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Cochrane in the Workplace - Round Up

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 15:53

Cochrane does not make clinical recommendations, instead it provides unbiased and high-quality health evidence so that health decisions, policies, and clinical guidelines can be informed by the best available evidence. ‘Cochrane in the workplace’ series collects stories about how Cochrane evidence is being used in non-clinical settings - in universities, by researcher, by guideline makers, and by policy makers. Each piece in the series collects stories around how Cochrane Reviews are being used in one type of workplace or area of work.

Would you like to add your story about using Cochrane evidence in your workplace? Please contact mumoquit@cochrane.org to share your story!

Cochrane in High School stories coming soon - contact us to add your story!

Cochrane in University stories coming soon- contact us to add your story!

Cochrane in research stories coming soon - contact us to add your story!

Cochrane in clinical research coming soon - contact us to add your story!

Cochrane in quality improvement coming soon - contact us to add your story!

Cochrane in guideline development coming soon - contact us to add your story!

 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Cochrane in Practice - Round Up

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 15:15

Cochrane does not make clinical recommendations, instead it provides unbiased and high-quality health evidence so that health decisions, policies, and clinical guidelines can be informed by the best available evidence. ‘Cochrane Evidence in Practice’ series collects stories about clinical professionals using Cochrane evidence - the everyday healthcare professional making sure their patients and clients are getting the best care! Each piece in the series collects stories around the impact that Cochrane Review has made for a specific clinical area or clinical profession.

Would you like to add your story about using Cochrane evidence in your practice? Please contact mumoquit@cochrane.org to share your story!

Click on the images below to read stories of how Cochrane Evidence is being used in different clinical professions:

Nursing stories coming soon - contact us to add your story!

Optometry stories coming soon - contact us to share your story!

Dentistry stories coming soon - contact us to add your story

Midwifery stories coming soon - contact us to add your story

Friday, March 22, 2019

Podcast: Colloids or crystalloids for fluid replacement in critically ill people

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:34

The care of critically ill patients is highly complex, requiring treatments for their underlying conditions and for the consequences of those conditions, such as the loss of bodily fluids. A wide range of these treatments are assessed in Cochrane Reviews and one of these was updated in August 2018, looking at the effects of giving patients extra fluids. Lead author, Sharon Lewis from the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in the UK, tells us about the latest findings in this podcast.

"People who are critically ill may lose large amounts of fluid because of trauma, burns, infections, such as sepsis, or other serious conditions. They are often given additional fluids, usually intravenously, to try to counter this and two of the common types are crystalloids and colloids. Crystalloids are salt solutions, which are cheap, easy to use, and provide immediate resuscitation – but the small molecules in these solutions mean that they pass through the cells quickly and can cause oedema, or swelling. Colloids have larger molecules and may be more efficient at increasing fluid volume in the blood. They include starches, dextrans, gelatins, and naturally-occurring colloids, such as albumin or fresh frozen plasma or FFP. However, they are more expensive and there are concerns about side effects, including kidney failure, blood clotting disorders, and allergic reactions.

Therefore, we updated and extended the Cochrane Review of colloids versus crystalloids in critically ill people, to provide up-to-date evidence on effects on death, blood transfusion or renal replacement therapy, and adverse events, in particular, allergic reactions, itching, or rashes.

We focused on critically ill people who needed fluid volume replacement in hospital or in an emergency out-of-hospital setting, but didn’t include studies of new born babies, women who had caesarean sections, or people scheduled for any type of surgery.

We found 65 randomised and 4 quasi-randomised trials, with a total of just over 30,000 participants. Four types of colloids had been tested against crystalloids: starches in 28 studies, dextrans in 20, gelatins in 7, and albumin or FFP in the other 22.

Evaluating each of these colloids, we found little or no difference between starches and crystalloids on deaths within 30 or 90 days, or by the final time point reported in each study. However, starches probably slightly increase the need for blood transfusion and for renal replacement therapy. Fewer participants given crystalloids reported itching or rashes but too few studies reported whether starches caused adverse events for us to be confident about which is better or worse.

We judged the evidence on starches to be of moderate certainty and felt the same about the evidence for dextrans, and albumin or FFP. These colloids also probably make little or no difference to mortality compared to crystalloids and the finding was similar for gelatins versus crystalloids, but, because we had fewer studies for this comparison, we judged the evidence to be of low certainty. We also cannot be certain about whether there are any differences between these types of colloid and crystalloids on the need for a blood transfusion or renal replacement therapy, or on adverse events.

This is the sixth update of this review, and there remains some hope that the certainty of the evidence will increase in future updates, because we found some studies that could not be included at the moment and there are at least three ongoing studies, which should become available in the coming years.

Friday, March 22, 2019

We are now accepting applications for 2019 Cochrane Colloquium stipends

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 11:04

A number of stipends and bursaries are available to help consumers and other attendees based in developing countries to attend Cochrane Colloquium Santiago 2019. This is our 26th annual flagship event and this year it will take place at CasaPiedra in the vibrant city of Santiago, Chile, 22-25 October 2019.

Stipends and bursaries represent funding you can apply for if you are eligible that is intended to help cover registration and other expenses associated with attending the 2019 Colloquium.

Cochrane is providing stipends for:
1.    Cochrane Consumers
2.    individuals living in low-lower-middle, (LMIC) and upper-middle-income countries (UMIC)

The deadline for applying is Monday 10 June 2019 and winners will be notified in July

Find out whether you are eligible and how to apply

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Cochrane expresses thanks to Professor Philippe Ravaud for leadership of Cochrane France

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 17:32

After leading Cochrane France for nine years, Professor Philippe Ravaud is stepping down as Director.   

Philippe has led Cochrane France since 2010. His team and Epidemiology unit, based at Paris Descartes University, is an extremely productive and innovative group that has been at the forefront in developing innovative approaches for disseminating Cochrane evidence in France particularly through language translation and training.

Philippe’s primary research focus is methodological research to assess treatments in chronic diseases. His research activities are structured around non-pharmacological treatments, innovative design of trials, evidence synthesis, burden of treatment, as well as research on research (and especially interventional research on research). He works on meta-analyses, network meta-analyses, and on living network meta-analyses and is interested in questioning the methods used at all the steps of a systematic review.  He also conducts research on new methods of meta analyses. Philippe is among the few scientists with strong experience in performing randomized trials and systematic reviews of interventions to change physician practices.

Philippe’s groundbreaking approaches for evidence synthesis through living network meta-analysis have made, and continue to make, an enormous contribution to Cochrane’s methods development.

David Tovey, Editor in Chief, Cochrane said: "Philippe is a highly skilled and forward thinking methodologist. I have had the pleasure to work with and learn from Philippe, and we all continue to benefit from his contributions through the Cochrane Scientific Committee which Philippe co-chairs."

In addition to his methodological contributions, Philippe also contributed to building projects and capacity with and through the wider, international Cochrane collaboration:

Jeremy Grimshaw, Professor, University of Ottawa says: "Philippe has made a major contribution to Cochrane in France and globally. His tireless efforts led to the re-establishment of Cochrane France. He led an initiative (with Cochrane Canada) to translate Cochrane plain language summaries and abstracts into French which had over 1 million accesses in the first 12 months."

Joerg Meerpohl, Director Cochrane Germany says: "He is a very generous, extremely friendly, and hugely supportive person; who is willing to share his brilliant ideas thereby stimulating people to pursue and enjoy rigorous research. Without his support and offer to host me for a year in his group in Paris, I would not be in the position I am today as Director of Cochrane Germany."

Cochrane’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Wilson, said: "I would sincerely like to thank Philippe for his outstanding contributions to Cochrane’s work. I am very pleased that Philippe will remain closely involved with Cochrane’s work as the co-chair of the scientific committee, and Cochrane will thus continue to benefit from Philippe’s expertise in evidence synthesis methods."

Cochrane France will be led under the new Directorship of Professor, Isabelle Boutron. Isabelle has been Deputy-Director of Cochrane France June 2017.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Javier Ortiz Orendain

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 16:25

Cochrane is made up of 13,000 members and over 50,000 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.

Cochrane is an incredible community of people who all play their part in improving health and healthcare globally. We believe that by putting trusted evidence at the heart of health decisions we can achieve a world of improved health for all. 

Many of our contributors are young people working with Cochrane as researchers, citizen scientists, medical students, and volunteer language translators and we want to recognize the work of this generation of contributors as part of this series called, Cochrane’s “30 under 30." 

In this series, we will interview 30 young people, 30 years old or younger who are contributing to Cochrane activities in a range of ways, all promoting evidence-informed health decision making across the world. 

We will be hearing from them in a series of interviewees published over the coming months.

We're keen to hear from you. Would you like to take part in this series? Do you know someone you'd like to see interviewed? Contact kabbotts@cochrane.org.  Or if you want to know more about Cochrane’s work contact membership@cochrane.org where our community support team will be happy to answer your questions.

Name: Javier Ortiz Orendain
Age: 27
Occupation: First year Resident Psychiatrist
Program: Mayo Clinic Psychiatry Residency Program

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
It was 2014; I just had finished my board exam on basic sciences of medicine, and I was about to start meeting patients for the first time. After some weeks of experience in the clinical setting, I was faced with uncertain territories given that my basic science knowledge was insufficient to provide patient care. Fortunately, my school had a class on evidence-based medicine, which was given by Netzahuapilli Delgado, at the time teacher, but now also friend and colleague. He was at the time one of the members of the local branch of Cochrane Mexico. He showed me the principles of EBM and during his lectures, he talked about Cochrane with much passion.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
Netzahuapilli Delgado invited me to become part of the local Cochrane branch. The local branch in the Hospital Civil de Guadalajara was run by young doctors who despite having busy clinical lives were all enthusiastic and helpful with young students. I was encouraged to reach out to the groups of my interest, Schizophrenia had been a long passion of mine, so I contacted Cochrane Schizophrenia. After exchanging many emails with the managing editor of Cochrane Schizophrenia, she trusted me with one systematic review and I started to embark on this journey with Cochrane.

I am a medical doctor training to become a psychiatrist in the United States. I have the fortune of having experience in clinical trials and in doing systematic reviews.

What do you do in Cochrane?
When I am in Mexico, my group and I am in charge of giving talks about Cochrane and EBM in general. Also, we translate articles in Spanish for the authors.
I participate with the Cochrane Schizophrenia group doing systematic reviews, and after visiting the Editor Base of Cochrane Schizophrenia in Nottingham, Professor Clive Adams decided to invite me to become part of the editorial base.


What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
Working in Cochrane has brought me friendships and contacts throughout the world. For example, a couple of years ago we were organizing a conference on evidence-based medicine, and through our contacts in Cochrane, we were able to bring a great researcher and entrepreneur to Mexico. Since her visit to Mexico, we have been good friends even though we live oceans apart. The sense of community and the shared goal of systematizing evidence to deliver better care to patients is what makes me proud of being part of Cochrane.

What are your plans?
I will finish my training as a psychiatrist in about three years. After my training as a general psychiatrist, I will pursue more training in psychosis research. I also plan to work towards the goal of the Cochrane Schizophrenia group of systematizing the evidence for the care of people with psychosis or other severe mental illnesses.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
I have met many enthusiastic people from many parts of the world during my time with Cochrane. Many young people are interested and willing to give their time to Cochrane due to their innate passion. Supporting visits to their Cochrane groups of interest would help them understand the groups' vision better, learn about systematic reviews and it will help them make connections and relationships that are otherwise impossible to be made online.

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
Continuing with the traditional model of giving independence to groups to develop their systematic reviews with their own expertise. I would like to see Cochrane Thematic Groups establishing more communication with the regional groups, this way the network will expand. Also, allocating resources to librarians so that the process of systematic reviews is optimized.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane, why is this, do you think?
It is one of the most important things for long-term sustainability. Building on the enthusiasm of young individuals is essential to maintain the innovative character of Cochrane. They have always been an important motor of Cochrane's way.



What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
Reach out to your local community of Cochrane and become involved in local projects. If someone from your regional group is doing a review, join them in the process. Doing systematic reviews is the best way to learn how to do them. After getting initialized in Cochrane, reach out to your group of interest and be specific about your skills and how can you be helpful.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Theresa Schmalfuß

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 11:14

Cochrane is made up of 13,000 members and over 50,000 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.

Cochrane is an incredible community of people who all play their part in improving health and healthcare globally. We believe that by putting trusted evidence at the heart of health decisions we can achieve a world of improved health for all. 

Many of our contributors are young people working with Cochrane as researchers, citizen scientists, medical students, and volunteer language translators and we want to recognize the work of this generation of contributors as part of this series called, Cochrane’s “30 under 30." 

In this series, we will interview 30 young people, 30 years old or younger who are contributing to Cochrane activities in a range of ways, all promoting evidence-informed health decision making across the world. 

We will be hearing from them in a series of interviewees published over the coming months.

We're keen to hear from you. Would you like to take part in this series? Do you know someone you'd like to see interviewed? Contact kabbotts@cochrane.org.  Or if you want to know more about Cochrane’s work contact membership@cochrane.org where our community support team will be happy to answer your questions.

Name: Theresa Schmalfuß
Age: 26
Occupation: Medical Student (Year 5)
Program: Student Researcher at the Department of Evidence Evidence-based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology at Danube University Krems, Cochrane Austria. Assistant Project Manager at the “doctors information centre” www.ebminfo.at

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
I first heard about Cochrane whilst studying in the UK. In my second year as a medical student there I underwent a schooling as “learning resource leader”, where I was taught to effectively search various databases for high quality evidence. Through this work, I read many Cochrane reviews and soon became a big fan of the Cochrane Collaboration as an excellent source for high quality evidence-based medicine.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
Cochrane Austria is involved in teaching medical students at my University in Austria at a very early stage in their degree about Epidemiology. During my studies, I chose the elective “evidence-based medicine” which is taught by members of staff of Cochrane Austria. This allowed me to get some firsthand information on their work and I quickly grew fond of their projects. After successful completion of the elective, I applied as a student researcher and shortly after got involved in my very first project. 

My background is medicine. I studied for 3 years in the UK and switched University to Austria. Prior to my work with Cochrane I have worked with international organizations, such as “Médecins du Monde” (Doctors of the World), “Oxfam” and “HOPE International” and thus really enjoy working together with motivated people that try to make a difference – even if it's just a small one.

What do you do in Cochrane?
At Cochrane I am involved in various research tasks throughout various projects. However, my main focus lies in the “Evidence Based Medicine, Medical Information Centre”; a project which creates rapid reviews to various medical queries. Each review is published on the project’s website (www.ebminfo.at) and can be freely accessed. The great thing about rapid reviews is that evidence is synthesized more quickly than a systematic review, since certain methodological aspects of systematic reviews are abbreviated, and all the important knowledge is compressed in a short and understandable matter. I am also writing my doctoral thesis under the supervision of the director of Cochrane Austria.

What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
Specifically, in my work, I enjoy the fact that I am confronted with so many various medical topics (rare diseases, new procedures and new drugs) that I would normally not encounter throughout my studies. I love how at Cochrane Austria my collogues are very passionate about their work and their mission. I work alongside very inspiring people that think outside the box and critically assess the research and evidence that is presented to them.

Throughout my career, I have noticed that either as medical professional or patient it can be very challenging to find good and solid evidence in a myriad of research in today's society that is pressured to constantly publish new data and information. Cochrane brings light into the dark and stands for trusted evidence that allows anyone searching for guidance to make informed decisions. 


What are your future plans?
After graduating medicine, I hope to continue my passion for evidence-based medicine and continue to be involved in research projects. As a medical professional, Cochrane has taught me how to integrate clinical experience, patient values and the best research information in my decision making.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
I feel that Cochrane should try to motivate students more to have an interest in evidence-based medicine. Many students feel that it can be very “dry”. However, if more students had the chance to participate in projects, colloquiums or workshops their perception on Epidemiology might change. 

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
I hope that the Cochrane Network will constantly grow and that more and more people, especially students, contribute to promoting good and trustworthy evidence. I also think it is very important to make complex knowledge more understandable. Cochrane should continue its great work in breaking down research into plain and simple statements and making these accessible to the public.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane?
I think this is very important!

Why is this, do you think?
Young people are the future, and it is extremely important for an Organization like Cochrane, that promotes independent research and trustworthy evidence, to further exist. Any young person interested in being part of a fantastic international network of inspiring people that all promote trusting and accessible evidence should consider getting involved with Cochrane’s Projects. This might be a great opportunity, especially for someone interested in working in the field of Epidemiology, Medicine or Public Health, to get some great work experience.  


What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
Don’t be shy and contact your local Cochrane Centre and ask how you can get involved. Everyone who is motivated is welcome to join. It might be a good Idea to start by becoming a Cochrane Citizen Scientist or to visit Cochrane Task Exchange and contribute to tasks that interest you. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Podcast: Routine scale and polish for periodontal health in adults

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 10:35

Many adults in high-income countries will have had a ‘scale and polish’ when they go to the dentist, and some will be offered this routinely. But, is it worthwhile? The latest evidence is in the third update of the Cochrane Review, published in December 2018 and lead author, Thomas Lamont from the University of Dundee in Scotland tells us more.

"A ‘scale and polish’, or ‘professional mechanical plaque removal’, is done with specially designed dental instruments or ultrasonic scalers, followed by polishing with special pastes. It’s intended as a supplementary form of plaque removal to the oral hygiene that patients do at home. The aim is to reduce the risk of gum disease and many dentists or hygienists provide scaling and polishing for most patients at regular intervals, even if the patients are considered to be at low risk of developing gum disease. 

However, there is debate about whether scaling and polishing treatment  is effective and how often it should be done. Scaling can be an invasive procedure and has been associated with negative side effects, including damage to tooth surfaces and tooth sensitivity. We’ve updated the Cochrane Review, which was last published in 2013, and now have high certainty evidence that routine scaling and polishing does not, in fact, reduce gum disease in low-risk adults.

We included two studies, with a total of just over 1700 participants. Both studies involved adults without severe gum disease who were regular attenders at general practices in the UK. These types of practices are the most appropriate setting for evaluating 'routine scale and polish' treatments; and although both included studies were done in the UK, it would be reasonable to assume that the findings would be the same in other high-income countries.

One study measured outcomes at 2 years, and the other at 3 years. Both found that regular planned scale and polish treatments did not reduce the early signs of gum disease more than scale and polish delivered only when the dental professional judged it necessary or it was requested by the patient. The tartar levels were slightly more reduced with scheduled treatments, but it’s uncertain if this small difference would be considered important by patients or their dentists.

Participants in the trials who had scale and polish treatments at 6 and 12 month intervals reported feeling that their teeth were cleaner than those not scheduled to receive treatment, but this evidence is of low quality, and the studies didn’t find any benefits on quality of life. Neither study measured side effects, such as damage to tooth surfaces or tooth sensitivity, changes in attachment level, tooth loss or bad breath, and the available evidence on the costs of the treatments is uncertain.

In summary, our review casts doubt on whether it is necessary for scale and polish to be delivered routinely, on a standard schedule of every 6 or 12 months. Many people like the clean feeling that they get from a scale and polish treatment, but it’s not clear that there is any real clinical benefit on gum disease. The updated review shows that providing scale and polish treatment only when the dentist deems it appropriate or the patient requests it, does not result in poorer oral health outcomes after 2 to 3 years than doing it on a predetermined 6- or 12-monthly schedule.”

Monday, March 18, 2019

Cochrane in Everyday Life - Round Up

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 21:03

Cochrane does not make clinical recommendations, instead it provides unbiased and high-quality health evidence so that health decisions, policies, and clinical guidelines can be informed by the best available evidence. ‘Cochrane Evidence in Everyday Life’ series collects stories about individuals, families, and carers making health decisions based on Cochrane evidence. Each piece in the series collects stories around the personal impact that one Cochrane Review has made.

Would you like to add your story about using Cochrane evidence for in 'everyday life'? Please contact mumoquit@cochrane.org to share your story!

Click on the images below to read stories of how Cochrane Evidence is being used in everyday life:

Coming soon - contact us to ad your story

Coming soon - contact us to add your story

Monday, March 18, 2019 Category: The difference we make

Cochrane in Everyday Life - Compression stockings for preventing deep vein thrombosis in airline passengers

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 20:54

Cochrane does not make clinical recommendations, instead it provides unbiased and high-quality health evidence so that health decisions, policies, and clinical guidelines can be informed by the best available evidence. ‘Cochrane Evidence in Everyday Life’ series collects stories about individuals, families, and carers making health decisions based on Cochrane evidence. Each piece in the series collects stories around the personal impact that one Cochrane Review has made.

Review: Compression stockings for preventing deep vein thrombosis in airline passengers
Year published: 2016
Review Group: Cochrane Vascular
Conclusions: High‐quality evidence shows that airline passengers similar to those in the trials in this review can expect a substantial reduction in their risk of a symptomless deep vein thrombosis (DVT) if they wear compression stockings. Wearing stockings might reduce the incidence of this outcome from a few tens per thousand passengers, to two or three per thousand. There is moderate‐quality evidence that superficial vein thrombosis may be reduced if passengers wear compression stockings. Low‐quality evidence shows that passengers who wear stockings will also experience less oedema in their legs. However, this review is unable to identify whether these effects of wearing stockings translate into effects on outcomes such as death, pulmonary embolism and symptomatic DVT.
Plain language summary: available in  English, Deutsch, Hrvatski, Polski, Português, and Русский
Note worthy mentions: Wikipedia entry on compression socks

User story:

"My name is Ciara from Ireland. I’m the founder and Editor of Meta-Evidence, which helps promote the work of the Campbell Collaboration across the UK and Ireland. After reading the Cochrane Review on compression socks, I made sure to wear my flight socks on a recent trip to Campbell's summit, GEIS,  in Melbourne Australia. Normally my ankles swell up after a long flight and I was worried about the possibility of blood clots; I was so happy to see strong Cochrane-evidence on a practical solution to help safe guard against this! Given Cochrane Evidence, I will now wear my compression socks on every flight!” @MetaEvidence

Would you  like to add your story of using this review? Please contact mumoquit@cochrane.org to share your story.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 Category: The difference we make

Get Social with Cochrane!

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 21:17

Our Strategy to 2020 aims to put Cochrane evidence at the heart of health decision-making all over the world. This not only means making our producing high-quality and relevant systematic review but making sure that our evidence is accessible and advocating for evidence. We aim to make Cochrane the ‘home of evidence’ to inform health decision making, build greater recognition of our work, and become the leading advocate for evidence-informed health care.

You can access Cochrane evidence in news on your favourite social media platform! Follow us on:

Friday, March 29, 2019

Cochrane-REWARD prize - 2017 Award Winner: SYRCLE

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 19:32

When it received the joint second Cochrane-REWARD prize in 2017, SYRCLE (the SYstematic Review Center for Laboratory animal Experimentation) was focused on encouraging the use of systematic reviews of animal studies to reduce waste and improve quality. Since then, SYRCLE has evolved, and here Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga gives an overview of how things have developed.

SYRCLE started in the Netherlands with the aim of improving the reliability of laboratory animal research and its relevance for patients by using systematic reviews. Systematic reviews have not been commonly used for animal studies, yet we saw the potential of implementing them to identify knowledge gaps, reduce duplication and improve the design of future animal and clinical studies.

We have developed an education programme designed to support researchers to conduct high-quality systematic reviews of animal studies. ZonMw (the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) funding has helped us to offer workshops and coaching. We have also set up a global SYRCLE ambassador network who can help to spread the messages locally.

Many of our systematic reviews of animal studies show that publication quality is quite low. They also show that the translation of findings from animal to human studies is quite poor. We think it is important to create transparency about this, in order to promote quality and translation of primary studies, as well as help speed up more use of replacement alternatives, such as human-based model systems.

We have already seen that participants from our workshops are getting good publications and citations, and people are accepting the idea. Our work has since grown, and we are now focussing on preclinical studies in general, including, for example, in vitro studies.

Impact of the prize
Receiving the second Cochrane-REWARD prize in 2017 was very important – it was fantastic to have international recognition from Cochrane and the REWARD alliance, especially for an initiative in a relatively new field.

We used the prize money to identify new ambassadors – our network has doubled from 15 to 30, from 15 countries around the world. Our network is made up of enthusiastic individuals that see the need to set up education in this area, and with more support this work could go even further.

In the coming years, we hope to be able to spread the messages of SYRCLE more quickly and widely, for example, through a train the trainer programme. However, funding is a challenge, especially as this is such a new field.

Collaborating with others on research waste
Through winning the prize, I met Matt Westmore from the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Paula Williamson of COMET (Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials), who were the other recipients that year, and Iain Chalmers and Paul Glasziou. Through these connections I have also become involved in the Ensuring Value in Research (EViR) Funders’ Forum.

EViR has produced 10 guiding principles to work towards increasing the value of health-related research, which are currently being implemented for clinical studies. We are now working together on a set of principles for preclinical studies. Implementing these will lead to higher quality research, improved reporting – and ultimately the better use of resources and protection of animals and humans.

 The Cochrane-REWARD prize – 2019 nominations open
The annual Cochrane-REWARD prize recognizes good local or pilot initiatives that have the most potential to reduce research waste if scaled up globally.

Nominations for this year’s prize are open until 5 June 2019.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Thomas C Chalmers Award - 2018 Award Winner, Adriani Nikolakopoulou

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 11:57

The Thomas C Chalmers Award is awarded to the principal author of the best oral and the best poster presentation addressing methodological issues related to systematic reviews.

Tom Chalmers (1917-1995) was an outspoken advocate of randomised trials, whether at the bedside, at professional meetings, in class or in situations pertaining to his own life. His creativity spanned his entire career, influencing clinicians and methodologists alike. He is perhaps best known for the notion ‘randomise the first patient’, his belief that it is more ethical to randomise patients than to treat them in the absence of good evidence. In his later years, in arguably his most important work, Tom and his colleagues showed that, had information from RCTs been systematically and cumulatively synthesised, important treatments such as thrombolytic therapy for myocardial infarction would have been recognised as useful much earlier.

For more information on the prize eligibilty and criteria, visit the Colloquium Prize page. The call for abstracts is open and the deadline for submission is 12 April 2019. Abstracts for oral presentations and posters are invited in areas relevant to the work of Cochrane as well as evidence-based practice, policy, methodology, and advocacy.

In 2018, the winner of best short oral presentation winner was Adriani Nikolakopoulou  for 'The emerging evidence synthesis tools: actively living network meta-analysis'. We spoke to Adriani on what winning the Thomas C Chalmers Award 2018 has meant to her.

"I work as a post-doctoral researcher in the Evidence Synthesis Methods group at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) of the University of Bern.

Cochrane’s mission and the life of Thomas C Chalmers are a big inspiration to me and I consider an honour to be able to associate my work with them.

Developing methodology for systematic reviews is a key aspect of my work. Thus, an award for the best oral presentation addressing methodological issues related to systematic reviews seemed like a good fit. Moreover, as an early career researcher, I consider any means to help dissemination of your research to be very important. The process involved in applying for the award was as easy as indicating that you consider yourself eligible for the Thomas C Chalmers Award when submitting an abstract for the Colloquium.

In my presentation, I described the concept of an actively living network meta-analysis, which combines ideas of living systematic reviews, network meta-analysis and evidence-based sample size calculations. Winning the award for this piece of work constitutes a recognition of the potential usefulness and importance of such a framework.

Although it is not that long ago since I was awarded, so I was not able to experience benefits career-wise, I am certain that the award will strengthen significantly future applications for grants and academic positions. Moreover, winning the Award had a huge impact on my moral. The experience was very motivating, and I came out of it with more confidence and sense of responsibility.

To anyone considering applying for this award; apart from any benefits of winning the award, I find that participating is an important motivation to prepare a good presentation and to think whether and how your work meets the criteria for the evaluation of the applications: originality of thought, high quality science, relevance to the advancement of the science of systematic reviews, and clarity of presentation."

For further information on other prizes which are awarded at the Colloquium, please visit https://colloquium2019.cochrane.org/prizes-and-awards

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Symposium on using qualitative evidence to inform decisions in the SDG era – 9-11 October 2019, Brasilia, Brazil

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 18:21

Are you interested in qualitative research and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Are you working within health, education, social welfare, crime and justice, the environment, agriculture or other related sectors?

Researchers, policy makers, research commissioners and other stakeholders from across the world are invited to attend the first Symposium on using qualitative evidence to inform decisions in the SDG era, to be held on 9 -11 October 2019 in Brasilia.

Background
Multisectoral action is needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such action requires a deep and contextualised understanding of the needs, views and experiences of a wide range of stakeholders. It also requires an in-depth understanding of how policies impact on different groups and sectors, and on equity and social inclusion. Qualitative research can play a critical role in providing this type of evidence, and in ensuring the representation of diverse voices.

The Symposium
The Symposium is hosted by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. It will advance conversations and collaborations on innovative ways of using qualitative evidence to broaden and humanise decision and policy-making processes to achieve the SDGs. The Symposium will also explore the tools and methods needed to support the translation of qualitative evidence into policy and practice, and will examine ways of strengthening capacity in this area, particularly in the global South. Further information and key dates are available on the Symposium website.

Who is invited?
As researchers and research commissioners, policy makers and other evidence users, and other stakeholders from across the world, we hope you will consider participating in this important gathering. The Symposium will provide opportunities to share with a multisectoral community your experiences and ideas on using qualitative evidence to support decision making. A wide range of organisations from across sectors are contributing to developing an exciting and innovative programme for the Symposium.

Help us identify Symposium themes!
You can get involved now by helping to identify themes that should be covered in the Symposium – please participate via the website. There, you can also indicate interest in participating in the 'Virtual Symposium' that will include a number of online activities such as plenary sessions webcasts and online group discussions.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Covidence seeks Community Manager(s) - Flexible location

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 22:08

Specifications: 0.5-1.0 FTE
Salary: AU$60,000 – AU$80,000 pro-rata DOE
Location: Flexible - this is a remote position; preferred locations are UK/EU or AU/NZ, but other options are possible for the right candidate
Application closing date: 25 March 2019

What does a Covidence Community Manager do?
You will work to understand user needs, support users in their experience using Covidence, manage major institutional accounts, and contribute to the design and development of Covidence. Working with researchers from around the world, you will collaborate to build a new way of making sense of research data, transforming the impact that research can have on health and wellbeing.

For more information and to apply, please see the full ad at: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/1126645476/

Thursday, March 7, 2019 Category: Jobs

Salt Awareness Week

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 20:36

'World Salt Awareness Week' is a global event t o bring attention to salt intake and the risks to health it can bring, including high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke and heart disease. This year, the awareness week is being observed 4-10 March, 2019.

Cochrane Nutrition Field's aim is to support and enable evidence-informed decision-making for nutrition policy and practice by advancing the preparation and use of high-quality, globally relevant nutrition-related Cochrane reviews. Cochrane Nutrition covers a wide spectrum of nutrition-related issues and questions, ranging from clinical to public health nutrition.

To mark World Salt Awareness Week, we have collated a selection of Cochrane Reviews on salt intake:

 

 

 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Relaunch of Cochrane Ireland

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 19:29

We are delighted to announce the recent relaunch of Cochrane Ireland and its establishment as an Associate Centre. The official launch will take place at the upcoming joint Cochrane UK and Cochrane Ireland Symposium in Oxford in March 2019.

Cochrane Ireland will be hosted within the newly-established Evidence Synthesis Ireland (ESI), based at the National University of Ireland Galway. ESI is supported by funding from the Health Research Board of Ireland and the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division, Northern Ireland and aims to build evidence synthesis knowledge, awareness and capacity among the public, health care institutions and policymakers, clinicians and researchers on the Island of Ireland. A key goal of ESI is to re-establish the activities of Cochrane Ireland; these include the development of an extensive programme of Cochrane training events and Cochrane fellowship and studentship schemes.

Cochrane Ireland will be led by Professor Declan Devane as Director of Cochrane Ireland and Evidence Synthesis Ireland, and the Cochrane Ireland team; Dr Elaine Toomey (Associate Director of Cochrane Ireland), Dr Patricia Healy (Programme Manager of Evidence Synthesis Ireland) and Sheena Connolly (Administrator of Evidence Synthesis Ireland). Speaking about the relaunch of Cochrane Ireland, Professor Devane said: “We are delighted to be part of Cochrane’s work across the Island of Ireland and are excited by the potential it has to make a difference to health care decisions across the Island. Health care decisions should be based on the full range of information that is available on a topic; it can't rely on one or more individual pieces of information, or studies. Together with our friends in Cochrane UK and our wider team of collaborators, we look forward to helping build capacity to conduct syntheses of evidence for which Cochrane is a global leader”.

Cochrane CEO Mark Wilson commented: “I’m thrilled with the re-launch of Cochrane Ireland and the appointment of Professor Declan Devane as its new Director. Declan is a highly experienced systematic reviewer and trainer, and we look forward to working together. Given the passion and generosity Declan brings to everything he does, I am sure that he and the new team will expand the reach and impact of Cochrane evidence in health decision making in Ireland in the coming years.”

Cochrane Ireland will join its international Cochrane colleagues to represent and promote Cochrane on the island of Ireland, facilitate engagement with regional stakeholders to improve knowledge translation and dissemination of Cochrane reviews, and build capacity for review production and use.

Professor Martin Burton, Director of Cochrane UK, commented: “All of us at Cochrane UK have enjoyed working with our friends and colleagues on the island of Ireland.  We are delighted that Cochrane Ireland is re-launching itself under the auspices of Professor Declan Devane and his team in Galway. We wish them every success and look forward to meeting them at the joint Cochrane UK and Cochrane Ireland Symposium in Oxford in March”.

A full list of the Cochrane Ireland training events is available here, and more information on the Cochrane Ireland fellowship and studentship schemes is available here. For more information or to get in touch, contact us on esi@nuigalway.ie, follow us on Twitter at @CochraneIreland or visit our website at https://ireland.cochrane.org.  

Friday, March 8, 2019

Podcast: Sedation of children undergoing dental treatment

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 12:11

Fear associated with going to the dentist is common and, among children especially it can make it difficult to deliver the treatment they need. Therefore, among their many reviews of the effects of dental treatments, the Cochrane Oral Health Group maintains a review of the effects of sedation on children undergoing such treatment. The review’s third update was published in December 2018 and lead author, Paul Ashley, from the UCL Eastman Dental Institute in London England tells us where things now stand in this podcast.

"Children who are scared of the dentist will often express this as uncooperative or difficult behaviour during their visit. If this prevents effective treatment, it can result in a child's tooth decay going untreated. Behaviour management techniques might help but aren’t always enough. For children who can’t manage, dentists may consider using sedation and we examined the effectiveness of drugs to sedate a child whilst keeping them conscious in order to carry out dental treatment; but found that there are many more holes than fillings in the evidence.

We did identify a total of 50 randomised trials involving more than 3,700 children, from countries across the world; but most of these studies were at high risk of bias. It was also difficult to combine their data because of reasons such as the variety of outcomes reported, the mixture of dosage and delivery methods used for the drugs, and the large number of different drugs and drug combinations that were tested. In fact, we recorded 34 different combinations in the review and of all the interventions assessed, we could only do one meta-analysis, which combined the results of the six small trials comparing oral midazolam to placebo. This did show that oral midazolam is probably effective, but it means we can say little about the effects of treatments, but lots about the need for future research.

We made several recommendations for new studies in order to deal with some of the issues we encountered. In general, there are the problems seen in many other Cochrane Reviews around poor quality reporting, randomization, studies being too small, and so on. But there were some issues specific to our review and these included the need for greater consistency in the outcome measures used; better consideration of the age ranges assessed, since sedative techniques appropriate for a 3-year old may be different to those for a 12-year old; and more studies of the same drug and drug combinations to allow better assessment of overall effectiveness.

In summary, although our review shows moderate‐certainty evidence that oral midazolam is an effective sedative agent for children undergoing dental treatment, there is a need for further well‐designed and well‐reported clinical trials to evaluate other potential sedation agents. This research should also consider evaluating experimental regimens against oral midazolam or inhaled nitrous oxide."

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Cochrane Infectious Disease Group works with WHO on latest guidelines for malaria vector control

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 19:01

The World Health Organization published Guidelines for malaria vector control, drawing on seven Cochrane reviews specially prepared for them by the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG). 

With its editorial base at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), CIDG was asked to review all of the evidence that was used in bringing together what WHO have described as a “one-stop shop” for countries and partners working to implement effective malaria vector control measures. Consolidating more than 20 sets of WHO recommendations and good practice statements into one user friendly document, the guidelines support each country to select and implement the most effective interventions for its own unique malaria landscape.

LSTM’s Professor Paul Garner is Coordinating Editor of CIDG. He said: “These guidelines are based on a complete and thorough review of all of the existing evidence regarding various insecticide-treated nets, insecticide residual spraying, space spraying, larviciding, larvivorous fish and repellents. Systematic reviews are at the heart of the guidelines and the work was carried out by a number of Cochrane authors, including a group of early career researchers who brought to the table enthusiasm and commitment to understanding the evidence and identifying best practice throughout, and completed this momentous task in time for the panel”.

The intensive process of reviewing the evidence base for the guidelines enabled WHO to identify where gaps exist, which they describe as critical to refining the research agenda for the ongoing development of the guidelines. WHO also believes that the new guidelines will support malaria control by increasing the level of transparency around the evidence that underpins WHO’s vector control recommendations.

Dr Jan Kolaczinski, Coordinator of the Entomology and Vector Control unit of the WHO Global Malaria Programme, said: “Through greater transparency, we hope that innovators and research partners will understand why new tools and interventions need to be fully evaluated. We really want all malaria stakeholders to recognise the benefits of conducting solid research which, in turn, generates an evidence base from which WHO can develop recommendations.”

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Launch of Cochrane Colombia to support the use of high quality, trusted health information

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 15:29

Cochrane, a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health, is proud to announce its newest Centre, ‘Cochrane Colombia’.

Cochrane Colombia will promote evidence-based decision making in healthcare in Colombia by supporting and training authors of Cochrane Reviews, as well as working with clinicians, professional associations, policy-makers, patients, and the media to encourage the dissemination and use of Cochrane evidence.

Cochrane works with collaborators from more than 130 countries to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest.  Cochrane’s work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. Institutions from Colombia have been involved in the Cochrane Iberoamerica Network for many years. Establishing Cochrane Colombia as a full Centre is a next step in its development. The Centre brings together three institutions – the Pontifical Xavierian University, through the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics; the National University of Colombia through the Institute of Clinical Research; and, the University of Antioquia thorough the Faculty of Medicine– that will jointly manage the activities of Cochrane Colombia. In addition, five institutions will join as Cochrane Affiliates.

In its first phase, Cochrane Colombia will be coordinated and led by Professor Maria Ximena Rojas-Reyes from the Pontifical Xaverian University: “The launch of Cochrane Colombia is a recognition to the voluntary work done for years by different Colombian professors, students and health care professionals that believe in evidence based health care. Producing and increasing the dissemination of the best available information on healthcare is critical for clinicians and patients everywhere in the world. The centers that today give life to Cochrane Colombia have been working hard for more than 20 years in promoting the use of evidence in health care and policy decisions in our country. With the establishment of Cochrane Colombia as a formal Centre, we can expand our work, to support the synthesis of evidence according with Colombia´s needs for health decision making, while continuing the training people in the use of evidence and particularly the Cochrane evidence” 

Hernando G Gaitán, Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane Sexually Transmitted Infections Group: "The Cochrane Colombia Centre will strengthen the leadership that Colombian researchers have in knowledge translation products such as Clinical Practice Guidelines and Health Technology assessment reports.  Also with the new Center different opportunities for training and participation in Systematic Reviews will come up and we are sure the Groups, and authors, located in Colombia will improve their performance."

Xavier Bonfill, director of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Center and Network, expresses his congratulations: “The launch of Cochrane Colombia is a culmination of many years of Colombian participation in the Cochrane Collaboration and, specifically, in the Iberoamerican Network. Progressively, a variety of people working in different institutions have been involved as authors, trainers or have contributed in other important tasks such as trials identification, as it is reflected in the corresponding data. Now there are the necessary conditions for assuming the challenges of being a national Centre, which should bring more opportunities for working together and making more significant contributions to Cochrane and to their country”.

Cochrane’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Wilson, warmly welcomed today’s news: “I am delighted we are announcing the launch of Cochrane Colombia, which I’m confident will deepen and expand the reach and impact of Cochrane activities on health and healthcare decision-making across Colombia and therefore improve health outcomes for its 50 million citizens.”

Cochrane Colombia will remain closely connected to the Cochrane Iberoamerican Network, through which methodological support, mentoring, and supervision will be provided.

Monday, March 4, 2019

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