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Updated: 11 weeks 16 hours ago

New on the Cochrane Library: Best of 2015 Special Collection

Wed, 17/02/2016 - 13:50

What were the most popular Cochrane Reviews of 2015? Find out in a Special Collection, now available on the Cochrane Library.  The Collection showcases some of the best work from Cochrane contributors worldwide, and all of the included reviews are freely available via the Cochrane Library website.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cochrane seeks Quality and Standards Advisory Committee members - Flexible location

Tue, 16/02/2016 - 19:39

Post: Quality and Standards Advisory Committee members

Location: Flexible

Specifications: We anticipate that the workload will be no more than 10 days per year. Members of the committee will receive a nominal consultancy fee equivalent to a Colloquium registration

This is a voluntary post

Closing date for applications
:  10 March 2016

The Cochrane Steering Group (CSG) has identified quality as one of its highest priorities and a critical part of our sustainability. Recent audit work and the Cochrane Editorial Unit (CEU) Screening Programme have demonstrated a year-to-year improvement in certain aspects of methodological quality. However, the review also showed that some aspects of review quality and timeliness need improvement.

In response to this, the CEU has put together an ambitious integrated quality strategy plan, starting from February 2016 to be implemented over the next four to five years. The CEU quality strategy plan seeks to develop processes to ensure that appropriate methods – which reflect best current practice – are consistently used in Cochrane Reviews, and that Cochrane contributors have the necessary tools to deliver high quality, timely, and relevant systematic reviews that meet the needs of decision makers, as described in our Strategy to 2020.

The CEU quality strategy critical areas are:

  1. To support and manage the challenge of CRGs that are at risk of signing off reviews for publication that do not consistently meet the agreed MECIR standards.
  2. To assess and make the relevant changes to the CEU Screening Programme.
  3. To support and guide the implementation of an active training programme for editorial teams.
  4. To pilot initiatives to increase the efficiency of the editorial process, improve author and editor experience, and review quality.

In support of the quality strategy plan we seek to convene a Quality and Standards Advisory Committee (QSAC) comprising a mix of senior Cochrane editors and methodologists. Members of the QSAC will advise the Editor in Chief by:

  • overseeing the progress of the quality strategy and providing advice and feedback to the CEU team;
  • providing critical guidance, support and advice in relation to the management of CRGs identified as being at high risk of producing reviews that do not meet agreed standards;
  • acting as ‘quality advocates’ within Cochrane in support of the strategy.

We are therefore accepting applications from the Cochrane community for the following QSAC members:

  • Three Co-ordinating Editors and three other CRG editors who have advanced methodological skills; and
  • three methodologists experienced with different statistical methods, including statistical, bias and GRADE methods, and information retrieval expertise.

Members of the QSAC will be required to demonstrate a record of exceptional performance and credibility in relation to understanding and applying methodological standards within reviews for which they have had responsibility, including the use of GRADE. They will also need to demonstrate a willingness and capacity to take on the role, and an appreciation of the commitment required. We wish to ensure diverse representation of members from different geographical locations, speaking non-English languages and a sex balance.

Individuals with the relevant skills and experience are invited to apply for the QSAC by submitting a short Curriculum Vitae and cover letter  to David Tovey, Editor in Chief (dtovey@cochrane.org). Selections will be based on the the strength of applications, with consideration of ensuring geographic, linguistic and gender diversity – we are not proposing to interview prospective committee members.

The closing date for applications is 10 March 2016 (23:59 GMT).

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Administrative Officer to the Funding Arbiter - London, UK

Tue, 16/02/2016 - 12:01

Specifications: full time
Salary:
£25,000 (dependent on experience)
Location:
London
Application closing date:
10 March 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 outstanding administrative experience to join our Cochrane Executive Team. This is a diverse role and as such will report into two different line managers and provide admin support to many roles within our organization. A key aspect of the role will require the post holder to revise and establish a robust administrative process to support our Funding Arbiters, and to serve as the first point of contact for all enquiries. This is a challenging and varied role and requires the post holder to have an understanding of Cochrane’s Conflict of Interest (COI) policy. The successful candidate will need to be extremely well organized to manage a high workload as well as have good attention to detail. A sound understanding of research integrity/publication ethics would be a distinct advantage. The ideal candidate will have some knowledge of designing databases and updating an online form, and will be comfortable with working across multiple time zones. The post holder will also provide administrative support in relation to the Cochrane Review Support Programme, a review funding initiative managed by the Cochrane Editorial Unit (CEU), and administrative support generally for the CEU team. We are looking for someone who is passionate about health care and with a proven collaborative approach.

Key accountabilities include:

  • Helping to revise the Funding Arbiter administrative processes
  • Revising and maintaining  the online conflict of interest referral forms
  • Helping to develop and maintain a database of COI case histories and decisions
  • Organizing monthly arbiter meetings with the Funding Panel online meeting software (e.g. GoToMeeting).
  • Managing  the application and assessment processes for the Cochrane Review Support Programme
  • Maintaining the Cochrane Priority Review List
  • Making travel arrangements  for CEU team members
  • Organizing in-person and online meetings or teleconferences, including minute-taking
  • Assisting the office manager with our contracts database
  • Working with our translations team on new EU projects
  • General administrative duties, including organizing meetings and teleconferences and ensuring our CET is well supported.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Experience in a similar administrative role would be highly advantageous
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and work assignments 
  • Ability to work remotely alongside varied teams in different cultural and linguistic settings
  • Exceptional IT and information management skills 
  • Professional organizational skills
  • Impressive interpersonal skills both in person and by telephone and Skype
  • Ability to accomplish projects with little supervision
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Proven experience of database management
  • Willingness to work flexibly, including outside normal working hours
  • Proven experience of building productive working relationships, both internally and externally, in an international and geographically dispersed environment would be beneficial
  • Knowledge of Cochrane would be beneficial
  • Background in publication ethics would be beneficial

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to Rachael Wallwork at recruitment@cochrane.org with “Office Assistant – Funding Arbiter” 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: 10 March 2016 (12 midnight GMT)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane Response seeks Systematic Reviewer - Flexible location

Mon, 15/02/2016 - 11:58

Specifications:  full time or part time, permanent

Salary: dependent on experience

Location: flexible location

Application closing date: 11 March 2016

Cochrane Innovations is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Cochrane Collaboration, whose mission is to undertake trading activities of a commercial nature, based on the products and activities of Cochrane. Cochrane Response is our new evidence consultancy service providing a broad range of literature review and evidence synthesis services to international policy makers and guideline developers to support evidence informed healthcare decision making. We work closely with Cochrane networks to increase Cochrane’s capacity to respond to requests for commissioned evidence reviews and tailored evidence services.

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. The primary results of this work are Cochrane Systematic Reviews, recognized by healthcare professionals, policy makers, and patients as the benchmark for high quality information about the effectiveness of treatment interventions.

This is an exciting opportunity to become part of the systematic review team for Cochrane Response. Reporting to the Systematic Review Manager and team leader, you will provide a range of systematic review tasks to support the delivery of commissioned systematic reviews, responding to commissioners’ needs on a project by project basis. Systematic review tasks include protocol development, publication screening, data extraction and risk of bias assessment, meta-analyses, interpretation of results and report writing, and performing GRADE and Summary of Findings.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • First degree in related field e.g. medical sciences, biology, statistics and ideally, a higher degree relevant to research area or equivalent qualifications.
  • 4+ years of relevant experience in systematic reviews.
  • Publication of at least one Cochrane Review, with responsibilities in data extraction and assimilation.
  • Ability to exercise independent judgment within generally defined practices and policies that lead to methods or processes for obtaining results.
  • Good organization and planning skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and communication skills (both written and oral).
  • Excellent presentation skills.
  • Ability to problem solve and delegate appropriate tasks to subordinates.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with the project team, and experience in working with deadlines.
  • Adaptable and flexible to changing business and customer needs.
  • Proficient IT skills, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, EndNote, and RevMan.
  • Knowledge of CMA, STATA, R, WinBugs or SAS advantageous.
  • Able to travel internationally.

For more 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, your interest in a full time or part time position, and your salary expectations to Rachael Wallwork at rwallwork@cochrane.org with “Systematic Reviewer Cochrane Response” 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: 11 March 2016 (23:59 GMT)

Monday, February 15, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane Editorial Unit seeks Editor - Flexible location

Fri, 12/02/2016 - 18:00

Post : CEU Editor

Location: Flexible

Specifications:  3 x 0.5 Part Time, Fixed term, 12 months

Salary: Up to £42,000 (FTE) dependent on skills and experience pro rata

Closing date for applications:  1st March 2016

The Cochrane Editorial Unit (CEU) is part of Cochrane, and was established in 2009 under the direction of the Editor in Chief of the Cochrane Library, Dr David Tovey. The CEU team works with internal and external stakeholders, including the 52 Cochrane Review Group editorial teams, on a range of projects relating to Cochrane Review quality and development of the Cochrane Library.

We are looking to appoint the equivalent of 3 half time editors to our team: each post is half time and on a fixed term contract. The posts will all be within our integrated quality strategy implementation work, and will cover the review quality and methods, editorial policy development and editorial process revision work streams. We welcome applications from people who are interested in working either full or half time (full time would necessitate involvement across two work streams), and also from people who wish to explore job share or secondment opportunities.

 

Post One: Review quality and methods project

The successful candidate for this role will have a strong understanding of the MECIR quality standards  with a particular emphasis on GRADE and Summary of Findings tables. You will provide support for the CEU Screening project aimed at improving and maintaining the quality of Cochrane Reviews, supporting training for the CRG editorial teams, and conducting periodic audit to measure progress. This post will give you the opportunity to consolidate progress made within the CEU and to influence the implementation of quality standards in Cochrane Reviews.

This post will have a focus on contributing to and supporting the development and implementation of:

  • Screening of Cochrane Reviews, Updates and Protocols to make sure they meet our quality standards;
  • Contribute to initatives that will help to develop capacity of editorial teams of CRGs to produce high quality Cochrane systematic reviews.  
  • Take part in audits to assess compliance with appropriate standards in Cochrane Reviews.

 

Post Two: Editorial policy development

The Cochrane Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource (URL) includes the policies for preparing and publishing Cochrane Reviews and related content. This post will focus on the development and implementation of key policies and resources, including peer review, managing suspected fraud within potential studies for inclusion in a Cochrane Review and retractions of studies already included. This role will involve setting up and co-ordinating working groups with stakeholders, and engaging with international editorial policies and practices, to ensure that Cochrane editorial and publishing policies reflect best practice internationally. This role will also involve supporting editorial teams to implement the policies and practices in day-to-day work.

 

Post Three: Editorial process revision

The successful candidate will have an understanding of Cochrane editorial process, including peer review. You will provide support to improve the timeliness of review production by re-evaluating the editorial process and working in pilot projects that improve production efficiency, author and editor experience, and review quality. This post will give you the opportunity to consolidate progress made within the CEU and to influence the exploration of mechanisms to separate the development/ support roles from the ‘editorial’/ publishing process in Cochrane groups.

Key accountabilities:

  • Supporting the identification of best practices within the Cochrane community for pilot projects.
  • Helping develop transparent criteria for evaluating the titles, protocols, and reviews to assess suitability for publication/rejection.
  • Participating in pilot projects aiming to make changes to the existing editorial process that could impact on efficiency of review completion.
  • Helping explore, pilot and evaluate alternative processes for the current peer review strategies.

 

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Degree in relevant field or equivalent
  • An understanding of the importance of systematic reviews to clinical decision making
  • Familiarity with Cochrane guidance and standards on the design, conduct and reporting of systematic reviews, including MECIR and GRADE methods.
  • Excellent level IT skills, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the systematic review process
  • An ability to develop and maintain working relationships with key stakeholders
  • Strong organization and prioritization skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work methodically and accurately
  • A pro-active approach to problem-solving
  • We encourage those who already held an editorial position within Cochrane to apply (e.g. Managing Editor, Co-ordinating Editor, Editorial Assistant, Cochrane Review Group Editors, including scientific, methodological, or statistical editors)

 

Application process

To apply, please email Rachael Wallwork at (recruitment@cochrane.org) with your CV and a covering letter, with “CEU Editor” in the subject line. The covering letter 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. You may include paid and unpaid work, work within the home and leisure interests.

Closing date for applications:  1st March 2016

Friday, February 12, 2016 Category: Jobs

Feature Review: Promoting reintegration and reducing harmful behaviours and lifestyles in street-connected children

Thu, 11/02/2016 - 18:03

What services are effective to support street-connected children?

Millions of children and young people are estimated to be living and working on streets around the world. ‘Street-connected children and young people’ refers to children who work or sleep, or both, on the streets, often without conventional adult care or supervision. Important risks faced by street-connected children include physical, psychological, and sexual exploitation; violence; no skills-based employment; substance misuse and addiction; and health issues. Many demonstrate considerable resilience and coping skills but continue to be vulnerable to risks. To provide best chances for them in life, services are needed to reduce risks and prevent marginalisation from mainstream society.

A team of Cochrane authors based in Canada and the United Kingdom worked with Cochrane Public Health  to investigate which services aimed at street-connected children were effective in a variety of areas including reducing harms, increasing literacy, and promotion of mental health, including self-esteem. Thirteen studies were rigorously evaluated and included were nineteen interventions based in high-income countries. There were no robust evaluations from low- and middle-income countries. Most studies compared therapy-based services versus usual shelter and drop-in services, or versus other therapeutic/health interventions. Overall, the quality of the evidence included in this review was assessed as low/moderate.

The review found mixed results among these studies but overall findings suggested that participants receiving focused personalized therapy and those provided usual services, such as drop-in centres or case management, benefitted to a similar level.

“Given the findings of this Cochrane Review, decisions on preferred mode of practice should rest on other considerations, such as feasibility, economic effectiveness, service user preference, long-term sustainability, and so forth. The finding that in most cases the therapeutic intervention did not produce better results than service as usual might assist planning and development of policy and service delivery,” said Esther Coren, the lead author of the review. “It should be noted that none of the studies evaluated interventions based in low-income countries that include participants who may be on the street primarily to earn a living, or as a result of war, migration or urbanisation. This is one specific area where more research is needed.  Considerable work with street connected children takes place in those countries but it needs to be rigorously evaluated to assess how effective it is.”

Read the full Cochrane Review

Visit the Cochrane Public Health website

Thursday, February 11, 2016

New health evidence gives women informed choice in the prolapse surgery debate

Tue, 09/02/2016 - 01:30

New evidence published in the Cochrane Library highlights benefits and harms of using artificial mesh when compared with tissue repair in the surgical treatment of vaginal prolapse. Slightly better repair with mesh needs to be weighed carefully against increased risk of harms.

Listen to a podcast summarizing the review  |  Read an editorial from the review's editor

A new Cochrane Review summarizes evidence that addresses a long-standing controversy in the surgical repair of vaginal prolapse. It will help women and surgeons to make better informed choices about surgical treatment, and reinforces the need for careful consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of grafting artificial material compared with using tissue to repair the anatomy of the vagina.

A vaginal prolapse occurs when the walls of the vagina become weak and collapse inwards. This can be a distressing disorder, as there is a feeling of a lump or bulge low in the vagina which is exacerbated by physical activities. This affects up to one-third of women who have had children, as well as those who are overweight or have a chronic cough.

Many women undergo surgical treatment to help with bladder, bowel, and sexual function. Until the 1990s, surgeons used a number of different techniques to repair prolapse; these included vaginal hysterectomy or  cutting or repairing different muscles of the walls of the vagina. Following the successful use of tapes for continence surgery and mesh for hernia repair, gynaecology surgeons began to adopt grafting artificial material (called a mesh) to carry out this operation in the 1990s and 2000s. Over the last few years many questions have been raised about the safety of implanting an artificial mesh. There have been a number of reports of women suffering pain and mesh exposure after transvaginal mesh surgery.

An international team of researchers evaluated evidence from randomized trials to look at how the two surgical approaches compared. They included information from 37 trials involving 4023 women. The mesh used in many of the studies was withdrawn from use in 2011; the newer, lightweight transvaginal permanent meshes still available have not been evaluated within a randomized study.

The Cochrane Review found that, whilst transvaginal permanent mesh probably reduces the risk that women will be aware of prolapse compared with tissue repair, the overall size of the benefit was small.1 Based on their analysis, 19% of women who underwent native tissue repair, compared with 12% women who had permanent mesh repair, were aware of prolapse subsequently. This data came from studies that followed up women over periods of between 1 and 3 years. However, there are some major problems reported with permanent transvaginal mesh. The average reoperation rate for prolapse, urinary incontinence, or mesh exposure after mesh repair was 11%, compared with around 5% in women who had tissue repair.

Permanent mesh is also associated with higher rates of bladder injury than tissue repair, and higher rates of stress incontinence. Across all the studies, 8% of women who had mesh implanted subsequently had it re-operated. In Scotland, the health minister called for hospitals to consider the suspension of mesh operations until more evidence is available. An independent Scottish interim review reported in 2015, and expressed concern for both the effectiveness and adverse events related to transvaginal mesh for prolapse surgery. A report by the Accident Compensation Commission in New Zealand in 2015 recommended the establishment of a multi-agency registry as a means of tracking the associated complications.

"This is a very significant review informing women about the surgical options available for the treatment of this debilitating condition," said Associate Professor Chris Maher from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, lead author of the Cochrane Review. "It summarizes the evidence of effectiveness of these approaches and their complications. It provides women with more information to make an informed choice about what treatment is best for them.”

Fellow author Corinna Christmann-Schmid added, “This evidence underlines the need to balance potential harms against the potential benefits of surgery. One in twelve women who have mesh then require repeat surgery for mesh exposure, and we can expect 7% more women to experience subjective success, when compared with tissue repair without mesh.” Women and their surgeons need to discuss these benefits and harms at the time of considering surgery. This is particularly important since the availability of the mesh used now is likely to be different from what was available when the studies were carried out.

Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the University of Auckland, Cindy Farquhar, commented, “Gynaecologists should be wary of adopting new innovations that have not been fully evaluated by clinical trials. This is particularly important as many surgical devices do not require FDA or similar regulatory approvals.”

Access the full study on the Wiley Press Room here. (To access PDFs and embargoed stories you must be logged in to the Press Room before clicking the link. Request a login here.)

Full citation: Maher C, Feiner B, Baessler K, Christmann-Schmid C, Haya N. Marjoribanks J: Transvaginal mesh or grafts compared with native tissue repair for vaginal prolapse. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD012079. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012079

URL Upon publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/14651858.CD012079

Lead author:
Christopher Maher
Associate Professor, Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital
University of Queensland, Brisbane
Queensland, Australia
E chrismaher@urogynaecology.com.au

For further information please contact:
Jo Anthony
Senior Media and Communications Officer, Cochrane
M +44(0) 7582 726 634
E janthony@cochrane.org, pressoffice@cochrane.org.

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

Find out more at http://cochrane.org

Follow us on twitter @cochranecollab

About 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.

If you would like to request complimentary media access to the contents of The Cochrane Library, please email sciencenewsroom@wiley.com

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cochrane Response seeks Systematic Review Manager - London, UK

Sun, 07/02/2016 - 21:31

Specifications:  full time, permanent

Salary: dependent on experience

Location: London

Application closing date: 29 February 2016

Cochrane Innovations is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Cochrane Collaboration, whose mission is to undertake trading activities of a commercial nature, based on the products and activities of Cochrane. Cochrane Response is our new evidence consultancy service providing a broad range of literature review and evidence synthesis services to international policy makers and guideline developers to support evidence informed healthcare decision making. We work closely with Cochrane networks to increase Cochrane’s capacity to respond to requests for commissioned evidence reviews and tailored evidence services.

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. The primary results of this work are Cochrane Systematic Reviews, recognized by healthcare professionals, policy makers, and patients as the benchmark for high quality information about the effectiveness of treatment interventions.

This role is an exciting opportunity for someone to lead the development and management of the systematic review team for Cochrane Response. You will have overall responsibility for managing commissioned reviews and related work; taking on project management, customer relationship management, Cochrane engagement, and systematic review production tasks. This is a commercial role where you will manage the day-to-day provision and delivery of tailored evidence synthesis services, responding to commissioners’ needs on a project by project basis.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • First degree in related field e.g. medical sciences, biology, statistics and a higher degree relevant to research area or equivalent qualifications.
  • 5+ years of relevant experience in systematic reviews.
  • Authorship on at least one Cochrane Review.
  • Demonstrated expertise in relevant evidence synthesis project management activities.
  • Ability to exercise independent judgment within generally defined practices and policies that lead to methods or processes for obtaining results.
  • Good organization and planning skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and communication skills (both written and oral).
  • Excellent presentation skills.
  • Ability to problem solve and delegate appropriate tasks to subordinates.
  • Strong leadership skills, self-motivated, adaptable to a dynamic environment.
  • Able to collaborate effectively with the project team and external partners.
  • Adaptable and flexible to changing business and customer needs.
  • Proficient IT skills, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Able to travel internationally.

For more 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 and your salary expectations to Rachael Wallwork at rwallwork@cochrane.org with “Cochrane Response Systematic Review Manager” 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: 29 February 2016 (23:59 GMT)

 

 

Sunday, February 7, 2016 Category: Jobs

Have national smoking bans worked in reducing harms of passive smoking?

Thu, 04/02/2016 - 02:13

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.”

Related Reources:


Access the full study on the Wiley Press Room here. (To access PDFs and embargoed stories you must be logged in to the Press Room before clicking the link. Request a login here.)

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: dominic.martella@ucd.ie

For further information please contact: Jo Anthony, Senior Media and Communications Officer, Cochrane at M +44(0) 7582 726 634+44(0) 7582 726 634 or janthony@cochrane.org, pressoffice@cochrane.org.

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

Find out more at http://cochrane.org

Follow us on twitter @cochranecollab

About 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.

If you would like to request complimentary media access to the contents of The Cochrane Library, please email sciencenewsroom@wiley.com.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

UICC and Cochrane – developing a partnership for global cancer control

Thu, 04/02/2016 - 00:00

4 February is World Cancer Day. Read the latest Cochrane evidence relevant to cancer research and prevention.

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.

About UICC
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

Call for nominations: Cochrane seeks two external members to join Board

Tue, 02/02/2016 - 08:07
Cochrane exists so that healthcare decisions get better.

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 @cochranecollab

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What are systematic reviews?

Tue, 02/02/2016 - 01:27

 

"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

Cochrane Canada seeks Program Lead - Hamilton, Canada

Mon, 01/02/2016 - 18:52

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.

Overall responsibilities

  • 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

Staffing responsibilities

  • 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
  • experience with HTML, javascript, Sitefinity CMS, MySql, and Ruby on Rails, and
  •  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 brownrik@mcmaster.ca

Closes 12 Feb 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016 Category: Jobs

Translating research into care

Thu, 28/01/2016 - 16:12

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.’

Visit the Cochrane Kidney and Transplant website

Read the Cochrane Review

Photos: Clay Wu and Deirdre Hahn. Clay Wu and Dean Wu.  Images courtesy of Westmead Children’s Hospital.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cochrane announces funding support for 15 new Cochrane Reviews

Mon, 25/01/2016 - 17:27

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

Cochrane seeks Partnership Co-ordinator - London, UK (flexible)

Mon, 25/01/2016 - 11:26

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:

Desirable

  • 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.

Preferred

  • 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 rwallwork@cochrane.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

Nursing Times article reports on recent Cochrane Review

Thu, 21/01/2016 - 06:59

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

Cochrane seeks IT Development Manager - London or Copenhagen

Mon, 18/01/2016 - 16:40

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.
  • Excellent knowledge of multiple programming languages and frameworks (Java, HTML5, Javascript, AngularJS, Node.js), including CMSs (Drupal).
  • 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.

Preferred:

  • 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 rwallwork@cochrane.org 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

Thu, 14/01/2016 - 19:35

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.”


Read the full Cochrane Review

Visit the Cochrane Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders Group

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Feature Review: Probiotics for the prevention antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children

Thu, 14/01/2016 - 17:51

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.

 

Read the full Cochrane Review

Visit the Cochrane IBD website

 

Thursday, January 14, 2016