The most robust evidence yet, now available in the Cochrane Library, suggests that national smoking legislation does reduce the harms of passive smoking, and particularly risks from heart disease.
4 February is World Cancer Day. Read more about Cochrane's partnership with UICC to support evidence-based advocacy for cancer control.
An updated Cochrane Review containing more up-to-date research has found that countries who imposed smoking bans found their populations benefited from reduced exposure to passive smoke, specifically cardiovascular disease.
Since the first national legislation banning indoor smoking in all public places was introduced in 2004 in Ireland, there has been an increase in the number of countries, states, and regions adopting similar smoke-free legislation banning smoking in public places and work places. The main reason for this was to protect non-smokers from the harmful health effects of exposure to second hand smoke. Another reason was to provide a supportive environment for people who want to stop smoking.
Tobacco is the second major cause of mortality in the world, and currently responsible for the death of about one in ten adults worldwide. Measures to control the demand for and supply of tobacco products, as well as to protect public health, have been demanded by the World Health Organization.
Cigarette smoking is identified as one the greatest public health disasters of the 20th century, with over 20 million attributable deaths. The World Health Organization estimates that six million people die every year from tobacco-related diseases; 600,000 from the effects of passive smoking.
A team of Irish researchers funded by the Health Research Board, Ireland included 77 studies from populations of 21 countries around the world into this updated Cochrane Review, including the US, UK, Canada, and Spain. The previous review, originally published in 2010, examined how smoking legislation had reduced smoke in public places; these new included studies look at more robust evidence into the effects of passive smoking, and the associated health risks including heart disease.
Researchers found that of the 44 observational studies which specifically assessed cardiovascular disease, 33 of these studies reported evidence of a significant reduction in heart disease following the introduction of these bans. Researchers also found that the greatest reduction in admissions for heart disease following smoking legislation were identified in populations of non-smokers.
Review author, Professor Cecily Kelleher, from University College, Dublin, said: “The current evidence provides more robust support for the previous conclusions that the introduction of national legislative smoking bans does lead to improved health outcomes through a reduction in second hand smoke exposure for countries and their populations. We now need research on the continued longer-term impact of smoking bans on the health outcomes of specific sub-groups of the population, such as young children, disadvantaged, and minority groups.”
- Press Release in Spanish on Cochrane Iberoamérica
- Blog Post on Wissen Was Wirkt in German
- Blog Post on Evidently Cochrane
- Blogshot image from Cochrane UK
Full citation: Frazer K, Callinan JE, McHugh J, van Baarsel S, Clarke A, Doherty K, Kelleher C. Legislative smoking bans for reducing harms from secondhand smoke exposure, smoking prevalence and tobacco consumption. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD005992. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005992.pub3.
URL Upon publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/14651858.CD005992.pub3
Lead Author: Professor Cecily Kelleher: University College Dublin, Health Sciences Centre, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
Author Contact: Dominic Martella, Media relations at University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland: M +353 87 2959118+353 87 2959118: Email: email@example.com
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.
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If you would like to request complimentary media access to the contents of The Cochrane Library, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.Thursday, February 4, 2016
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Cochrane are pleased to announce that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop and implement joint activities that support evidence-based advocacy for cancer control.
This collaboration is timely, as building the political will to implement improvements in cancer control is possibly the greatest challenge in the global fight against cancer. It requires organizations to work together to enable effective, impartial, and evidence-based advocacy across governments, with donors and the international health sphere.
Marshalling the evidence to support these efforts poses a significant challenge. The International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers found that in March 2015, 34,500 peer-reviewed scientific, technological, and medical research journals existed, publishing around 2.5 million articles annually. These resources are scattered across a multitude of library archives and online databases. Fortunately the rapid growth of information technology and of the Internet has helped the retrieval of this evidence and the development of systematic reviews and meta-analyses that extract meaning from this mountain of literature.
Building on Cochrane’s significant experience reviewing interventions across the cancer control spectrum and UICC’s membership, the two organizations have come together to strengthen international cancer control advocacy. Discussions are currently underway to determine the methodology to combine and strengthen UICC’s advocacy efforts with evidence from Cochrane Reviews and expertise. The result will enable UICC member organizations to draw on an even greater wealth of global experience and insight to support the implementation of national policies and cancer control programmes and services in line with the commitments to non-communicable disease reduction targets by 2025, and the 2030 agenda of the new Sustainable Development Goals.
UICC looks forward to working alongside Cochrane to promote their resources and enable UICC members to share data with Cochrane and help identify priority areas for new reviews in the cancer control field.
UICC is the largest cancer-fighting organization of its kind, with more than 900 member organizations across 155 countries representing the world's major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, treatment centres, and patient groups.
The organization is dedicated to taking the lead in convening, capacity building, and advocacy initiatives that unite the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.Thursday, February 4, 2016
During the last 20 years Cochrane has helped to transform the way health decisions are made. We produce systematic reviews that summarize the best available evidence generated through research to inform decisions about health, and publish them online in the Cochrane Library.
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health.
Our mission is to promote evidence-informed health decision-making by producing high-quality, relevant, accessible systematic reviews and other synthesized research evidence.Now, for the first time, Cochrane is seeking external Board Members to join us.
We are looking for experienced leaders to contribute their skills and experience to our Board. You will drive forward Cochrane’s Strategy to 2020 to build a strong, sustainable organization that provides internationally recognized, gold standard, synthesized research that enables health practitioners, policy makers, patients, carers, and anyone interested in health to make informed decisions about treatments.
You will possess strong leadership skills, vision and expertise, able to play a pivotal role in Cochrane’s future success.
With current or recent Board level experience, you will understand the complexities of working in a multi-cultural, geographically diverse organization. You will also bring high levels of personal and business integrity, able to ensure exemplary standards of quality, probity, integrity, and governance. With the ability to challenge and debate constructively, you will easily demonstrate your high levels of understanding and commitment to patients, carers, and the community.
You will be a strategic thinker and a clear communicator with a demonstrated commitment to Cochrane’s vision and mission.
Successful candidates will work alongside internally elected members.
We are particularly interested in receiving applications from people with the following skills and experience:
- board membership or other leadership of a large not-for-profit organization
- financial management and business development in the not-for-profit sector
- health or other publishing
- patient/consumer engagement and advocacy
- evidence-informed health care or policy
- organizational operations across an international network
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.
Applications close on Tuesday, 23 February 2016.
For more information on this opportunity and the application process, download the complete call for nominations.
Follow us on twitter @cochranecollabTuesday, February 2, 2016
"What are systematic reviews?"
If you’re a Cochrane contributor and have ever attempted to explain Cochrane’s work to someone, chances are you’ve tried to answer this question. And if you’re reading this because you’re new to Cochrane and the work we do, you may be wondering about this too.
Now, thanks to a team of creative colleagues from Cochrane Consumers and Communication, we’re pleased to share a new video resource which answers this question clearly and simply for people who may not be familiar with the concept of systematic reviews: what they are, how researchers prepare them, and why they’re an important part of making informed decisions about health - for everyone. You can find this video on Cochrane’s YouTube channel, and we hope you’ll share and spread the word about the importance of evidence!Tuesday, February 2, 2016
The Program Lead, Cochrane Canada leads all non-scientific aspects of ongoing program activities for the organization, implementing, maintaining, and developing necessary enhancements to the operational structure and processes required to conduct each program activity effectively. Each program activity consists of multiple simultaneous, complex and often inter-dependent projects. For the Cochrane Canada Centre these program activities are:
- Health research methods innovation: the research focus is to develop methods in evidence synthesis and integration in order to translate evidence from ‘bench to bedside to policy’ and to develop methods in decision support and health care guidelines
- Education and training: the Centre provides education, training and support for methods of evidence synthesis and integration. Training is provided to authors and users of Cochrane systematic reviews across Canada in face-to-face and electronic events
- Communications and Public relations: the goal of this program of activities is to promote the products (e.g. systematic reviews) of Cochrane, in particular of Canadian review authors and groups, and promote the activities of the Cochrane Collaboration through newsletters, bulletins, events and other activities, including the annual Canadian Cochrane Symposium
- Knowledge Brokering: the Centre develops and maintains relationships with universities and other research organisations, health authorities and government agencies, and professional and patient organisations to support and promote the use of Cochrane products, involve their members in the development of these products to enhance practice and policy, ensure Cochrane products are relevant, and plan collaborative activities
- Governance: the Centre has many linkages with national and international key stakeholders to promote an environment of evidence based policy and practice. Overall strategic planning and fundraising is accomplished in consultation with a Governing Board, an Advisory Committee, funders and the Cochrane Collaboration
The Program Lead provides direction on operational and administrative aspects of each program, allocates staff and resources, manages budgets, sets milestones, controls costs and quality, communicates effectively to staff, partners and collaborators about programs and their individual projects, and provides ongoing direction and motivation to program staff. The Program Lead is also involved in conducting evaluations of the various program activities and their elements, identifying opportunities for process optimization, implementing enhancements to existing program activities, and designing and implementing new program activities.
The Program Lead supervises 4-5 staff members and 10-15 students, works closely with each program’s Lead, collaborates with the staff team, faculty, and subcommittees, and interacts with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, partners, contractors and advisors.
- Provides direction on all aspects of the program activities and designs and implements new programs
- Serves as the primary liaison between government, professional and patient partners
- Allocates staff and resources, manages budgets, sets milestones and controls cost and quality
- Manage operational and administrative aspects of all program activities
- Support the organization’s leaders in coordinating the execution of the annual business plan, monitoring implementation of all programs, and preparing reports
- Coordinate the monthly update of the organizational scorecard
- Employ project management methodology to ensure deliverables are completed on time and with optimal use of related research
- Oversee the monitoring of each program ‘s activities implementation progress against current goals and deliverables
- Identify opportunities for process optimization and implement appropriate solutions using Lean Six Sigma methodology
- Conduct reviews of program activity policies to find efficiencies, make decisions and implement new policies
- Prepare reports (quarterly/annually) on overall accomplishments for each program (including funding income)
- Ensure ethical conduct of program activities and the confidentiality of program participants
- Contribute to the overall evaluation of programs, including through user surveys and ongoing testing; analyze data and write reports on user satisfaction, and on the impact of the overall program
- Act as a liaison between stakeholders locally, provincially, nationally and internationally, by coordinating the activities of steering committees for various projects within each program activity
- Oversee the tracking and response to incoming requests for projects, research services, and training; prepare statement of work portion of service agreements with collaborators and funders; coordinate the execution of service agreements; prepare reports to funders
- Ensure adequate human resources are available, trained, and monitored
- Is directly accountable for 4-5 full time staff and 10-15 casual temp staff and students
- Recruit, supervise and appraise staff and students
- Oversee the training, orientation and ongoing coaching and mentoring of staff and students
- Lead the strategic planning related to future human resource needs based on planned programmatic expansions and deliverables
Financial and fiscal management responsibilities
- Develop annual budgets for each program
- Develop budgets for various projects within each program
- Oversee negotiations for external services with suppliers and contractors by obtaining and collecting quotes from multiple suppliers, and negotiating for best combination of price and timeline
- Oversee management of funds awarded through contracts and grants
- Oversee monitoring of expenditures while meeting requirements that may be defined by funding agency or program sponsors
- Assess future financial needs
Qualifications and skills
- A Master’s degree or equivalent
- A minimum of five (5) years of senior program management experience and successful execution of multifaceted programs comprised of simultaneous, complex and often inter-dependent projects, in a research, knowledge-translation and/or healthcare environment
- Thorough knowledge in health systems, political systems and international health agencies
- Experience with process optimization, and applied knowledge of lean six sigma methodology
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Excellent team leadership skills and extensive supervisory experience
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, in a very fast paced environment and continuously evolving programs landscape
- Ability to create contingency plans, to anticipate troubleshooting needs, and to identify and engage backup resources for various tasks
- Good understanding of the health care research system and its various stakeholders
- Evidence of ability to be flexible in approach to meet challenges in an innovative and pragmatic way; flexibility during peak times to work extra hours to accommodate the activities of the Cochrane Centre
- Commitment to high standards of professionalism
- High level of computer literacy including use of Microsoft Office and project management tools (such as MS Project), End Note, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases (ACT! preferred)
Although not mandatory, the following are considered definite assets:
- previous experience working with the McMaster University
- French language skills
How to apply
Please submit your application (cover letter and resume) via Job Opening #6483 on Working at McMaster .
Go to http://www.workingatmcmaster.ca/careers, sign in directly if you have a McMaster ID, or click on the ‘external applicants’ tab and then on ‘staff positions’ (note that you will be prompted to create an account with username and password in order to apply). If you have specific questions about the job responsibilities, you can contact Kerri Brownridge at email@example.com
Closes 12 Feb 2016Monday, February 1, 2016 Category: Jobs
Updated Cochrane Review from Cochrane Kidney and Transplant Group is making an impact in care.
‘It’s not every day we get to see the immediate clinical translation of our research into care for our next patient,’ says Jonathan Craig, Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane Kidney and Transplant Group. ‘Which makes it quite striking and genuinely pleasing when we are able to do so. In the case of a recent review update, we’re seeing first hand how our findings can directly translate into greater certainty and better outcomes.’
Published in March 2015, the updated Corticosteroid therapy for nephrotic syndrome in children review is already changing clinical practice, informing discussion at major paediatric meetings around the globe and reshaping young patients’ experiences of treatment. The review was previously published in 2000, 2003, 2005, and 2007, but the addition of three new studies this time round has significantly changed its ultimate conclusions. The impact of these new findings is perhaps nowhere more evident than on daily ward rounds at Westmead Children’s Hospital, where Jonathan and review co-author Deirdre Hahn see on average one case of childhood nephrotic syndrome every one to two weeks.
‘Childhood nephrotic syndrome is a well recognized chronic condition in which the kidneys leak protein from the blood into the urine, causing swelling in the face, stomach, and legs,’ explains Deirdre. ‘We find low levels of protein or albumin in the blood and affected children are at an increased risk of infection, as important proteins used by children’s immune systems are lost. The onset of the disease can be slow and the symptoms are often overlooked or misdiagnosed, so many children are seriously ill by the time they present for treatment. It can be quite distressing for the young patients and their families, but most children do respond to treatment very well.’
Lively ten-year-old Clay Wu typifies the experience of many children who suffer from nephrotic syndrome, as his father Dean explains. ‘Clay is a really active kid who loves nothing more spending time with friends and getting along to as many birthday parties as he possibly can,’ he says. ‘But just before Christmas 2014 he started feeling tired and listless, and just wasn’t himself. He had minor swelling in his leg, which we thought was some kind of mozzie bite. Before long, though, the swelling spread right up through his body to his face. I took him straight to Emergency and he was admitted right away. Since then he’s had to spend a bit of time in hospital and a lot of time at home resting up. It’s pretty hard going for such an active boy but he’s taken it all in his stride and does whatever’s required of him. He’s really good like that.’
Children like Clay who have an initial episode of nephrotic syndrome are prescribed corticosteroid drugs such as prednisone or prednisolone, and the majority respond very well to the treatment, reducing the risk of serious infection and other complications. However up to 80 per cent of these children who respond well at first will have repeat episodes later, often triggered by viral infections. The central question for paediatricians treating the syndrome then has been whether prolonging corticosteroid treatment for up to six months could reduce this risk of relapse. Until now there has been no definitive answer, and as a consequence length of treatment has varied.
‘There’s long been a consensus that corticosteroids are highly effective in treating nephrotic syndrome,’ says Deirdre. ‘But the ideal duration of therapy has always been the subject of debate. This is primarily because the drugs have many well-recognized and potentially serious adverse effects. We know that giving children further corticosteroids over time can lead to poor growth, cataracts, osteoporosis, obesity, and high blood pressure, among other things. Previously we haven’t had the evidence we needed to determine the most effective, least harmful length of treatment.’
This sought-after evidence was found in three recently published, well-designed randomized controlled trials that found no benefit of increasing the duration of prednisolone therapy beyond two or three months. As a result, the conclusions of the systematic review changed and in real terms, for many children, this means an effective halving of the time spent on steroids suffering adverse side effects.
‘As a parent you want the best treatment for your child,’ says Dean. ‘But you don’t want unnecessary treatments. I read up on corticosteroids when Clay was diagnosed and I did have some concerns about the long-term effects. If he’d been prescribed a longer course for six months without review and with no other treatment options available, I would have been really worried. As it is I’m glad Dr Hahn’s research has meant more certainty for me, and less treatment with negative side effects for Clay.’
‘I think there are really three elements that make this review so interesting and impactful,’ concludes Jonathan Craig. ‘Firstly, it considered a straightforward and well recognized clinical condition that virtually every paediatrician sees and treats. Secondly, it was slightly unusual in that it didn’t consider intervention A versus B, but rather the effect of the same intervention given over different periods of time. That’s quite a straightforward concept for people to understand, but is rarely evaluated. And finally, I think there is a high level of recognition that Cochrane is the home of trusted and accurate evidence. We’ve been really pleased to make such an important and impactful contribution to paediatrics and to the Cochrane Library.’
As for Clay Wu, it’s now six months on since his initial diagnosis and things are looking up. ‘Clay has spent a good deal of time resting, quietly reading or watching TV – always with either his little brother or sister by his side to pat his arm or hold his hand. I think having such devoted carers has helped a lot, along with the care from everyone at the hospital of course…’ says Dean. ‘We’re all confident he’ll be back on the birthday party circuit in no time.’
Photos: Clay Wu and Deirdre Hahn. Clay Wu and Dean Wu. Images courtesy of Westmead Children’s Hospital.Thursday, January 28, 2016
In August 2015 the Cochrane Editorial Unit announced the first call for applications to the Cochrane Review Support Programme which was open to all Cochrane Review Groups. We received 32 applications from 21 Groups. To evaluate the applications we convened an international assessment panel comprising seven Cochrane contributors and consumers of Cochrane Reviews, who generously shared their time and expertise:
Hilda Bastian, National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA
Dr Urbà González, Unit of Dermatology, CLĺNICA GO&FER, Barcelona, Spain
Prof Sally Green, Cochrane Australia, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Dr Richard Lehman, Hightown Surgery, Oxford, UK
Dr Mbah P Okwen, Centre for the Development of Best Practices in Health, Yaoundé Central Hospital, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Dr Sera Tort, Cochrane Editorial Unit, Girona, Spain
Dr Jorge Zepeda, Secretary of Health of Florianópolis, Brazil / University of Leeds, UK
The panel members assessed the applications according to the criteria outlined in the application form and gave each review an overall score out of 10. The maximum possible score for each review was 70 (10 points x 7 assessors) and we set our funding cut-off at 50+. On that basis there were nine awards of £5,000 to produce single reviews and one award of £10,000 (2 x £5,000) to produce a suite of six reviews. The successful reviews were:
- Interventions to reduce antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory tract infections in primary care: An overview of systematic reviews (Acute Respiratory Infections Group)
- Partial breast irradiation for early breast cancer (Breast Cancer Group)
- Exercise for depression (Common Mental Disorders Group)
- Atypical antipsychotics for aggression and psychosis in Alzheimer’s disease (Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group)
- Sublingual immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis (ENT Group)
- Pelvic organ prolapse (suite of six reviews) (Gynaecology and Fertility Group)
- Fixed-dose combination therapy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (Heart Group)
- Treatment with disease modifying drugs (DMDs) for people with a first clinical episode suggestive of multiple sclerosis (Multiple Sclerosis & Rare Diseases of the CNS Group)
- Proton pump inhibitors for functional Dyspepsia (Upper GI and Pancreatic Diseases Group)
Applications for the second funding round will open in late February 2016 and will be advertised via the usual Cochrane communication channels.Monday, January 25, 2016
Specifications: Part-time (2 days/week)
Salary: Dependent on experience
Location: London preferred, but flexible location considered
Application closing date: 12 February 2016
Cochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by identifying, appraising, and synthesizing individual research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm, and where more research is needed.
Our work is recognized as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. We want to be the leading advocate for evidence-informed health care across the world.
This is a new and exciting role for a passionate individual with partnership coordination experience to join our Communications and External Affairs Department. This role will play a crucial part in supporting the implementation of Cochrane’s Partnership Strategy and will be appealing to someone who can develop and maintain our existing strategic partnerships.
This is a challenging and varied role. The post holder will be expected develop and maintain some of our strategic relationships for the organization as a whole. You will also be responsible for the learning and exchange across Cochrane partnerships as well as supporting Cochrane Groups in the development of their strategic partnerships. This position will also be responsible for facilitating advocacy with other external partners, identifying opportunities provided by external partners to advocate for key messages from Cochrane and Cochrane Groups, as well as overseeing and managing our EU relationships, including funding.
The ideal candidate will have:
- Expert knowledge and understanding of evidence-based health care.
- Demonstrable experience developing partnerships.
- Understanding of the policy-making process, including knowledge of the workings of the EU.
- Comprehensive problem-solving skills; ability to work independently under general direction; willing and able to work self-directed; accountable; able to provide sound advice to contributors and staff members of Cochrane.
- Excellent computer, organizational, interpersonal, and communication (written and verbal) English, including the ability to produce written material appropriate to policy-makers and partners.
- Time management skills and ability to work flexible hours as needed.
- An understanding of EU and other donors related funding.
- Management experience.
- An understanding of the production of evidence synthesis.
- Experience related to planning and organizing meetings, workshops, and conferences.
- Fluency in another language other than English, preferably of one of the 5 WHO languages.
For complete information please see the full job description.
If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to Rachael Wallwork at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Partnership Coordinator” in the subject line. The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements for the post outlined in the job description using specific examples. List your experience, achievements, knowledge, personal qualities, and skills which you feel are relevant to the post.
Deadline for applications: 12 February 2016 (23:59 GMT)
Monday, January 25, 2016 Category: Jobs
Low back pain (LBP) is a common condition, widely reported as a major health and socioeconomic problem associated with work absenteeism, disability, and high costs for patients and society. Exercise is a modestly effective treatment for chronic LBP, and a Nursing Times article reports on a recent Cochrane Review assessing low to moderate quality evidence that a specific form of exercise - motor control exercise - has a clinically important effect compared with a minimal intervention for chronic LBP.Thursday, January 21, 2016
Specifications: permanent role
Salary: £55,000 - £60,000
Location: London or Copenhagen (preferred)
Application closing date: 2 February 2016
Cochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by identifying, appraising and synthesizing individual research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm and where more research is needed.
Our work is recognized as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. We want to be the leading advocate for evidence-informed health care across the world.
The IKMD is a team of currently thirteen working from four different locations. We interact with international internal and external partners involved in review production and all communication is in English. Our team produces the software and websites required for writing Cochrane Reviews and supporting the infrastructure of the organization. Out enterprise platform, Archie, is based on Java web/Java EE technologies running on a JBoss server.
We are looking for an IT Development Manager to join the Cochrane Informatics and Knowledge Management Department (IKMD). This new and diverse role will report directly to the head of IKMD; you will manage the Review Production Team Manager and the Web Team Manager based in Copenhagen, Denmark and Freiburg, Germany, along with the Senior Systems Administrator. This is a hands-on role and we are looking for someone to oversee and direct the overall project management of development and technical operations of the various IKMD software products and web applications produced with the various sub teams, and ensure that both the development work and the day-to-day operations are running smoothly.
You need to be experienced in advising technical team managers on the best use of project management approaches and best practice, working within a fast-paced, technical environment. One of the main responsibilities of this role will be to identify improvements to the operational systems, processes, and policies in support of the IKMD and Cochrane’s mission. You will have experience of communicating complex technical information to non-technical people in a comprehensible form. This role will require some international travel between our sites and to various meetings throughout the year.
The ideal candidate will have:
- Advanced degree in computer science or a related discipline.
- Minimum 5-7 years experience managing teams of developers and overseeing the technical operations and delivery of software and web applications using an agile methodology for a large, global organization.
- Strong technical and data architecture skills, including understanding REST architecture and related standards.
- Strong knowledge of both Windows and Unix server environments.
- Experience in overseeing the development of large-scale web applications using the latest standards and best practices.
- Strong communication skills (both written and verbal), good collaboration skills, and the ability to work effectively across teams and organizations in a global (mostly virtual) work environment.
- Strong project management skills in the delivery of highly complex, technical software and web application projects.
- Strong people management skills across geographic locations.
- Results-oriented and ability to deliver business value.
- Negotiation skills and ability to influence decision-making.
- Excellent analytical and judgment skills, including ability to troubleshoot and advise on solutions in the area of technical operations.
- Ability to work efficiently and effectively with a geographically dispersed department and organization.
- Ability to understand complex specifications and communicate them in an accessible manner to non-technical people.
- A strong team player with the ability to train, mentor, and lead in technical areas with excellent people management skills.
- Willingness to travel as required.
- Able to work to tight deadlines and according to IKMD Standard Operating Procedures.
- Knowledge of Cochrane, evidence-based health care, and/or the global health sector.
- Experience working in a healthcare or health field.
- Experience with text mining and machine learning technologies.
- Experience of process innovation.
For more information, please see the job description.
If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to Rachael Wallwork at email@example.com with “IT Development Manager” in the subject line. The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the role, and how far you meet the requirements for the post outlined in the job description using specific examples. List your experience, achievements, knowledge, personal qualities and skills which you feel are relevant to the role.
Deadline for applications: 2 February 2016 (23:59 GMT)Monday, January 18, 2016 Category: Jobs
Feature Review: Parent-only interventions for childhood overweight or obesity in children aged 5 to 11 years
Should diet and lifestyle interventions be focused only on the parents of overweight children?
Across the world more children are becoming overweight and obese. These children are more likely to suffer from health problems, both as children and later in life. The home environment is an important factor in childhood obesity, with parents playing a large role in food choice and physical activity for their children. Parents have been defined as ‘agents of change’ in the family for intervening with overweight children aged under 12 years, and their input may be sufficient to effect a change in these children. When developing diet and physical activity lifestyle interventions to address childhood obesity, should they be aimed at the parents and children or to the parents alone?
A team of Cochrane authors based in the United Kingdom worked with the Cochrane Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders Group to assess the efficacy of diet, physical activity, and behavioural interventions delivered to parents only for the treatment of overweight and obesity in children aged 5 to 11 years. Included in the review were 20 randomized controlled trials delivered to 3,057 parents. The interventions were all different but most focussed on all three components of diet, physical activity, and behaviour change interventions.
Results suggest that parent-only interventions are similar to parent-child interventions, and minimal contact interventions, but that they are better at improving children’s weight than interventions where there was a delay in delivery of the intervention until the end of the trial.
There were some issues of poor quality in the included studies. “This systematic review has identified 10 ongoing trials which when completed should help improve the robustness of the analyses,” said Emma Loveman, the lead author of the review. “Together with other reviews the results of this current review provides information that can be used to underpin clinical guidelines and health policy on the treatment of childhood overweight or obesity. If parent-only interventions are similar to parent-child interventions, then cost analyses could determine which intervention to go with.”
Should kids taking antibiotics also take probiotics?
Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) occurs when antibiotics disturb the natural balance of "good" and "bad" bacteria in the intestinal tract, causing harmful bacteria to multiply beyond their normal numbers. The symptoms of AAD include frequent watery bowel movements and crampy abdominal pain. Probiotics are found in dietary supplements or yogurts and contain potentially beneficial bacteria or yeast. Probiotics may restore the natural balance of bacteria in the intestinal tract and prevent AAD.
A team of Cochrane authors based in Canada and the United States worked with the Cochrane IBD group to investigate whether probiotics prevent AAD in children receiving antibiotic therapy and whether probiotics causes any side effects. Twenty-three studies were included, with a total of 3,938 children, ranging from 2 weeks to 17 years of age, who were receiving probiotics co-administered with antibiotics to prevent AAD. The evidence was rated to be of moderate quality.
Analyses showed that probiotics may be effective for preventing AAD in children. The incidence of AAD in the probiotic group was 8% (163/1992) compared to 19% (364/1906) in the control group. Probiotics were generally well tolerated, and minor side effects occurred infrequently, with no significant difference between probiotic and control groups. Among the various probiotics evaluated, Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Saccharomyces boulardii at a dosage of 5 to 40 billion colony forming units per day may be appropriate for preventing AAD in children receiving antibiotics. Until further research has been conducted, probiotic use should be avoided in pediatric populations at risk for side effects including severely debilitated or immuno-compromised children.
“Diarrhea in children taking antibiotics is a concern to parents. Our Cochrane Review looked at the results of 23 studies and found probiotics to be effective for preventing diarrhea that is brought on by antibiotics in children,” said Joshua Goldenberg, the lead author of the Cochrane Review.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Are preventive interventions needed for dialysis patients?
An arteriovenous access consists of a direct surgical connection between an artery and a vein in the arm (fistula) or a plastic conduit connecting an artery and a vein (graft). If these forms of access become dysfunctional, the delivery of dialysis therapy becomes suboptimal. The most common cause of access dysfunction is the development of a restriction or conduit narrowing called 'stenosis'. Because early correction of stenosis is considered critical to maintain the openness of the access and prolong its use, guidelines recommend regular screening based on diagnostic tests in addition to or instead of a physical exam to identify and treat early lesions.
A team of Cochrane authors based in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy worked with Cochrane Kidney and Transplant to evaluate whether pre-emptive correction of an AV access stenosis improves clinically relevant outcomes and how the effects differ. 14 studies were included, with a total of 1,390 participants.
This Cochrane Review found that pre-emptive correction of a newly identified or known stenosis in a functional haemodialysis access does not increase access longevity, particularly in grafts. Although pre-emptive stenosis correction may be promising in fistulas, existing evidence is insufficient to guide clinical practice and health policy. While pre-emptive stenosis correction may reduce the risk of hospitalisation, there may be a substantial increase (80%) in the use of access-related procedures and procedure-related adverse events, such as infection or mortality. The net effects of pre-emptive correction on harms and resource use are thus unclear.
“The evidence found does not support pre-emptive correction of stenosis in a functional arteriovenous access,” said Pietro Ravani, the lead author of the Cochrane Review and researcher at the University of Calgary in Canada. “There has been a lot of interest in pre-emptive correction of a stenosis in a functioning access to prevent clotting and extend the duration of access use. However, the evidence indicates that more harm than good may be done with this practice.”
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
A new Cochrane Review shows that targeting exercises to muscles that support and control the spine offers another strategy to reduce pain and disability caused by lower back pain.
Lower back pain is one of the most common health conditions worldwide. It can have substantial health and economic costs as people experience disability and general ill health, leading them to need time off work.
Motor control exercise is a popular form of exercise that aims to improve coordination of the muscles that control and support the spine. Patients are initially guided by a therapist to practice normal use of the muscles with simple tasks. As the patient's skill increases, the exercises become more complex and include the functional tasks that the person needs to perform during work and/or leisure activities.
The new study, published in the Cochrane Library, gathered together data from 29 randomized trials involving a total of 2,431 men and women, aged between 22 and 55 years old.
The trials investigated the impact of using motor control exercises as a treatment for lower back pain compared with other forms of exercise or doing nothing.
The Cochrane authors found that people who used motor control exercises experienced improvements, especially in pain and disability compared with minimal intervention. When compared with other types of exercise at intervals between 3 and 12 months, motor control exercise provided similar results for pain and disability.
“Targeting the strength and coordination of muscles that support the spine through motor control exercise offers an alternative approach to treating lower back pain," said lead author physiotherapist Bruno Saragiotto, from The George Institute, University of Sydney, Australia. "We can be confident that they are as effective as other types of exercise, so the choice of exercise should take into account factors such as patient or therapist preferences, cost, and availability. At present, we don’t really know how motor control exercise compares with other forms of exercise in the long term. It’s important we see more research in this field so that patients can make more informed choices about persisting with treatment.”
Read the press release in Spanish.
Citation example: Saragiotto BT, Maher CG, Yamato TP, Costa LOP, Menezes Costa LC, Ostelo RWJG, Macedo LG. Motor control exercise for chronic non-specific low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews , DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD012004.
Lead Author: Bruno T Saragiotto, PhD student Musculoskeletal Division, The George Institute for Global Health Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
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Monday, January 11, 2016
Rebecca Selby, a mum of three, shares how a Cochrane Review impacted her family. Cross-posted from the Cochrane Blog.
When I went into labour with our middle son at 32 weeks' gestation, I was given steroid injections to give his lungs the best possible chance in the outside world. When George was born he spent almost a month in intensive care and spent time on full ventilation and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). He had a series of infections and I am sure that the boost to his lungs from the steroid medication is what saved him. It is highly unlikely that he would be our 8-year-old little boy now without the treatment. A fact for which we will all be eternally grateful!
I started university in September to study Biology with Science and Society and was looking at the Cochrane site when I learned about the meaning behind the Cochrane logo. Each horizontal line within the logo represents the results of one study, while the diamond represents the combined result, the best estimate of whether the treatment is effective or harmful. The diamond sits clearly to the left of the vertical line representing “no difference”, therefore the evidence indicates that the treatment is beneficial. This “forest plot” within the logo illustrates a systematic review (originally published by Crowley et al. and subsequently updated) that was influential in increasing use of corticosteroids in women who are about to give birth prematurely. This simple intervention has probably saved thousands of premature babies – including my son.
I was really drawn to the symbolism in this logo and the personal connection I have with it. The thought that all signs pointed to little to no benefit until you put all of the information together is brilliant. Sometimes you need to step back and look at the bigger picture! My husband has since incorporated the inner circle of the Cochrane logo into a tattoo and I am planning my design with the forest plot for next year.
Thank you to all the Cochrane reviewers for making a difference.
New national licence agreement offers Switzerland unlimited access to the Cochrane Library - the leading resource in evidence-based health care
Swiss patients and healthcare practitioners will now have access to more than 6500 published systematic reviews in healthcare interventions through one-click access to the Cochrane Library. It is a leading resource in evidence-based research across areas including pregnancy, mental health, surgical procedures, and public health. Cochrane Reviews provide independent high-quality evidence to aid healthcare decision making.
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health. The organization gathers and summarizes the best evidence from research to help make informed choices about treatment. Cochrane contributors - 37,000 from more than 130 countries - work together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Many contributors are leaders in their fields - medicine, health policy, research methodology, or consumer advocacy. The team of Cochrane Switzerland, based at Lausanne and Berne, is active in all language regions of Switzerland.
This newly signed national licence offers free access to the Cochrane Library to all residents in Switzerland, and the establishment of the licence has been made possible thanks to the initiative and financial contributions by the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, complemented by the Federal Office of Public Health and several other institutions. This national licence will enable some 8.2 million residents in Switzerland access to the Cochrane Library’s collection of healthcare databases, including gold-standard Cochrane Systematic Reviews. The licence will run from 2016 to 2020.
Cochrane Library’s Editor in Chief, Dr David Tovey, welcomed the move: “All countries need to ensure that scarce and limited health resources are used as effectively as possible. A national licence to the Cochrane Library such as this can be an important springboard for the further development of evidence informed health care within a country because access is universal and not limited to particular institutions.”
Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert, Editorial Director at John Wiley & Sons, comments: “Switzerland joins many other countries including England, India, Australia, and Norway with national access for all residents as a simple and effective way to provide access across the whole country, ensuring continuity of care, plus ensuring medical experts can use research evidence to push the boundaries in healthcare interventions.”
Dr. Erik von Elm, Co-Director of Cochrane Switzerland said: “Many health professionals know the Cochrane Library from their training when they could access it through the libraries of universities or teaching hospitals. But later they stopped using it regularly because of the pay wall. The new unlimited access from every computer in Switzerland is an opportunity to come back to evidence-based health information, to discover what is new and ...to spread the word.”
Prof. Bernard Burnand, Director of Cochrane Switzerland adds: “The Cochrane Library is also a useful resource for the general public. The plain language summaries in many languages, including German and French, facilitate access to evidence-based information. Cochrane Switzerland is collaborating with consumers’ associations to promote broad usage of the Cochrane Library, thus contributing to the appropriate and efficient use of health care.”
For more information please visit http://www.cochranelibrary.com/cochrane-database-of-systematic-reviews/index.html. To learn more about Cochrane Switzerland visit: http://swiss.cochrane.org
The Cochrane Library is published on behalf of Cochrane by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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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.
Find out more at cochrane.org
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The Cochrane Library is published by Wiley.
Wiley is a global provider of knowledge and knowledge-enabled services that improve outcomes in areas of research, professional practice, and education. Through the Research segment, the Company provides digital and print scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising. The Professional Development segment provides digital and print books, online assessment and training services, and test prep and certification. In Education, Wiley provides education solutions including online program management services for higher education institutions and course management tools for instructors and students, as well as print and digital content. The Company’s website can be accessed at www.wiley.com
The Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre (IbCC) – Instituto para la Excelencia Clínica y Sanitaria (INPECS) seks a Research Fellow.
- Graduate in Bachelor of Science in Health
- Basic IT skills and knowledge of English
Desired skills and abilities:
- Master’s degree (in Clinical Research Methodology, Public Health, or others)
- Specialised Health Training programme (resident intern in Medicine, Pharmacy, Biology, Psychology, etc.) completed in 2011 or after.
- Understanding of systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines
- Experience in designing search strategies of scientific literature
- Experience in scientific literature management through specific software
- Experience in selection and critical appraisal of scientific studies
- Experience in databases management and statistical data analysis
- Participation in clinical or epidemiological studies
- Clinical practice guideline development of national and international scope
- Cooperation in methodological research projects, mainly in the field of clinical practice guidelines
- Completing the Rio Hortega training and a PhD on methodology in the field of clinical practice guidelines will be promoted
What we offer:
- Contract until December 31st , 2016 potentially renewable
- 1688 hours per year (8-hour working day from Monday to Friday)
- Negotiable salary according to the experience and merits of the chosen candidate
Documents needed and deadline:
Please contact Meritxell Girós: email@example.com for further information and to send the documents via email (PDF preferred). Please include the reference GrupoGCP-Convocatoria2016 as the subject.
- Cover letter
- Updated CV
Application deadline date will be January 15th, 2016 at 3pm (CET GMT +2).
For more information see here.Monday, January 4, 2016 Category: Jobs
Fluoridation of community drinking water to prevent tooth decay is a widespread public health intervention and has been since the mid-twentieth century. An article in the Guardian discusses the ongoing debate over safety and effectiveness of fluoridation, and cites a recent Cochrane Review assessing the available evidence on whether water fluoridation prevents tooth decay.Monday, January 4, 2016
The November 2015 revision of the Cochrane Priority Reviews List includes new titles from the Bone Joint & Muscle Trauma, Breast Cancer, Haematological Malignancies, Injuries, Lung Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis & Rare Diseases of the CNS, Neuromuscular Disease and Upper Gastrointestinal & Pancreatic Diseases Groups.
Currently there are 12 titles on the list which are open to new author teams, including these eight:
- Biopsy versus resection in spinal cord tumours
- Early referral to specialist palliative care services for improving quality of life and survival in people with a brain or spinal cord tumours
- Effectiveness and safety of skin testing before providing penicillin treatment for syphilis
- Fludrocortisone for postural hypotension
- Interventions for weight reduction in obesity to improve survival in women with endometrial cancer
- Minimally-invasive procedures for the staging of non-small cell lung cancer
- Treatment for ALK-positive lung cancer
- Weight loss intervention through lifestyle modification or pharmacotherapy for obstructive sleep apnoea in adults
Cochrane-wide prioritisation remains an important project and has been included in the draft Strategy to 2020 Targets for 2016. In 2016 we plan to reduce the size of the list and revise the inclusion criteria to improve our ability to reflect priorities identified by external parties and to be more effective at representing global needs.
Since September 2015 published reviews and updates have been separated from the larger list commissioned reviews and reviews for which new author teams are being sought.
If you would like to contribute in any way to our goal of delivering the reviews through to publication, please contact the Editor in Chief, David Tovey (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please be aware that all titles in the priority list have author teams in place, except for those mentioned above and any others that have been specifically highlighted.
Download the Cochrane Priority Review list for 2015-16 (Nov 2015 revision) (spreadsheet)
Ruth Foxlee, Information Specialist, Cochrane Editorial Unit
David Tovey, Editor in Chief, The Cochrane Library, and Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Canada's Global News reports on an editorial published 7 December 2015 in CMAJ, the Canadian Association Medical Journal. The editorial, addressed to Canada's new Minister of Health, Dr Jane Philpott, outlines a series of recommendations in key health policy areas, including restoration of funding for Cochrane Canada, which was discontinued by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research earlier this year.Wednesday, December 9, 2015