person Centred Care, Health Systems and Public Health and Nutrition and Physical Activity kicking off the series this month. Keep an eye out for Health Equity when the series resumes in early February.  

    Many of you are interested in the next steps of our transition. We will make further announcements about the process for establishing Evidence Synthesis Units next year. 

    At the end of November Jimmy Volmink provided a superb Cochrane lecture focusing on equality and diversity. Many of the themes and challenges that he raised are already being threaded through our future plans.  

    Open Access is of course key to that future, ensuring that more people have immediate access to our content.  Progress demonstrating our commitment was evident last month when Cochrane launched Cochrane Evidence Synthesis and Methods, our first open access journal, in which we will publish diverse types of evidence synthesis, methods research, and research on other areas vital to evidence synthesis. This new platform allows us to disseminate research beyond systematic reviews from across Cochrane groups and collaborators ­– who until now, have not been able to publish their research in a Cochrane journal.  

    And of course, we have been delighted with the high-profile reviews that we’ve published in the Cochrane Library. 

    As we ramp up our fundraising efforts across the organisation it’s great to see that we have already had success in the US, with  $5 million for Cochrane Eyes & Vision US Satellite,  $1 million to Cochrane US Network and in South Africa with partners, funding for The Global Evidence, Local Adaptation project.  

    Other successes include: 

    Diversity and Inclusion progress: 

    And there’s also great news from our Evidence Pipeline Team. Cochrane has always been a leader in innovation, and now we have demonstrated further success by introducing the ability to browse the Cochrane Library by patient/population, intervention, comparison, and outcomes, which is universally shortened to PICO. It is now possible to browse Cochrane content using themed groups of included PICOs from the Cochrane Library homepage. Users can discover Cochrane content using themed groups of included PICOs curated and maintained by Cochrane PICO ontology experts. With one click, users can see all available search results for categories with included PICOs. In addition, there is clear contextual help for those new to PICOs, with clear guidance on using PICOs and links to the relevant section of the Cochrane Handbook.  

    Additional successes include: 

    • Over 5200 new contributors have joined Cochrane Crowd this year, bringing total Crowd community to 28,302 people from 178 countries! 
    • 1.7 million records assessed by the Crowd this year 
    • Launched new Crowd task PICO Extract in August 2022. Over 4000 RCTs have now been PICO annotated.  
    • We launched the Central Study Identification Service – a service that helps to identify the studies for any Cochrane Review. We are in a pilot phase at the moment but the service has been used by 7 Cochrane Intervention Reviews so far and reduced author screening by an average of 70%.  
    • Cochrane Crowd hosted a huge 24-hour screening challenge in October this year: organised by Cochrane Mexico using Cochrane Classmate, nearly 600 students screened over 250,000 records in just 24 hours. 

    2022 has been a busy but productive year, thank you all for the incredible work you have done. 

    2023 promises to be challenging as we continue our transformation. This includes the changes to UK Review Groups as a result of the loss of NIHR funding in the UK; their contribution to the Cochrane Library and Cochrane has been immense. It is difficult to find words which adequately describe how much they have given to Cochrane. 

    As we look towards a new future at Cochrane I look forward to collaborating and working with you to use the best of the past to create more impact in more locations around the world. 

    Best wishes for a wonderful festive season and a happy and healthy 2023, 

    Catherine Spencer, CEO 

    On behalf of the Executive Leadership Team 

    Wednesday, December 21, 2022
    Muriah Umoquit

    Cochrane International Mobility - Martina Albertella

    3 months 2 weeks ago

    Cochrane is made up of 11,000 members and over 67,000 supporters come from more than 130 countries, worldwide. Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.

    Getting involved in Cochrane’s work means becoming part of a global community. The Cochrane International Mobility programme connects successful applicants with a placement in a host Cochrane Group, learning more about the production, use, and knowledge translation of Cochrane reviews. The prgramme offers opportunities for learning and training not only for participants but also for host staff.

    In this series, we profile those that have participated in the Cochrane International Mobility Program and learn more about their experiences.

    Name: Martina Albertella
    Location: Italy
    Cochrane International Mobility location: Cochrane Sweden

    How did you first learn about Cochrane?
    I first heard about Cochrane at my University (in Genoa, Italy): during lectures a lot of Professors used to mention Cochrane evidence and results, as it has such a high impact. I was interested in the paediatrics research field, so I looked for more information about the organization, I contacted Matteo at Cochrane Sweden and I started the Cochrane Interactive Learning modules before coming to Sweden. These modules were my first real learning opportunity about systematic reviews.

    What was your experience with your Cochrane International Mobility?
    I’ve always been interested in the research field and Cochrane is the perfect environment to learn everything about it. I also wanted to have an abroad experience so, thanks to Matteo’s help, I applied to start my Erasmus Traineeship at Cochrane Sweden for three months.

    What are you doing now in relation to your Cochrane International Mobility experience?
    My team and I submitted a few weeks ago our systematic review about the use of an enzyme to prevent a chronic disease in preterm infants. That was a great learning experience: Matteo and Martin have been always supportive. They explained to me very clearly how to do the work, step by step. Whenever we had a doubt, they were always there to help us! After that, I joined another team working on another systematic review, but still related to paediatrics: now I feel more confident and it’s great because I realize how much you can learn with this experience!

    Do you have any words of advice to anyone considering a Cochrane International Mobility experience?
    If you want to learn more about systematic reviews but also about how to read and understand a scientific text and its methodology, this is the perfect experience for you. It also gives you the opportunity to work and collaborate with people from all over the world and to improve your English skills. If you are a student like me, who didn’t have any experience in the research field before, my personal advice is: connect yourself to Cochrane! This is a chance to put into practice everything you are learning.

     

     

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022
    Lydia Parsonson

    Cochrane seeks Head of Governance

    3 months 2 weeks ago

    Specifications: Full Time, 37.5 hours per week
    Employment Type: Permanent employment contract if in the UK, Denmark or Germany, consultancy contract if outside these three areas
    Salary: £60,000 per annum full-time salary
    Location: Flexible location but must have a demonstrable understanding of UK regulations
    Application Closing Date: Sunday 8th January 2023 at midnight

    Cochrane is a charity and 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. They do this by synthesising research findings to produce the best available evidence on what works. Their work has been recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

    The core purpose of this role is to lead Cochrane’s governance and to support the strategic aims and operational activities of the organisation. The role will provide oversight of policy development, implementation, monitoring, and reporting to the Governing Board to ensure that Cochrane is compliant and follows the best practice.

    Part of your duties will include:

    • Maintaining knowledge and being well-informed of best practice and developments within charity governance and policy, advising the Board, CEO and Executive Leadership Team.
    • Ensuring the appropriate support structures and processes are in place to enable Cochrane’s Governing Board to meet its responsibilities and obligations; and lead and oversee high-quality support to the Board, its Committees, the Cochrane Council, and other governance bodies.
    • Contributing to Cochrane’s budget planning processes and manage the governance budget effectively.
    • Working with the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Finance & Corporate Services, develop a strategy to ensure an appropriate level of assurance for the charity and wider Community with implementation, monitoring and evaluation plans.
    • Working with the CEO and the ELT to establish and review policies and procedures that ensure the organisation meets constitutional, legal, and regulatory requirements relating to company administration.

    Cochrane welcomes applications from a wide range of perspectives, experiences, locations, and backgrounds; diversity, equity and inclusion are key to their values.

    How to apply

    • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here
    • The deadline to receive your application is by 8 January 2023
    • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples
    • Note that we will assess applications as they are received, and therefore may fill the post before the deadline
    • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
    Tuesday, December 13, 2022 Category: Jobs
    Lydia Parsonson

    Looking back, looking forward: Cochrane’s Editor in Chief’s end of year editorial out today

    3 months 2 weeks ago

    Cochrane’s Editor in Chief, Dr Karla Soares-Weiser, has today published an editorial to mark the end of 2022 and the beginning of Cochrane's 30th anniversary year in 2023. In Looking back, looking forward: Cochrane at 30 and beyond, Karla reflects on Cochrane’s many contributions to global health, recognizes past and future challenges, and shares her deep gratitude to the Cochrane community – who for three decades have delivered the trusted evidence our rapidly changing world needs.

    "As the third year of the pandemic draws to a close" Karla writes, "it seems we have reached something of an inflection point where as individuals, as an organization, and as a global community we are looking back and assessing the consequences and costs of COVID-19, and to consider what lies ahead."

    In doing so, Karla looks back at the major challenges faced and achievements realized by Cochrane before and during the pandemic and looks forward as we transition to a new, sustainable model of evidence production in especially tumultuous times for health, funding and geo-political stability. She underscores the critical issue of equity following years of deepening health and wealth disparities, and restates Cochrane’s commitment to fostering diversity, tacking inequity and making a tangible contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

    Karla says:

    Cochrane's values, focus on collaboration, and commitment to rigour and innovation have been vital to cementing our reputation as one of the most trusted sources of evidence in health and care decisions over three decades. We draw on these strengths now more than ever, as the shifting health landscape demands that we increase the pace of high-quality evidence production, deliver on our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, and respond in a more focused way to the diverse needs of all our users.

    The shape and output of our organization continues to adapt to the needs of the times, while together we continue to deliver the evidence the world needs at this critical juncture for humanity.

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022
    Muriah Umoquit

    Cochrane International Mobility - Themis Paraskevas

    4 months 1 week ago

    Cochrane is made up of 11,000 members and over 67,000 supporters come from more than 130 countries, worldwide. Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.

    Getting involved in Cochrane’s work means becoming part of a global community. The Cochrane International Mobility programme connects successful applicants with a placement in a host Cochrane Group, learning more about the production, use, and knowledge translation of Cochrane reviews. The prgramme offers opportunities for learning and training not only for participants but also for host staff.

    In this series, we profile those that have participated in the Cochrane International Mobility Program and learn more about their experiences.

    Name: Themistoklis Paraskevas
    Location: Greece
    Cochrane International Mobility location:
    Cochrane Sweden

    How did you first learn about Cochrane?
    I first learned about Cochrane during my postgraduate studies, but I got to know the organization better when I participated in an entry-level seminar co-hosted by Cochrane Sweden and Cochrane South Africa in Spring of 2022.

    What was your experience with your Cochrane International Mobility?
    I consider this experience to have been crucial for my future career in Medicine and Research Synthesis. Since I first contacted Matteo and Martin, they have been nothing but helpful both in academic matters as well as smaller problems during the mobility period.

    What are you doing now in relation to your Cochrane International Mobility experience?
    Right now, we have just finished two Cochrane projects, a  Systematic Review of Interventions and an Overview. Additionally, I am collaborating with an amazing international team in a challenging methods review.

    Do you have any words of advice to anyone considering a Cochrane International Mobility experience?
    Do not hesitate to contact Cochrane teams, as they can provide a suitable environment to enter the field of Systematic Reviews and Methodology. Also, take advantage of the plethora of available Cochrane modules online and especially the Cochrane Handbook.

     

     

    Monday, November 21, 2022
    Lydia Parsonson

    Cochrane review of COVID-19 vaccines shows they are effective

    4 months 1 week ago

    A comprehensive review of all the evidence available from randomised controlled trials of COVID 19 vaccines up to November 2021 has concluded that most protect against infection and severe or critical illness caused by the virus.

    The review, a collaboration of independent, international experts, also found there was little or no difference between the number of people experiencing serious side effects after vaccination compared to those who were unvaccinated.

    The researchers, led by Isabelle Boutron, Professor of Epidemiology at Université Paris Cité and Director of Cochrane France, analysed published data from 41 randomised controlled trials of 12 different COVID-19 vaccines, involving 433,838 people in various countries around the world. They assessed the certainty of the evidence and the risk of bias in the different studies.

    The trials compared COVID-19 vaccines with placebo, no vaccine, or each other, and were published before 5 November 2021. The vaccines investigated were: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Bharat (Covaxin), Janssen, Sinopharm-Beijing (WIBP-CorV and BBIBP-CorV), Novavax, Coronavac-Sinovac, Soberana 2 (Finlay-FR-2), Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) and Cure Vac AG (CVnCoV). Most trials were no longer than two months in length.

    The review found that the following vaccines reduced or probably reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection compared to placebo: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, CureVac COVID-19, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Janssen, Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac), Sinopharm (WIBP CorV and BBIBP-CorV), Bharat (Covaxin), Novavax and Soberana 2 (Finlay-FR-2). The following reduced or probably reduced the risk of severe or critical disease: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen, Sputnik V, Bharat and Novavax. In addition, the Janssen and Soberana 2 vaccines probably decreased the risk of death from any cause. There were very few deaths recorded in all the trials and so evidence on mortality for the other vaccines is uncertain.

    For most of the vaccines investigated, more people who had been vaccinated reported localised or temporary side effects compared to those who had no treatment or placebo. These included tiredness, headache, muscle pains, chills, fever and nausea. With respect to the very rare side effects associated with some vaccines such as thrombosis, the team found that the reporting of these events was inconsistent, and the number of events reported in the trials was very low.

    Given the evidence of efficacy of these vaccines, the researchers question whether further placebo-controlled trials are ethical. They suggest that further research compares new vaccines with those already in use.

    The current review analysed data available up to November 2021. Since then, analyses have been updated and will continue to be made publicly available every two weeks by the COVID-NMA Initiative, which provides live mapping of COVID-19 trials. A living, systematic review of clinical trials is available to researchers and policy-makers alike on the COVID-NMA platform. This enables the team to provide the most up-to-date evidence on which to base further research and decisions about prevention and treatment for COVID-19.

    Prof. Boutron said:

    “The evidence on COVID-19 vaccines is constantly changing and updating. Everything moves so quickly that by the time the next Cochrane review is published, or other papers are published, the data are likely to be out of date. There are more than 600 randomised trials of vaccines registered at present, and about 200 of them are recruiting. COVID-NMA is the only initiative that continues to monitor the developing evidence from trials and provides a platform for researchers to conduct their own analyses via the metaCOVID tool on the website.

    Researchers, clinicians and policy-makers have to take very rapid decisions about what to do to prevent and treat COVID-19. I hope that this initiative will help them to have access to the most up-to-date evidence on which to base their decisions.”

    Full citation: Graña C, Ghosn L, Evrenoglou T, Jarde A, Minozzi S, Bergman H, Buckley BS, Probyn K, Villanueva G, Henschke N, Bonnet H, Assi R, Menon S, Marti M, Devane D, Mallon P, Lelievre J-D, Askie LM, Kredo T, Ferrand G, Davidson M, Riveros C, Tovey D, Meerpohl JJ, Grasselli G, Rada G, Hróbjartsson A, Ravaud P, Chaimani A, Boutron I. Efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews TBD, Issue TBD. Art. No.: CD015477. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD015477.

    About Cochrane
    Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health. Cochrane produces reviews which study all of the best available evidence generated through research and make it easier to inform decisions about health. These are called systematic reviews. Cochrane is a not-for profit organization with collaborators from more than 130 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Our work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. https://www.cochrane.org/

    If you are a journalist or member of the press and wish to receive news alerts before their online publication or if you wish to arrange an interview with an author, please contact the Cochrane press office -pressoffice@cochrane.org

    Wednesday, December 7, 2022
    Muriah Umoquit

    International Volunteer Day: messages of thanks to all Cochrane volunteers

    4 months 2 weeks ago

    On International Volunteer Day, 5 December, we would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to our incredible global community. Thank you to thousands of Cochrane Supporters and Members who volunteer in so many ways to help bring trusted health evidence to the people who need it, all over the world.

    Cochrane couldn’t have such a big impact without our volunteers. Volunteering is good for us – and good for our volunteers too! They can learn new skills and feel part of a global community working together to achieve better health for all. We value our volunteers and we are pleased to announce on International Volunteer Day our updated guidance on how you can look after the volunteers you work with.

    The ways in which people volunteer at Cochrane is vast. Our citizen science volunteers in Cochrane Crowd help to classify evidence. People with lived experience from our Consumer Network peer review our evidence and provide feedback. We have translation projects around the world that work with dedicated volunteers to translate our evidence into 15 languages. 

    There are many other volunteer roles in Cochrane and we are grateful to volunteers who make up our Board and Council, and anyone who helps promote Cochrane evidence  - whether they’re doing  by sharing on social media, blogging in Students4BestEvidence, updating Wikipedia articles, or creating Cochrane evidence podcasts.

    Cochrane recently launched our volunteer hub, Cochrane Engage. This is the first stop for anyone who wishes to support our work by volunteering in any capacity- we invite you to check it out! 

    Thank you again to our many Cochrane volunteers! 

    Visit our volunteer platform, Cochrane Engage

    Learn more about how Cochrane works with patients and carers


    Watch this video in French

    Learn more about the Cochrane Wiki project


    Get social with Cochrane

    Learn more about translating Cochrane evidence

    Visit the Cochrane China website

    Visit the Cochrane France website

    Visit the Cochrane Japan website


    Visit the Cochrane Malaysia website

    Video also available in Portuguese

    Watch this video in Russian

    Video also available in Taiwanese Mandarin 

    Video also available in Thai

     

    Monday, December 5, 2022
    Muriah Umoquit

    Cochrane’s updated volunteer hub, Cochrane Engage

    4 months 2 weeks ago

    Cochrane is pleased to announce the launch of Cochrane Engage, Cochrane’s one-stop-shop for those who want to get involved and volunteer in Cochrane.

    Formerly Cochrane TaskExchange, the platform had outgrown its name and look, and it is now being used for much more than review tasks. The new name was chosen through conversations with members of the Cochrane Community.

    Cochrane Engage is a place where anyone working in evidence-based health research can come to find volunteers to support their work – we welcome tasks posted by Cochrane Groups and any other organisations or individuals in the wider health research community. People can also browse our network of volunteers to find people with the skills they are looking for.

    Those who are getting started in health research can build their skills and experience by applying to volunteer on evidence-based health care tasks, such as translating studies and providing consumer peer review. They will also find opportunities to engage with Cochrane Groups and other organisations. Recently we’ve had opportunities such as mentoring programmes, virtual internships, and requests for people to join author teams.

    As well as a new name and new look, we have made other improvements suggested by users. Opportunities are now listed with the most recent tasks at the top of the page so you can easily see what’s new. People who post tasks can filter their tasks to find what they need more quickly. We have plans to continue improving the platform; let us know your suggestions.

    Catherine Spencer, Cochrane’s CEO, says of the launch, “Cochrane Engage represents what is best about Cochrane; working collaboratively to improve health evidence for all. We thank everyone who has volunteered with us so far. Patients, carers, early career professionals, translators, and researchers – there are a wide range of volunteers and a wide range of tasks for all. I invite you to check out the newly launch Cochrane Engage and join us in improving health decisions globally.”

    Could you use a volunteer? Want to get involved in producing health evidence? It’s easy to use Cochrane Engage to engage with a global health evidence community!

    Monday, November 28, 2022
    Muriah Umoquit

    Latest Cochrane Review finds high certainty evidence that nicotine e-cigarettes are more effective than traditional nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) in helping people quit smoking

    4 months 2 weeks ago

    A Cochrane review has found the strongest evidence yet that e-cigarettes, also known as ‘vapes’, help people to quit smoking better than traditional nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches and chewing gums.

    New evidence published today in the Cochrane Library finds high certainty evidence that people are more likely to stop smoking for at least six months using nicotine e-cigarettes, or ‘vapes’, than using nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches and gums. Evidence also suggested that nicotine e-cigarettes led to higher quit rates than e-cigarettes without nicotine, or no stop smoking intervention, but less data contributed to these analyses. The updated Cochrane review includes 78 studies in over 22,000 participants – an addition of 22 studies since the last update in 2021.

    Smoking is a significant global health problem. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2020, 22.3% of the global population used tobacco, despite it killing up to half of its users. Stopping smoking reduces the risk of lung cancer, heart attacks and many other diseases. Though most people who smoke want to quit, many find it difficult to do so permanently. Nicotine patches and gum are safe, effective and widely used methods to help individuals quit.

    E-cigarettes heat liquids with nicotine and flavourings, allowing users to ‘vape’ nicotine instead of smoking. Data from the review showed that if six in 100 people quit by using nicotine replacement therapy, eight to twelve would quit by using electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. This means an additional two to six people in 100 could potentially quit smoking with nicotine containing electronic cigarettes.

    Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, Associate Professor at the University of Oxford, Editor of the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, and an author of the new publication, said:

    “Electronic cigarettes have generated a lot of misunderstanding in both the public health community and the popular press since their introduction over a decade ago. These misunderstandings discourage some people from using e-cigarettes as a stop smoking tool. Fortunately, more and more evidence is emerging and provides further clarity. With support from Cancer Research UK, we search for new evidence every month as part of a living systematic review. We identify and combine the strongest evidence from the most reliable scientific studies currently available.

    For the first time, this has given us high-certainty evidence that e-cigarettes are even more effective at helping people to quit smoking than traditional nicotine replacement therapies, like patches or gums.”

    In studies comparing nicotine e-cigarettes to nicotine replacement treatment, significant side effects were rare. In the short-to-medium term (up to two years), nicotine e-cigarettes most typically caused throat or mouth irritation, headache, cough, and feeling nauseous. However, these effects appeared to diminish over time.

    Dr Nicola Lindson, University Research Lecturer at the University of Oxford, Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group’s Managing Editor, and author of the publication said:

    “E-cigarettes do not burn tobacco; and as such they do not expose users to the same complex mix of chemicals that cause diseases in people smoking conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes are not risk free, and shouldn’t be used by people who don’t smoke or aren’t at risk of smoking. However, evidence shows that nicotine e-cigarettes carry only a small fraction of the risk of smoking. In our review, we did not find evidence of substantial harms caused by nicotine containing electronic cigarettes when used to quit smoking. However, due to the small number of studies and lack of data on long-term nicotine-containing electronic cigarette usage – usage over more than two years – questions remain about long-term effects.”

    The researchers conclude that more evidence, particularly about the effects of newer e-cigarettes with better nicotine delivery than earlier ones, is needed to assist more people quit smoking. Longer-term data is also needed.

    Michelle Mitchell, chief executive at Cancer Research UK, said:

    “We welcome this report which adds to a growing body of evidence showing that e-cigarettes are an effective smoking cessation tool. We strongly discourage those who have never smoked from using e-cigarettes, especially young people. This is because they are a relatively new product and we don’t yet know the long term health effects.

    While the long term effects of vaping are still unknown, the harmful effects of smoking are indisputable – smoking causes around 55,000 cancer deaths in the UK every year. Cancer Research UK supports balanced evidence-based regulation on e-cigarettes from UK governments which maximises their potential to help people stop smoking, whilst minimising the risk of uptake among others.”

     

     Hartmann-Boyce J, Lindson N, Butler AR, McRobbie H, Bullen C, Begh R, Theodoulou A, Notley C, Rigotti NA, Turner T, Fanshawe TR, Hajek P. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2022, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD010216. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub7

    This work was supported by Cancer Research UK [A ref. A29845]

    To speak to a team member about this project please contact Dr. Hartmann-Boyce, jamie.hartmann-boyce@phc.ox.ac.uk or Dr. Lindson, nicola.lindson@phc.ox.ac.uk.

    Thursday, November 17, 2022
    Muriah Umoquit
    Checked
    16 hours 16 minutes ago
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