Specifications: Full Time (Permanent)
Salary: £85,000 per annum
Application Closing Date: 19 December 2021
Cochrane is a global, independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesizing research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm and where more research is needed. Our work is recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. An understanding of Cochrane’s work and health research more generally is an advantage, but not essential.
We are now looking to recruit our first Director of Development, whose role will be to work with the global community to grow our fundraising income substantially in the coming years. As a member of the executive leadership team, they will lead the Development Directorate and establish a fundraising operation that works collaboratively to deliver significant global income growth.
Key to success in this role will be the development and implementation of fundraising, marketing, communications, and engagement and influencing strategies – as well as understanding and ideally experience of international fundraising. As such, we are seeking an ambitious and creative individual who relishes a challenge, loves collaborative working, delivers results and has extensive experience of successfully delivering strategy.
The majority of Cochrane Central Executive staff are located in London, UK, however flexible location and/or working arrangement are possible for the right candidate.
How to apply
For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here. The deadline to receive your application is by 19 December 2021. The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples.
First interviews likely to be held week beginning 10 January 2022
Specifications: Full Time (Permanent)
The Centre for Epidemic Intervention Research at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, located in Oslo, Norway, is currently seeking applicants for the following positions:
The overall mission for the newly established centre is to produce more and better evidence on the effects of public health and social interventions, and non-pharmacological infection control measures, specifically. This also includes adverse consequences. The centre will collaborate with researchers, institutions, organisations, and stakeholders both nationally and internationally. The centre works closely with the World Health Organization's intiative to strengthen the evidence base for decisions about public health and social measures.
Application deadline 15 December 2021.Friday, November 19, 2021 Category: Jobs
In this interview with lead author Christopher Gibbons, we find out more about the recently published review, Routine provision of information on patient-reported outcome measures to healthcare providers and patients in clinical practice.
Tell us about this review
The aim of this Cochrane Review was to find out whether healthcare workers who receive information from questionnaires completed by their patients give better health care and whether their patients have better health. We collected and analysed all relevant studies.
What did you find out?
Patient questionnaire responses fed back to health workers and patients may result in moderate benefits for patient\provider communication and small benefits for patients' quality of life. Healthcare workers probably make and record more diagnoses and take more notes. The intervention probably makes little or no difference for patient's general perceptions of their health, social functioning, and pain. There appears to be no impact on physical and mental functioning, and fatigue. Our confidence in these results is limited by the quality and number of included studies for each outcome.
What was studied in the review?
When receiving health care, patients are not always asked about how they feel, either about their physical, mental or social health. This can be a problem as knowing how the patient is feeling might help to make decisions about diagnosis and the course of the treatment. One possible solution is to ask the patients to complete questionnaires about their health, and then give that information to the healthcare workers and to patients.
What are the main results of the review?
We found 116 studies (49,785 participants), all of which were from high income countries. We found that feeding back patient questionnaire responses to healthcare workers and patients probably slightly improves quality of life and increases communication between patients and their doctors, but probably does not make a lot of difference to social functioning. We are not sure of the impact on physical and mental functioning or fatigue of feeding back patient questionnaire responses as the certainty of this evidence was assessed as very low. The intervention probably increases diagnosis and note taking. We did not find studies reporting on adverse effects defined as distress following or related to Patient reported outcomes measures (PROM) completion.
What would you like to see happen next to provide more evidence in this area?
I would like to see more large, high quality, cluster randomized clinical trials that increase the evidence base for the intervention that use Computerized Adaptive Testing in the measurement of patient reported outcomes. In these interventions, the information which is fed-back combines standardized and individualized measurement, these randomize patients and clinicians to different modalities of feed-back interventions and recipients (including patient only, patient and professional, professional only).
Outcomes of interest include:
- adverse effects
- general health perceptions,
- specific symptoms, (cough, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, constipation, diarrhoea),
- clinicians ratings of severity,
- different types of visits, admissions and their length,
- patient physician relationship,
- unmet patient needs,
- quality of care and costs;
- and that focus on people with multimorbidity
Further research on the mechanisms by which the intervention operates is needed.
Salary: €46,442 - €56,369
Start Date: 4th Jan 2022
Application closing date: 25 November 2021
More information/apply: https://www.universityvacancies.com/national-university-ireland-galway/systematic-reviewer-post-doctoral-researcherresearch-fellow
Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a four year (1.0 FTE) fixed term contract position as Post-Doctoral Researcher/Research Fellow with Evidence Synthesis Ireland (ESI).
Evidence Synthesis Ireland is an all-Ireland initiative funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) and the Health and Social Care, Research and Development (HSC R&D) Division of the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.
Position is full-time (1.0 FTE) and is available from 4th Jan 2022 to 30 November 2025. The successful candidate will be based in the Centre for Health Evaluation, Methodology Research and Evidence Synthesis (CHEMRES) in NUI Galway. CHEMRES is also host to Cochrane Ireland and the HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network.
The role is to plan, conduct and support ESI activity in relation to the co-ordination of prioritised national and international evidence syntheses relevant to policy and practice on the island of Ireland and integration of capacity building into this activity. This role will require substantial evidence synthesis methodology experience and expertise as well as demonstratable evidence of leadership ability.
The successful candidate will contribute to the research programme of ESI. The successful candidate is expected to build capacity in evidence synthesis by supporting ESI’s training programme. The successful candidate will also have access to a large program of education for their own professional development.
The successful candidate will be responsible for leading and supporting evidence syntheses across a range of study designs and for leading a program of primary synthesis methodology research. The successful applicant will be highly motivated, passionate about developing high quality research, self-motivated with strong attention to detail and quality.
The latest update of the Cochrane review ‘Vaccines for preventing rotavirus diarrhoea: vaccines in use’ has found that rotavirus vaccines pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO) (Rotarix, RotaTeq, Rotasiil, and Rotavac), prevent episodes of rotavirus diarrhoea in children and no increased risk of serious adverse events was found.
Rotavirus infection is a common cause of diarrhoea in infants and in young children, and can cause mild illness, hospitalization, and death. Since 2009, the WHO has recommended that a rotavirus vaccine be included in all national infant and child immunization programmes. To date, 107 countries have followed this recommendation. In the years before infants and children started receiving rotavirus vaccine, rotavirus infection resulted in about 0.5 million deaths per year in children under five years of age, mainly in low- and middle-income countries.
This Cochrane Review, processed by the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG) editorial base at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, was first published in 2004 and has been updated five times. In 2012, in consultation with the WHO, the data underwent major restructuring by country mortality rates to reflect the observation that vaccine efficacy profiles are different in countries with different mortality rates.
The 2012, 2019, and 2021 review updates were preceded by systematic reviews commissioned by the WHO Immunization, Vaccines & Biologicals department and were used for WHO policy decisions on rotavirus vaccination schedules. These reviews were carried out by members of the author team and the subsequent Cochrane review updates built on the WHO reviews and vice versa.
The most recent review includes 60 studies: Rotarix (36 trials), RotaTeq (15 trials), Rotasiil (5 trials), and Rotavac (4 trials). The findings were presented at Session 6 - Rotavirus Vaccines at the October 2020 SAGE Meeting and was provided to SAGE Members as key background material to inform discussions (access presentation and background materials here). As a result of this SAGE discussions, an updated WHO Rotavirus Vaccine Position Paper was published on 16 July 2021). This position paper provides global advice on rotavirus vaccine policy. In turn, the updated WHO position paper and the supporting background materials support Regional and National Immunization Technical Advisory group discussions which lead to decisions for local rotavirus vaccine policies.
Lead author, Hanna Bergman, noted, “The two globally established vaccines already have a proven track record and we now have high confidence in the two newer vaccines, all showing similar efficacy in preventing severe rotavirus diarrhea in infants and young children in high-mortality settings. This review also reinforces that more work needs to be done to improve and explore the reasons behind the lower efficacy of rotavirus vaccines seen in high-mortality countries.”
Bergman H, Henschke N, Hungerford D, Pitan F, Ndwandwe D, Cunliffe N, Soares‐Weiser K. Vaccines for preventing rotavirus diarrhoea: vaccines in use. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2021, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD008521. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008521.pub6.
The editorial base of the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group is funded by UK aid from the UK government for the benefit of low- and middle-income countries (project number 300342-104). The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.
This review provides insight into the effectiveness of measures implemented in the school setting to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
While there are limitations to this review, the review demonstrates that a range of different measures can be effective at reducing COVID-19 transmission, especially when multiple interventions are implemented together. Importantly, the review demonstrates that schools can stay open (or reopen) safely when prevention measures are implemented effectively. The effectiveness of interventions is influenced by many things, including the levels of community transmission. Given the rapid and widespread advancements in prevention and containment measures, most notably, the COVID-19 vaccines and increases in testing capacity, as well as the rise of more transmissible variants of the virus, an update to this review may yield very different results.
What was studied in the review?
In order to reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, many governments and societies put mitigation measures in place in schools. However, we do not know whether these measures work with regards to reducing the spread of the virus, or how these measures affect other aspects of life, such as education, the economy or society as a whole.
Reopening schools or keeping schools open while having a broad range of measures in place can reduce transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. Such measures can also reduce the number of people who will need to go to hospital due to developing COVID-19. However very little is known about other consequences of these measures, such as those linked to education, resources, and physical or mental health, as this knowledge is mostly based on studies modelling the real world. More studies set in the real world using real-world data are needed.
Lead author Shari Krishnaratne explains:
“This review provides insight into the effectiveness of measures implemented in schools to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the review addresses a very important question there are limitations to the evidence it provides. We searched for studies for the review in December 2020, at a time when there was a lack of real-world evidence. As such, most of the studies included in this review use modelling. This review therefore shows an overall absence of real-world evidence about the effectiveness of these measures. However, there is enough evidence from the modelling studies and in other reviews such as one on travel measures for us to have some confidence that there is likely to be a positive effect on transmission, but how an intervention works in one location might not be the same as in another.
There are limitations to the evidence, but it does suggest that schools can stay open (or reopen) safely when prevention measures are implemented effectively. The effectiveness of interventions is influenced by many things, including the levels of community transmission. Given the rapid and widespread advancements in prevention and containment measures, most notably, the COVID-19 vaccines and increases in testing capacity, as well as the rise of more transmissible variants of the virus, an update to this review may yield very different results.”
What are measures implemented in the school setting?
Measures in the school setting can be grouped into the following four broad categories.
- Measures reducing the opportunity for contacts: by reducing the number of students in a class or a school, opening certain school types only (for example primary schools) or by creating a schedule by which students attend school on different days or in different weeks, the face-to-face contact between students can be reduced.
- Measures making contacts safer: by putting measures in place such as face masks, improving ventilation by opening windows or using air purifiers, cleaning, handwashing, or modifying activities like sports or music, contacts can be made safer.
- Surveillance and response measures: screening for symptoms or testing sick or potentially sick students, or teachers, or both, and putting them into isolation (for sick people) or quarantine (for potentially sick people).
- Multicomponent measures: measures from categories 1, 2 and 3 are combined.
What is the aim of the review?
The authors aimed to find out which measures implemented in the school setting allow schools to safely reopen, stay open, or both, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What did we do?
They searched for studies that looked at the impact of these types of measures in the school setting on the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, the impact on the healthcare system (i.e. how many hospital beds are needed), as well as important social aspects (i.e. how often students attended school). The studies could focus on students, teachers and other school staff, as well as on families and the whole community. They could use real-life data (observational studies) or data from computer-generated simulations (modelling studies).
What are the main results of the review?
The authors found 38 relevant studies. Most of these were modelling studies (33 studies). Five studies used real-world data. Twenty studies were conducted in North or South America, 16 in Europe and two in China.
Below we summarise the main findings by category.
- Measures reducing the opportunity for contacts
The authors found 23 modelling studies assessing measures to reduce the opportunity for contacts. All studies showed reductions in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and the use of the healthcare system. Some studies also showed a reduction in the number of days spent in school due to the intervention.
- Measures making contacts safer
The authors found 11 modelling studies and two real-world studies looking at measures, such as mask wearing in schools, cleaning, handwashing, and ventilation. Five of these studies combined multiple measures, which means we cannot see which specific measures worked and which did not. Most studies showed reductions in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19; some studies, however, showed mixed or no effects.
- Surveillance and response measures
We found 13 modelling studies and one real-world study assessing surveillance and response measures. Twelve studies focused on mass testing and isolation measures, while two looked specifically at symptom-based screening and isolation. Most studies showed results in favour of the intervention, however some showed mixed or no effects
- Multicomponent measures
They found three studies that looked at multicomponent interventions, where it was not possible to determine the effect of each individual intervention. These included one modelling study and two real-world studies. These studies assessed physical distancing, modification of activities, cancellation of sports or music classes, testing, exemption of high-risk students, handwashing, and face masks. Most studies showed reduced transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19, however some showed mixed or no effects.
How confident are we in the findings of this review?
Confidence in these results is limited. Most studies used models, that is, they estimated the effects of the interventions rather than observing outcomes. As the models are built on assumptions about how the virus spreads and how people behave, we lack real-world evidence. Many studies were published as 'preprints' without undergoing rigorous checks of published studies, which further limits confidence. Also, the studies were very different from each other (for example, with regards to the levels of transmission in the community).
How up to date is this evidence?
The evidence is up-to-date to December 2020. It is expected this review will be updated in Spring 2022.
Cochrane Library Special Collections provide a round-up of up-to-date Cochrane evidence on a specific topic. This Special Collection contains Cochrane Reviews summarizing data on the benefits and harms of several interventions for preventing and treating influenza. The Cochrane Reviews look at vaccines, antiviral drugs, and physical interventions, such as the use of masks and hand washing.
This evidence for physical interventions may help inform policies and practices relevant to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These comprehensive reviews provide valuable information for patients, doctors, and healthcare decision-makers about what steps to take or interventions to use to prevent influenza or aid its treatment.
Cochrane Sustainable Healthcare joins forces with the BMJ to explore new ways to make health systems healthier
New podcast series looks at initiatives to wind back the medical excess that is causing harm to people and the planet.
Cochrane Sustainable Healthcare has joined forces with the BMJ to launch a new podcast series called The Recovery - Voices of action towards sustainable healthcare co-hosted by The BMJ’s Editor in Chief Dr Fiona Godlee and journalist and Bond University health researcher Dr Ray Moynihan.
The series will feature compelling and inspirational conversations with healthcare researchers, doctors, and activists from around the world who are actively working to wind back medical excess and forge more sustainable healthcare systems to improve our health, wellbeing, and climate.
Over six episodes, listeners will hear about new and sometimes radical initiatives that are changing the way doctors practice medicine, to ensure better access to high quality, evidence-based, and safe healthcare.
- Australian doctors fearlessly challenging professional norms to wind back ineffective and dangerous care
- A high-profile cancer specialist in India helping to reduce wasteful care in low- and middle-income countries
- A US-based doctor leading a non-violent revolution of care, built on compassion and solidarity
- A UK general practitioner championing physical activity, creating garden spaces, and improving access to fresh food, to empower patients, improve equity, and enhance the community’s wellbeing and health
“All these voices are part of a growing global chorus campaigning for fundamental reform of how we practice medicine and showing that radical new alternatives are imminently feasible,” write Godlee, Moynihan and Dr Minna Johansson, Director of Cochrane Sustainable Healthcare in an opinion article to launch the series.
“All those unnecessary tests, treatments, and diagnoses bring direct harm to people through adverse effects of drugs and surgeries, psychosocial harms of labelling, and increasing the burden of treatments. And since resources for healthcare are finite, waste is also harming patients indirectly because the overuse of some medical interventions means there are less resources to tackle underuse and underdiagnosis in other areas.”
They acknowledge that the drivers of unsustainable healthcare are complex and diverse and say we must adapt to support more sustainable decision-making within healthcare.
“Most healthcare extends lives and reduces suffering, but too much medicine remains unnecessary and harmful,” they warn. “Reducing medical excess is not primarily about saving money, it is about avoiding harm to people and the planet.”
We hope this podcast series will inspire listeners all over the world to imagine novel and radical approaches for a more sustainable healthcare, and to dare to move from imagination to action.
In this interview with Dr. Minna Johansson, Cochrane Sustainable Healthcare Field Director we learn more about the work of this field, the issues it wants to address and some of the ways they are engaging audiences to learn more.
Can you tell us about the Sustainable Healthcare Field?
Cochrane Sustainable Healthcare is a new Cochrane group focused on addressing medical excess. The background for our work is the notion that medical excess threatens the health of individuals and poses challenges for health system sustainability - and the need of an evidence base better suited to support sustainable decisions about healthcare. In essence, we are developing a global network for collaboration with partners within and beyond Cochrane on activities ranging from short‐term research projects to longer‐term reform initiatives.
What is the field’s main goal?
Our fundamental aim is to contribute to a more sustainable healthcare for patients, for health systems, for our societies, and for the planet. Our more concrete goals are to enhance the relevance of primary research and evidence synthesis to tackle medical excess, and to increase the use of that evidence to enable a more sustainable healthcare.
Who is involved?
I am leading the work, together with Dina Muscat Meng who is coordinator of Cochrane Sustainable Healthcare. But more importantly, during these first two years since the launch we have had enormous support, help and engagement from a broad international network of highly skilled people who have generously contributed with time and resources to help bring this work further. Some of these people and organizations are mentioned at our website. We would like to especially thank Cochrane Sweden and Cochrane Denmark. We will develop this network further by partnering with primary researchers, funders of research, organizations working with evidence synthesis, guideline developers, policy makers, health systems organizations, professional medical associations, citizen and patient organizations, and the general public. We welcome anyone who is interested in this initiative to contact us.
We are just about to launch a pop-up podcast series; “The Recovery – Voices of action towards sustainable healthcare” - co-published with The BMJ. In these podcasts, our co-hosts Ray Moynihan from Bond University and Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of The BMJ, meet thought-leaders around the world who are cutting the edge of sustainable healthcare. From Mumbai to Minnesota, you will hear about new initiatives that are changing the way we practice medicine, to ensure better access to high quality, evidence-based, and safe healthcare. The series includes an interview with Rachelle Buchbinder and Ian Harris, recent author of book, Hippocrasy: How doctors are betraying their oath.
Further, in collaboration with people from Cochrane Argentina, Cochrane Chile, Cochrane Methods, Cochrane Sweden and Cochrane Denmark, we have recently launched a Special Collection of Cochrane Reviews featuring examples of resource-intense interventions, including those requiring extra healthcare visits, for which there is high or moderate certainty evidence that they confer clinically small or no effects, and for which there is some evidence of harm to patients. The reviews are particularly relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, and should inform guideline, and policy developers, and decision makers planning health care, both during and after the pandemic. This Special Collection is intended as the first in a series, with subsequent Collections focusing on other healthcare interventions shown to being ineffective, harmful, or unproven.
What is planned in the future?
We have a wide range of exciting projects in pipeline – one of the most exciting in my opinion is a collaboration with GRADE where we are just about to form a GRADE Working Group focused on medical excess. We are also working on a project evaluating the quality and balance of messaging in disease awareness campaigns observed by the WHO, Cochrane and the US government – and we plan to develop reporting guidance for such campaigns, which can be used by campaign organizers to ensure high quality and balanced messaging when developing a campaign, as well as by organizations and authorities when deciding on whether to endorse a campaign or not. We also aim to develop our collaboration with international and regional stakeholders – such as for example Choosing Wisely.
In conclusion, the need for novel approaches to tackle medical excess is increasingly recognized. We believe that an intensified focus on projects and initiatives that cross the traditional boundaries between the different stakeholders in the evidence chain is required. The reasons for these challenges are diverse and complex, and so are the solutions – a strong collaboration integrating differing and sometimes contradictory perspectives is indicated. This will undoubtedly be challenging, but a more sustainable healthcare will benefit individual patients, as well as our communities.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health seeks Tenure-Track Assistant or Associate Professor (Baltimore, US)
Location: Baltimore, MD, US
Deadline: 30 Nov, 2021
The Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professor specializing in evidence synthesis. The candidate will be based in the Center for Clinical Trials and Evidence Synthesis.
They welcome applications from candidates who are in the early to mid phases their academic career. Academic rank will be commensurate with experience.
Applicants should hold a doctoral degree in epidemiology, medicine, or a related discipline with graduate training in epidemiology. Successful candidates will have demonstrated original scholarship, possess excellent written and communication skills as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications and professional meeting presentations, and have the capacity for an independent research program. Candidates will be expected to teach classes in epidemiology and mentor graduate students.
The Department of Epidemiology is one of the oldest and largest departments of epidemiology in the world, with over 200 doctoral and master’s students and a diverse research program directed by over 125 faculty. The institution has a strong research infrastructure and commitment to conduct both observational and experimental research. Candidates should possess a solid epidemiologic foundation to contribute to the research and teaching missions of the Department.
Cochrane Skin is pleased to announce the publication of a new review, Phototherapy for atopic eczema. This review was led by dermatologists from Amsterdam University Medical Centers, and supported by a key stakeholder: the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). The AAD provided funding for this systematic review (32 studies, 1219 people with clinically diagnosed atopic eczema), which enabled publication of the protocol and full review within 13 months of title registration.
- Narrowband (NB) ultraviolet B (UVB), compared to placebo (a sham treatment), may improve eczema severity (including itch) and may not affect the number of people leaving a study because of unwanted effects.
- We were unable to confidently draw conclusions for other phototherapy (light therapy) treatments.
- Future research needs to assess longer term effectiveness and safety of NB-UVB and other forms of phototherapy for eczema.
This Cochrane Review will be used to inform the AAD’s update to their guidelines of care for the management of acne (expected in the fourth quarter of 2023).
What is eczema and how is it treated?
Eczema is a condition that results in dry, itchy patches of inflamed skin. Eczema typically starts in childhood, but can improve with age. Eczema is caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors, which lead to skin barrier dysfunction. Eczema can negatively impact quality of life, and the societal cost is significant.
Eczema treatments are often creams or ointments that reduce itch and redness, applied directly to the skin. If these are unsuccessful, systemic medicines that affect the whole body, or phototherapy are options. Phototherapy can be UVB, ultraviolet A (UVA), or photochemotherapy (PUVA), where phototherapy is given alongside substances that increase sensitivity to UV light.
What did we do?
We searched for studies that investigated phototherapy compared with no treatment, placebo, other forms of phototherapy, or another type of eczema treatment. Studies could include people of all ages, who had eczema diagnosed by a healthcare professional.
What did we find?
We found 32 studies, involving 1219 people with eczema (average age: 28 years), who were recruited from dermatology clinics. Most studies assessed people with skin type II to III (which is classed as white to medium skin colour), and moderate to severe eczema, with which they had lived for many years. Studies included similar numbers of males and females. The studies were conducted in Europe, Asia, and Egypt (setting was not reported by seven studies), and lasted, on average, for 13 weeks. Almost half of the studies reported their source of funding; two were linked to commercial sponsors.
Our included studies mostly assessed NB-UVB, followed by UVA1, then broadband ultraviolet B; fewer studies investigated other types of phototherapy. The studies compared these treatments to placebo, or no treatment, another type of phototherapy, different doses of the same sort of phototherapy, or other eczema treatments applied to the skin or taken by tablet.
None of the studies investigated excimer lamp (a source of UV radiation) or heliotherapy (the use of natural sunlight), other light therapies in which we were interested.
What are the main results of our review?
When compared to placebo, NB-UVB may:
- improve signs of eczema assessed by a healthcare professional (1 study, 41 people);
- increase the number of people reporting less severe itching (1 study, 41 people);
- increase the number of people reporting moderate or greater improvement of eczema, measured by the Investigator Global Assessment scale (IGA), a 5-point scale that measures improvement in eczema symptoms (1 study, 40 people); and
- have no effect on the rate of people withdrawing from treatment due to unwanted effects (3 studies, 89 people).
None of the studies assessing NB-UVB against placebo measured health-related quality of life.
We do not know if NB-UVB (compared with UVA1 or PUVA) or UVA1 (compared with PUVA) has an effect on the following:
- signs of eczema assessed by a healthcare professional;
- patient-reported eczema symptoms;
- health-related quality of life; and
- withdrawals due to unwanted effects.
This is because either we are not confident in the evidence, or they were not reported.
We did not identify any studies that investigated UVA1 or PUVA compared with no treatment.
Some studies reported that phototherapy caused some unwanted effects, including skin reactions or irritation, UV burn, worsening of eczema, and skin infections. However, these did not occur in most people.
What are the limitations of the evidence?
Our confidence in the evidence is limited, mainly because only a few studies could be included in each comparison, and the studies generally involved only small numbers of people.
How up to date is this evidence?
The evidence is up to date to January 2021.
Cochrane Nigeria recently launched as a full Cochrane Centre. Here they reflect on their journey and contributions over the past 15 years.
Cochrane takes hold in Nigeria
The story of Cochrane Nigeria dates back to 1998 when Prof. Martin Meremikwu, by chance met Prof. Paul Garner, the Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group, at the Centenary celebration of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Prof. Garner introduced Prof. Meremikwu to the Cochrane Collaboration and gave him a head start in the conduct of systematic reviews. In 1999, Prof. Meremikwu conducted his first systematic review on “Blood transfusion for treating malaria anaemia”. He went on to convince as many colleagues of his as he could to learn the art of preparing Cochrane systematic reviews; working from a small office at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Calabar, which was later moved to a more spacious office at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. He mentored them through personal and group mentorship programmes, regular in-house training, hands-on experience as co-authors/authors of systematic reviews and by sharing Cochrane Collaboration literature.
In the bid to build capacity to conduct systematic reviews in the country, an initial group of five young potential Cochrane review authors under the oversight of Prof. Meremikwu received support from the Effective Health Care Research Programme grant held by Prof. Paul Garner to attend 4-week Systematic Review fellowship at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. During the fellowship they received direct mentoring and coaching and also participated in the Critical Appraisal Module of the Master’s in International Public Health Course. Among these forerunners were Prof. Angela Oyo-Ita (Community Physician), Prof. Afolabi Lesi (Paediatrician), Prof. Godwin Aja (Public Health), Prof Bosede Afolabi (Obstetrician), Prof Christy Okoromah (Paediatrician) and Dr. Oluseyi Oniyangi (Paediatrician). Today, they are all accomplished academic researchers and professionals who have continued to contribute to the work of Cochrane while promoting and building capacity for evidence-based healthcare in their home institutions and at various levels of influence. Prof. Afolabi Lesi currently Chairs the Advisory Board of Cochrane Nigeria.
In September 2005, more young Nigerian researchers and health professionals were supported by the Nuffield Foundation to attend a one-month Cochrane Protocol Development Course organized by the South African Cochrane Centre (SACC) under the auspices of the Reviews for Africa Programme (RAP). Some of these authors were later invited to the RAP Finishing School in 2006. The effort of Prof. Jimmy Volmink (then Director of the SACC), Mrs. Joy Oliver, Mrs. Elizabeth Pienaar and Prof. Taryn Young towards making the experience of participants at the RAP course an unforgettable one is worth mentioning.
Capacity and contributions grow
Following the increase in the number of Cochrane authors in the country and the capacity of the Nigerian authors to conduct high quality systematic reviews, the Nigerian Branch of the South African Cochrane Centre was formed in 2006 with Prof. Martin Meremikwu as the Branch Director and Prof. Angela Oyo-Ita as the Deputy Director. In 2017, Cochrane African Network was formed with Cochrane Nigeria leading the West African Hub of the network.
Some of the notable contributions of Cochrane Nigeria to global health were conduct of systematic reviews and provision of technical input towards WHO Guideline on Female Genital Mutilation; systematic review on “Seasonal Malaria Chemoprophylaxis” and “Artemether for Severe Malaria” on which the current WHO guidelines on the management of these health conditions are based. The Centre collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Health to develop a guideline on the management of diabetes. In partnership with professional groups, it has provided support for the production of guidelines for the management of community acquired pneumonia in children, hypertension and post-partum haemorrhage.
A cross section of Cochrane Nigeria Directors, Staff, and Associates
Full Cochrane Centre launched
Cochrane Nigeria attained full Centre status in December 2020 following the approval of its application by the Governing Board of Cochrane. Cochrane Nigeria had been an associate centre under Cochrane South Africa. Today, Cochrane Nigeria has nodes strategically located in the different parts of the country. The Centre is running with the clear mandate of promoting collaboration and evidence based health care policy and practice in the country through:
- Production of high quality and high priority systematic reviews
- Dissemination of Cochrane reviews to relevant stakeholders using channels such as social media, newsletters, podcasts and mass media
- Multilingual translation of relevant reviews
- Translation of evidence from reviews into policy and practice
- Refining the methods of Cochrane reviews
Cake to commemorate the Launch of Cochrane Nigeria
Launch of Cochrane Nigeria as a full Cochrane Centre
Cochrane Nigeria recently hosted the 4th Cochrane Africa Indaba. Cochrane Africa is a network of Cochrane entities in sub-Saharan Africa established in 2017. A key highlight of the Conference was the Launch of Cochrane Nigeria as a full Cochrane Centre. The event brought together a number of notable personalities from various organizations including the World Health Organization Nigeria, European Union delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, National Health Insurance Scheme, and Federal Ministry of Health – all key stakeholders in evidence based health care in Nigeria.
With the formal launch of Cochrane Nigeria on the 13th July 2021 at the National Hospital, Abuja, the Centre now has a good launching pad for engagement with relevant stakeholders for the achievement of its core mandates in the country and continent. What started as a humble beginning in 1998 has now metamorphosed into a global movement, impacting on the health of people globally. The days ahead look very promising as we hope to engage more meaningfully with relevant stakeholders and policy makers, increase capacity for the production of high priority systematic reviews that will inform national and global policies and practices, strive for a strong national presence and support evidence-based decision making processes in the Federal Ministry of Health and other health-related sectors of the country.
Prof. Martin Meremikwu (Director, Cochrane Nigeria). Prof. Afolabi Lesi (Chair, Advisory Board, Cochrane Nigeria) being interviewed by the Press.
Prof. Angela Oyo-Ita (Co-Director, Cochrane Nigeria) giving opening remarks. Dr. Anthony Ayeke (EU Delegation to Nigeria & Ecowas) and Prof. Martin Meremikwu (Director Cochrane Nigeria).
Monday, November 1, 2021
The 2021 Journal Citation Report has been released by Clarivate Analytics, and we are delighted to announce that the Journal Impact Factor for the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) is now 12.008. This is an increase on the 2020 Journal Impact Factor, which was 9.289.
The CDSR Journal Impact Factor is calculated by taking the total number of citations in a given year to all Cochrane Reviews published in the past two years and dividing that number by the total number of Reviews published in the past two years. While Journal Impact Factor is a useful measure of average citation frequency, we recognize that it is not the only measure of success or impact.
Some highlights from the CDSR 2021 Journal Citation Report:
- CDSR is ranked 19th of the 172 journals in the Medicine, General & Internal category
- CDSR received 92,845 cites in the 2021 Journal Impact Factor period, compared with 81,212 in 2020
- The 5-Year Journal Impact Factor is 11.956 compared with 9.871 in 2020
Cochrane Library’s Editor in Chief, Karla Soares-Weiser, commented: “I am delighted to see a rise in Impact Factor for the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Cochrane’s efforts to publish high quality reviews on COVID-19 have clearly made an impact, as several of these make up our top 20 cited reviews for 2021. All of these data demonstrate the continuing usage and impact of Cochrane Reviews and reflect enormous credit on our many thousands of contributors and groups.”
Thursday, June 30, 2022
The global Cochrane community are walking and raising money for the annual Anne Anderson Award, which is given to a Cochrane member who has contributed meaningfully to the promotion of women as leaders and contributors to the organization.
Who is Anne Anderson?
Anne Anderson was a contributor to the stream of thinking and effort that gave birth to evidence-based health care. A clinically qualified reproductive physiologist, Anne had an active interest in women’s health, co-editing the first edition of Women’s Problems in General Practice with Ann McPherson and contributed to Effectiveness and Satisfaction in Antenatal Care (1982), edited by Murray Enkin and Iain Chalmers. She was discussing with Marc Keirse and Iain Chalmers the possibility of co-editing a companion volume on elective birth, however her premature death from breast cancer in 1983 ended her involvement. Anne Anderson was 46 years old when she died. Iain Chalmers, Murray Enkin and Marc Keirse went on to publish Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (ECPC) in 1989, dedicating the book in part to Anne. ECPC, through its systematic approach to assessing the research literature, is widely acknowledged to have led to development of Cochrane.
What is the Cochrane Anne Anderson Award?
In the footsteps of Anne Anderson, many outstanding women continue to contribute and inspire other women to improve health knowledge for the good of their communities. Often these women are quiet achievers who might otherwise not be recognized. The goal of the Anne Anderson Award is to recognize and stimulate individuals contributing to the enhancement of women’s visibility and participation in the Cochrane leadership. The award is given to a Cochrane member who has contributed meaningfully to the promotion of women as leaders and contributors to the organization.
The Anne Anderson Award winner receives a plaque from Cochrane honouring her contributions, as well as a cash award. The recipient designates the cash award to assist a woman from a low-resource setting with Cochrane activities.
What's the Anne Anderson Walk?
The Cochrane Colloquium, our annual flagship event, brings together the world’s most influential health researchers, scientists, academics, opinion leaders, clinicians, and patients to promote evidence-informed decision-making. It is here that the award is given out and the fundraising walk is held. The annual Anne Anderson Walk is a cherished annual social event, where attendees explore the Colloquium host-city by foot with a guide. Donations by participants are made to next year's Anne Anderson Award.
Given current COVID-19 circumstances, Cochrane community's will be not be gathering in 2022 for a Colloquium. However, we are walking together virtually and sharing pictures of our walks.
How can I participate?
All Cochrane Members and Supporters are welcome to participate in this virtual walk and fundraising effort!
Cochrane's strength is in its collaborative, global community. Our 100,000+ members and supporters from more than 130 countries work together to produce credible, accessible health information and help inform health decision making. Though we are spread out across the globe, our shared passion for health evidence unites us.
We want to come together and tell our collective and individual Cochrane stories!
To share your #MyCochraneStory please contact Lydia Parsonson - email@example.com - with the following:
- A photo: At your desk, at Cochrane event, or a headshot.
- Your country of residence: Our community is diverse and we want to celebrate this!
- Your Cochrane Story: We want to hear about what Cochrane work and achievements you are most proud of! 3-4 sentences about yourself and your story and any URLs that could be included.
- Social media handles: We will give your Twitter or Instagram account a tag; just let us know your handles!
Mojtaba Keikha, is an Iranian researcher, and PhD student in Epidemiology at Kerman University of Medical Sciences. He is a member of Cochrane Trainers Network and a member of Cochrane Iran. Motjaba collaborated as a facilitator, mentor and coordinator in several Cochrane workshops in Iran. He is the author of two Cochrane articles published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and also does tasks in Cochrane Crowd and Cochrane Task Exchange.
Fatemeh Mirzaei, from Iran, is a 6th-grade dental student at Golestan University of Medical Sciences. She joined Cochrane in February 2022, starting her activity in Cochrane Crowd, our citizen scientist platform. In less than one month, her contributions granted her full Cochrane membership. She has earned 9 badges, contributed to 6 tasks, and has earned over 1,671 membership points. When she took part in the "HPV vaccination programme" and "The COHeRe Project" challenges, she screened more than 300 records!
Pratibha Mary Thomas, from India is working as an Assistant Professor of Physical therapy. Her specialization and area of expertise is in Musculoskeletal Disorder and Sports and she also volunteers as a manuscript reviewer in various International journals. Prathibha started her journey with Cochrane in March 2022 and progressed through each step of making her contribution to Cochrane by being associated with the Cochrane Crowd activities and from being a Supporter to earning a Cochrane membership. The Cochrane Crowd activities helped her to a great extent in gaining comprehensive knowledge especially regarding RCT's, which are considered as a gold standard of evidence. The Health Evidence with Cochrane Evidence Essentials section provided Pratibha with valuable insights on how to utilize and apply evidence into practice, so that she could deliver the best treatment options to her patients. Along with all these, being an academician, Cochrane served as a guiding tool of how to impart research knowledge to her students. Pratibha has now contributed to 7 tasks, earned 9 badges, participated in the global challenge on "COVID Quest Lite" and also participated in the Screen4Me challenge by the Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders group.
Nila Pillai, comes from a midwifery background with three grandchildren. She first got into Cochrane back in 2012 through a research project, the SEA URCHIN project, using Cochrane evidence to reduce neonatal infection. After the research project she was invited to take on the position of Cochrane Support Coordinator for Cochrane Malaysia and her main role has been managing their translation initiative, Ringkasan Cochrane Bahasa Malaysia. She has been doing this for 7 years. Nila really enjoys working with the volunteer translators and editors who have responded amazingly to the project and she credit the success of the project to them. She's proud to be a part of the Cochrane Malaysia team!
Paul Ogongo, from Kenya is a Research Scientist in Pathogen Immunobiology program at the Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi, Kenya. He joined Cochrane in 2013 after being introduced by his colleague Dr. Jael Obiero. Paul's first involvement was as a peer reviewer with Cochrane Infectious Diseases group for the review, ‘’Circulating antigen tests and urine reagent strips for diagnosis of active schistosomiasis in endemic areas.’’ in 2013. Paul has been an author with Cochrane STI group of the updated review, “Topical microbicides for preventing sexually transmitted infections” and another registered review, “Nifuratel-Nystatin combination for the treatment of mixed infections of bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis, and trichomonal vaginitis.” Paul's areas of research are immunology and diagnostics of infectious diseases. Currently, and his research focuses on human T cell immune responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. He is excited about the networking and mentorship opportunities that comes with being a member of Cochrane and thrilled at the birth of the newest member of the Cochrane family, Cochrane Kenya.
Jael Apondi Obiero, from Nairobi, Kenya, is a Senior Research Scientist in reproductive health at the Institute of Primate Research, where she uses nonhuman primates as models for preclinical research. Jael first heard about Cochrane Reviews in 2007 at a Research Methods Course on Randomised Trials, Systematic Review Method and Good Clinical Practice organised by the Effective Care and Research Unit in East London, South Africa. She thereafter proceeded to register her first Cochrane review, “Topical microbicides for preventing sexually transmitted infections” with the Sexually Transmitted Infections Review Group. This review published in 2012, and we published an update in 2021. Jael registered her second Cochrane Review title “Nifuratel-Nystatin combination for the treatment of mixed infections of bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis, and trichomonal vaginitis” with the same review group thereafter, and in 2015, she received the Aubrey Sheiham Evidence-Based Healthcare in Africa Leadership Award from Cochrane to conduct this Cochrane Review. She has mentored other Cochrane authors in her region, and is happy to have used her Cochrane experience to contribute to the birth of the newest Cochrane baby on the globe, Cochrane Kenya, which is launching in June 2021
Julián Balanta-Melo, from Colombia, is an Assistant Professor at the Universidad del Valle School of Dentistry. As a Specialist in Oral Rehabilitation (Prosthodontics), he has implemented the Evidence-Based Dentistry principles in his clinical practice and his preclinical/clinical teaching since 2010. In 2018, during the final year of his PhD training in dental sciences in Chile, he was introduced to Cochrane by Professor Julio Villanueva Maffei, and performed his training in the Cochrane Associate Centre based in the Universidad de Chile Faculty of Dentistry. In 2020, he peer-reviewed two intervention reviews from the Cochrane Oral Health Group, a new one regarding the control of dental aerosols in clinical settings and one update about oral hygiene care for critically ill patients, both of priority interest during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a scientist, he is interested in the mammalian craniofacial bone biology and the impact of several clinical interventions on its homeostasis, from a translational research approach. Linked to his research interest, he is currently the first author of an ongoing Cochrane Systematic Review (protocol stage) with the Cochrane Movement Disorders Group from Portugal. His priorities in Colombia include the improvement of both the access to and the understanding of the high-quality evidence among clinicians, students/residents and patients, with the outstanding support of Cochrane Colombia and the Ibero-American Cochrane network.
Peter Gichuhi Mwethera, from Nairobi, Kenya, joined Cochrane in 2007 after being introduced by Prof. Charles Wiysonge and authoring a review for Cochrane STI. He currently works at a Primate Research Centre in Nairobi called the Institute of Primate Research (IPR) as a Senior Research Scientist in Reproductive Health. IPR is a premier biomedical primate institute whose mandate is to improve health by ethically utilizing the non-human primates. It is a WHO collaborating Institute and is also aaalac accredited. He also runs a company called Medicals Africa Limited, which administers reproductive health products that we developed, patented, and commercialized as a result of his research over the last 14 years. He is very passionate about reproductive health issues because reproductive health is one of the most neglected aspects of human health. His Cochrane review, Topical microbicides for preventing sexually transmitted infections, was updated in 2021. Following the outbreak of Covid pandemic, his institution was designated a Covid testing centre by the Kenyan Government, and he was appointed to coordinate the testing.
Nkengafac Villyen Motaze, from Cameroon, attended his first training on Cochrane reviews in 2010, organized by the Effective Care Research Unit in East London, South Africa. He proceeded to register his first Cochrane title in 2011, a few months prior to enrolling for his masters in Epidemiology. His first Cochrane review was published in 2013, and it served as his masters project. Ten years later, he has published several systematic reviews, facilitated about a dozen training sessions, and mentored novel authors in low- and middle-income countries. He has peer-reviewed Cochrane reviews for Effective Practice and Organization of Care and the Pregnancy and Childbirth review groups, and he is a member of the Cochrane Africa Network. As he prepares for his PhD graduation, which is coming up in a couple of months, he is embarking on an update of his first Cochrane review, while taking up further mentorship roles to ensure continuity and contribute to increasing the number of Cochrane authors on the African contintent.
Anelisa Jaca, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow based in the South African Medical Research Council, Cochrane South Africa, is a Medical Scientist by qualification. She did her MSc and PhD around cancer research specifically focusing on determining the biological pathways that contribute towards the development and progression of colon and stomach malignancies. After obtaining her PhD, she transitioned to Evidence-based Medicine, where she learnt about methods used to synthesise medical research evidence, important for making healthcare decisions and policy. Her current area of focus at Cochrane South Africa is on vaccine implementation research, around the factors that drive vaccine hesitancy in South Africa. She is also interested in fighting against the burden of cervical cancer through addressing Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine hesitancy in the South African context.
Meghan Bohren, based in Australia, is a Senior Research Fellow in Gender and Women’s Health at the University of Melbourne and an Editor with Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC). She was first introduced to Cochrane whilst a PhD student and working with Metin Gülmezoglu at the WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research. At the time they were exploring how to better integrate qualitative evidence into WHO guidelines, in order to better understand people’s values, preferences and experiences of healthcare, as well as factors affecting implementation of interventions or models of care. Claire Glenton and Simon Lewin mentored Meghan in this space, and she was excited to join Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care as an editor in 2015. Meghan sat down with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals (ECP) group and shared some thoughts as part of the #WhereAreTheyNow series.
Alicia Aleman is currently based in Uruguay and works with the Cochrane Collaborating Group of Uruguay. She became aware of the Cochrane Library in 1995 when she was doing an internship at the Centro Latinoamericano de Perinatología, a center associated with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). That year, the director of the center began promoting the use of scientific evidence in perinatal and obstetric clinical practice and the use of the Cochrane Library in clinical decision-making. Since then, Alicia has been involved in teaching evidence-based medicine and in 2002, started her first Cochrane review (Bed rest during pregnancy for preventing miscarriage). After that, she continued working from the Faculty of Medicine (of which Alicia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine), giving courses in Evidence-Based Medicine, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines. In 2009, the Uruguayan Cochrane Group was created (coordinated by Dr. Oscar Gianneo) within the Ibero-American Cochrane network and in 2012 she did an internship at the IberoAmerican Cochrane Center. Alicia is a contributor to the Uruguayan Cochrane group, giving courses, supporting translations, and collaborating with the active search programs for randomized studies published in Uruguay. Alicia sat down with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals (ECP) group and shared some thoughts as part of the #WhereAreTheyNow series in English and Spanish
Amr Elsareih, from Egypt, is a physical therapist interested electrophysical agents, especially electrical stimulation in neurological physical therapy, neurorehabilitation, and evidence-based practice. He first joined Cochrane in December 2019 when he signed up for Cochrane Crowd. Within days, he had classified more than 1000 records, and he soon earned eight Cochrane Crowd badges and completed the newcomer and student pathways. Among these is the purple badge in clinicial trial identification, which he earned with 99% accuracy. He's participated in Screen 4 Me classification for two systematic reviews. He first earned his Cochrane membership in January 2020, and is proud to continue to be a Cochrane member!
Matthew Page, from Australia, is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. He is also a Co-Convenor of the Cochrane Bias Methods Group. In the final months of Matthew's undergraduate degree in psychology, he decided he should get some work experience for a year, before returning to study as a clinical neuropsychologist. Matthew saw an ad for a research assistant position at what was then the Australasian Cochrane Centre (now Cochrane Australia) and went for it, having taken an interest in meta-analysis during his psychology degree. Lucky for him, he got the job, started working there in 2008, fell in love with systematic review methodology, and gave up on his initial plan so he could focus on developing the science of how to conduct and report systematic reviews optimally. Matthew sat down with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals (ECP) group and shared some thoughts as part of the #WhereAreTheyNow series.
Celeste Naude is currently based in South Africa. She is the Co-Director of Cochrane Nutrition and an Associate Editor with Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC). Celeste is a mid-career professional and sat down with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals (ECP) group and shared some thoughts as part of the #WhereAreTheyNow series. Celeste credits her introduction to and involvement with Cochrane to Prof Jimmy Volmink who introduced her to evidence synthesis research and the field of evidence-based health care. Jimmy, who was the Director of Cochrane South Africa at that point, invited Celeste to assist in a project called Supporting Policy-relevant Reviews and Trials (SUPPORT). At that time, the Cochrane EPOC satellite in Norway was coordinating efforts to produce SUPPORT Summaries of all low- and middle-income-relevant EPOC reviews and to make them freely available online. From there, Celeste joined an author team on a Cochrane review, and was subsequently involved in establishing and launching Cochrane Nutrition in 2016, the only Field hosted in a low and middle-income country. Celeste sat down with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals (ECP) - learn more and read her advice.
Cristian Herrera is currently based in France and Spain and is an Associate Editor for the Effective Practice and Organization of Care (EPOC) group and an editor in the Chilean EPOC satellite. When Cristian was a fifth year medical student, he joined a recently created health policy and systems research team at the P. Universidad Católica de Chile that was working on a Cochrane review. This connected him with the world of Cochrane and with the EPOC Group through a larger project led by a team from the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (this team is currently working in the Norwegian Institute of Public Health). So, starting out as an author was his entrance door to Cochrane. Cristian sat down with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals (ECP) - learn more and read his advice. Read in English and Spanish.
Zohra Lassi is a NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide and a Feedback Editor with Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group. She was first introduced to Cochrane Systematic Reviews while working as a Research Fellow at the Aga Khan University, Pakistan under the mentorship of Prof Zulfiqar Bhutta. Her very first Cochrane Systematic Review was with Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group on “Community based intervention packages for reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality and improving neonatal outcomes”. Zohra's first review led her to receive the Kenneth Warren Prize from Cochrane for preparing a review of high methadological quality and relevant to health problems in developing countries. Since then, she has prepared more than 15 Systematic Reviews and Protocols.
Jesse Uneke, from Nigeria, is the Director and Founder of the African Institute for Health Policy and Health Systems, Ebonyi State University, Nigeria. Jesse is also an Associate Editor with the Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) group. Jesse was introduced to Cochrane by Dr Simon Lewin and got involved with the Cochrane Nigeria Centre. Jesse sat down with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals (ECP) - learn more and read his advice.
Joshua Vogel, from Australia, is a Principal Research Fellow at the Burnet Institute and an Associate Editor with Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth. Joshua was first introduced to Cochrane & Cochrane Reviews while a PhD student. He had the good fortune to be working under Metin Gülmezoglu at the Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research at WHO in Geneva. Metin is a long-time Cochranite and had been deeply involved with Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth since the 1990’s. Joshua explains his first review was pretty modest (with only 3 trials) but he was hooked from there on. Joshua sat down with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals (ECP) - learn more and read his advice.
Nayaar Islam, from Canada, is a MSc Epidemiology student who was introduced to Cochrane by her graduate thesis supervisor, Dr. Matthew McInnes, who is a member of the Cochrane COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Accuracy Group. Nayaar is the lead author of the first and second updates of the Cochrane ‘living’ systematic review titled “Thoracic imaging tests for the diagnosis of COVID-19”, and she will continue to support future updates of this review. Nayaar is grateful for the opportunities she has been offered through Cochrane, such as collaborating with an international team of Cochrane scientists, being interviewed for a featured Cochrane Podcast, and of course, leading the production of high-quality evidence to inform healthcare decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being a part of #TeamCochrane has been an extremely rewarding experience for Nayaar and she is excited to continue with her involvement!
Jun Xia, is based in the UK and China, and is the Co-director of the Nottingham Ningbo GRADE Centre Network and an Editor for the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group. She was introduced to Cochrane by Professor Clive Adams, the founding Editor of Cochrane Schizophrenia Group. He introduced her to the concept of evidence-based medicine, the history and mission of Cochrane, and taught her the skills of conducting a rigorous systematic review. She stayed with the Schizophrenia Group for the next 15 years and worked as a review author, trainer, and now as the Group’s Editor. A major part of her work involves bring Cochrane reviews to China, where she delivered over 80 workshops in the past decade. In 2019, together with nine other Chinese universities/hospitals, she helped to formed the Cochrane China Network, to expand the reach and advocating for evidence-based healthcare decision making. Jun spoke with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals - learn more and read her advice!
Martin Ringsten, from Sweden, first became involved in Cochrane through a one-week systematic review course introducing the Cochrane Methodology conducted by Cochrane Sweden in 2018. The course really matched his interest in evidence-based medicine at the time. Afterwards, he started to contribute to Cochrane Sweden as a volunteer, together with his usual clinical work, further studies, and teaching at Lund University. This all led him to take a position at Cochrane Sweden in 2020 as a Project coordinator and researcher in combination with doing a PhD in Medical Science. In his current work, he initiates, organizes, and executes different projects, like organizing courses and workshops, expanding our network within Sweden and collaborating with different people and organizations to expand the reach of resources and reviews from Cochrane. For him, being able to work towards facilitating the creation and implementation of high-quality evidence in healthcare and making decisions more evidence-informed is something he values and feels truly lucky to be doing on a daily basis!
Eyelin Ahmadi, from Iran, is a nurse that became acquainted with Cochrane while learning about treatment options for her hospitalized patients. She soon began using Cochrane evidence to educate her patients and encouraged her colleagues to use the Cochrane Library to read the latest synthesized health evidence. Eyelin earned her Cochrane membership by translating evidence from Persian for Cochrane reviews, participating in review production by assisting with data extraction, and as a consumer peer reviewer of Cochrane reviews. She has volunteered for tasks on Cochrane TaskExchange, and she's proud to be a part of Cochrane!
Cathal Cadogan, from Ireland, is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. He is also an Associate Editor with the Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) group. Cathal first got involved with Cochrane when he began working with Prof. Carmel Hughes as a post-doctoral research fellow in Queen’s University Belfast. Cahal remembers his first task as part of that role was to update the existing Cochrane review on interventions to improve appropriate polypharmacy for older people. The experience taught him a lot about the Cochrane review process and has helped him in conducting other systematic reviews. Cahal spoke with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals - learn more and read his advice!
Cynthia S Srikesavan, from the UK, is a Postdoctoral researcher in Physiotherapy at the University of Oxford. She has been part of Cochrane since 2013 and has contributed as a Cochrane author on two reviews. Between 2014 and 2016, she was part of Cochrane South Asia as a volunteer translator of plain language summaries and a podcast producer in Tamil. Her Cochrane translation work in Tamil was recognised at the University of Oxford’s OxTALENT annual awards 2016, and she was the runner-up for her submission "High Quality Physiotherapy Evidence in Tamil" in the Academic Podcasting category. Her video resource explaining the findings of a Cochrane review won first prize at the Cochrane UK and Ireland Symposium 2017. She is so proud to be part of Team Cochrane!
Masahiro Banno, from Nagoya, Japan, joined Cochrane in 2019 as a co-author of an ongoing Cochrane review. He is a psychiatrist and has translated more than 100 plain language summaries of Cochrane reviews from English to Japanese as a 2020 top 5 translator for Cochrane Japan, and he has reviewed more than 20 Cochrane reviews (protocols or full reviews) as a regular peer-reviewer for Cochrane Schizophrenia. He has been involved in 3 ongoing Cochrane reviews. He also worked as a lecturer for the 2019 and 2020 Cochrane Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA) workshops held by Cochrane Japan. This led to the development of CAST-HSROC, a software for meta-analysis of DTA, with Dr. Yuki Kataoka and Dr. Yasushi Tsujimoto, the main lecturers of the workshop, and the publication of a paper on the software. He hopes that by playing a variety of roles at Cochrane, he can broaden his horizons and contribute in some small ways to making the world a better place.
Nimisha Kumar, from the United States, is a fourth-year medical student and hopeful future OB/Gyn coming off of a research year as the inaugural Cochrane Fellow of the recently established US Satellite of the Cochrane Pregnancy & Childbirth Group (US-PCG) at the Indiana University School of Medicine. During her time as the Fellow, she has worked on three PCG reviews, carried out a prioritization process, and served as liaison to the Cochrane US Network. As part of the US Network, she served as part of the Opioid Workgroup, designed to update and initiate reviews geared towards addressing the effects of the opioid epidemic in the US with regards to mothers and infants. Learn more about her story in this news item and video!
Chris Rose, from Norway, is a statistician with the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) group, Norwegian Satellite. In 2018, he was appointed as a statistician at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, with part of his salary funded to work as a statistical editor for Cochrane EPOC. Chris' Cochrane-related work is a mix of peer-reviewing (of protocols and submitted systematic reviews), consulting (performing analyses for review teams that are not supported by RevMan), and teaching (delivering training on systematic reviewing). Chris spoke with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals - learn more and read his advice!
Abhijna Vithal Yergolkar, from India, is a pharmacy student who learned about Cochrane from a teacher. She joined Cochrane in September 2019 when she started screening RCTs on Cochrane Crowd. To date, she has done more than 31,000 classifications and earned 6 badges, with 92-99% accuracy for RCT identification. She has taken part in 10 global challenges and completed 8 Screen 4 Me tasks, and she was one of the top three screeners in the Chile Challenge 2019. Abhijna is also a part of Cochrane TaskExchange, where she has contributed to 20 tasks and has learned a lot from participating in systematic reviews. She is currently working on a Cochrane Review for the Lung Cancer group, and she looks forward to contributing more to evidence-based medicine through this and future research. Being a part of Cochrane completely changed the way she sees evidence-based medicine and helped her to connect with researchers all around the world. She feels very fortunate and is thrilled to be a part of Cochrane!
Mohammad Shahbaz, an epidemiologist from Iran, first became involved in Cochrane by screening abstracts on Cochrane Crowd and for Screen4Me projects there. Soon, he had evaluated more than 1100 abstracts and earned his Cochrane membership! After becoming a member, he continued to contribute as part of the Crowd and has also attended methods webinars, read Cochrane reviews, and used online Cochrane learning materials. He participated in Cochrane International Mobility in Croatia under the direction of Dr. Tina Poklepović Peričić. Mohammad will begin a PhD in epidemiology and causal inference post-COVID. He is so proud to be a part of the Cochrane Community, strongly believes in the collaboration evident in Cochrane programs and tasks, and knows he is helping contribute to public health problems by being involved with Cochrane!
Fatima Abbas, from Syria, is a doctor, recently graduated from Damascus University. She has been a member of the Cochrane Community since 2014, when she joined the group now called Cochrane Gut with a group of fellow medical students from Syria, publishing a Cochrane Review protocol and working on the full Review. She later joined the Cochrane Trainers' Network and became a Cochrane champion in Syria by leading and coordinating 4 training workshops to introduce medical students and young career professionals to Cochrane, help them learn the flow of Cochrane work, how to write a systematic review protocol, and share basic knowledge about systematic reviews and meta analysis. More than 7 publications resulted from these workshops during the time of crisis in Syria, with very limited resources and a great passion to work among the working group members. She founded an educational research group in Syria through which she was promoting evidence-based medicine practice, sharing the latest evidence among residents and peer-teaching her colleagues on how to use evidence in practice. She is now in an internship program in France. She feels privileged to be a part of the Cochrane community, and hopes to connect with other colleagues in person to exchange ideas, experiences and learn from all.
René Spijker, from the Netherlands, is an Information Specialist and Senior Scientist with Cochrane Netherlands, a member of the Information Specialist Executive, a member of the Cochrane Council and a Co-Author of the Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA) handbook.
René first got involved with Cochrane as he felt he needed a career change from a molecular biology science background and applied on a joint information specialist job between Cochrane and the medical library. Reading up on Cochrane, of which he hadn’t heard before, sparked his interest as it was international, had admirable goals, was involved with science, but most importantly, also focused on the application of the outcomes. René spoke with the Cochrane Early Career Professionals - learn more and read his advice!
Hebatullah Abdulazeem, from Egypt and living in Germany, is a family physician with great interest in scientific research. She first joined Cochrane Crowd in March 2018, and within 3 months, she had classified more than 5,000 records, which were part of Crowd's 2nd birthday total of 2 Million classifications! After that very enthusiastic start, she has now completed more than 25,000 classifications, and she received her 5-year Cochrane membership with excitement. Via the Cochrane Task Exchange platform, she has been involved with more than 20 systematic reviews, and has worked with extraordinary people from all over the world. She has even tried to help other people learn about TaskExchange in her native language, Arabic. She also participated with the PICO annotators and in the QA Dashboard. She is thrilled that joining Cochrane is possible for experts or citizen scientists!
Vighnesh Devulapalli, from India, is a Third Year Medical student at Dr.NTR University of Health Sciences in Vijayawada. He joined Cochrane as a volunteer in May 2020, earning a five-year Cochrane membership from his contributions to Cochrane Crowd in just a few short months. His contributions include a total of 20846 classification of records, with an accuracy rate of 99% in ICTRP identification, 98% in CT identification and 89% in RCT identification. Apart from that, he has participated in 4 Global Crowd Screening Challenges, including the global screening challenge on World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day, where he was one of the top screening members (screened close to half of 10,000 records), for which he received an appreciation mail and reward. He has since been inducted into a special group of screeners for Cochrane Crowd for certain screening tasks, and he continues to contribute. Vighnesh is actively completing Cochrane Interactive Learning modules and is a member of Students 4 Best Evidence (S4BE), for which he is currently drafting a blogpost.
Ana Beatriz Pizarro Nule, from Colombia, first earned her Cochrane Membership in 2018 as a Cochrane Crowd citizen scientist supporting screening challenges and by offering her skills on Cochrane Task Exchange. She represented Colombia as a content creator for the 2019 Virtual Cochrane Colloquium, has written blogs for Students for Best Evidence (S4BE), and collaborated with the Cochrane-Wikipedia partnership. This year, she became part of Cochrane Interantional Mobility with Cochrane Sweden, and shared her experience in June at the Early Career Professionals online meet-up about research collaborations. She is the Consumer Network Coordinator for Cochrane Colombia and author of an ongoing Cochrane review. She is currently serving as dissemination and outreach coordinator of the upcoming Spanish version of S4BE "Estudiantes x La Mejor Evidencia". What she values most about being a Cochrane member is that it allows her to be part of an international community that shares her passion for improving health evidence.
Chun Hoong Wong, from Malaysia, joined Cochrane in 2017 as a volunteer translator for Cochrane Malaysia. As an outpatient pharmacist at a government health clinic, Chun Hoong believes that health information should not be restricted to healthcare professionals, but needs to be accessible and comprehensible in languages that people understand. He started with the translation of podcasts and Plain Language Summaries (PLS) from English to Malay and has now success-fully performed over 700 translations to Malay. In 2018, he expanded his translation activities to Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese with Cochrane China and Cochrane Taiwan for the translation of abstracts and/or PLS. He became the first volunteer at Cochrane First Aid in 2019, only days after the Field’s launch, and is now active as a knowledge translation product generator and translator for them, creating blogshots in English and then translating them to the other languages in which he is fluent. More details on Chun Hoong’s Cochrane story can be found in his recent blog for Cochrane First Aid.
Xun Li (Tina), from Beijig City, China, first joined Cochrane China back in 2007 as an undergraduate student and began to translate abstracts of Cochrane reviews. She translated more than 10 of the Cochrane review abstracts in the CAM field and published them in Chinese journals. At the same time, she joined CENTRAL database establishment by translating the citations of trials about traditional Chinese medicine that were published in Chinese. Since 2014, she has coordinated the simplified Chinese translation and dissemination of Cochrane evidence. Currently, her team has submitted more than 25000 citations to CENTRAL, and 1240 abstracts and plain language summaries of Cochrane reviews have been translated into simplified Chinese. More than 500 of these have been disseminated with China social media WeChat. She is proud to see how researchers in China have progressed in recent years; there are now more than 400 volunteers in China working for the translation and dissemination of Cochrane knowledge.
Yasushi Tsujimoto, from Osaka City, Japan, joined Cochrane in 2019 as a part of Cochrane Japan. He is a full-time nephrologist and has been involved in more than 10 Cochrane reviews, including in Cochrane Kidney and Transplant. He has been working to promote Cochrane’s activities with social media such as Twitter or Facebook in Japan. Since he became the PR manager, Cochrane Japan’s Twitter following has increased enormously. He credits the Japanese translation team for the great job they are doing, which has led to an increase in outreach and widespread awareness. He is also interested in building on-line education system that allows health care workers to learn more effectively.
Tiffany Duque, from the United States, joined Cochrane this year as the Coordinator for the Cochrane US Network (@Cochrane_US). She has worked in global public health for 20 years and currently lives with her family in the Los Angeles area of California. She joined Cochrane in June and has been very impressed with the dedication, warmth, and positivity from all of the US Network members as well as from Cochrane staff. She is thrilled to join such a reputable organization and looks forward to the opportunity to grow, create collaborations, advocate for, and promote sustainability within both the US Network and Cochrane as a whole. If you haven’t had the chance to connect with Tiffany, she’d love to hear from you. Here’s hoping for in-person meetings in 2021 so she can meet all of her colleagues!
Jordi Pardo Pardo, born in Barcelona but living in Quebec, is currently Co-Managing Editor of Cochrane Musculsokeletal. Jordi joined Cochrane in November 1997. He came in as a young journalist that had no idea about health research, but he fell in love with the organization and has played many roles in it, from the Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, the Lung Cancer Group, the Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group and Cochrane Musculoskeletal. Jordi really enjoyed contributing with the first steps of the Spanish translation of reviews, and how they experimented with different processes to make the dream of having all Cochrane reviews in Spanish a reality. Jordi enjoys Colloquia so much that he helped to organize two and provided countless hours in committees for several others. Jordi also enjoyed contributing on the two waves of the Capacity Building for Managing Editors Survey. Getting an insight of the needs of those who oil the process of editing a review to get it out with the level of quality that Cochrane expects was a great opportunity to see how differently we all work, a challenge to find common ways to improve and a pleasure to see the amount of talent we have in the organization.
Roses Parker, from England, joined Cochrane in September 2019 after completing her PhD in December 2018 and having a baby in January 2019. She is the Network Support Fellow for the MOSS Network. She has enjoyed working on the Plain Language Summaries project, and completing an audit of MOSS prioritisation work. Roses is particularly proud of the citation rates for MOSS Reviews in Wikipedia and setting up the SoMe Cuppa Club for MOSS members to discuss and encourage each others’ social media use. New projects she's looking forward to include a stakeholder engagement project, increasing collaboration with Cochrane Methods and Fields, and a Network Innovation Fund project to investigate the optimal methods for the use of ‘pain’ as an outcome in systematic reviews of post-operative pain management.
Mikhail Kukushkin, from Russia, joined Cochrane in 2016. He started off contributing to Cochrane's Russian Translation Project as a volunteer translator and then as a volunteer editor, successfully reaching nearly 600 translated/edited Cochrane Plain Language Summaries. It has been a great pleasure and honor for him to work at Cochrane Russia and contribute to Russian Translations of Cochrane Evidence and to Cochrane Russia's evaluation of quality of machine translators in Memsource. He noticed that during the last 3-4 years, Cochrane’s publicity in Russia increased substantially, and he is very happy and proud of this. He hopes that in future, Cochrane's work won't face significant obstacles, both in Russia and globally, because now is not the time for misunderstanding between the participants of health care systems.
Rachel Klabunde, from Chile, joined Cochrane in 2019 helping the Cochrane Chile team to plan the 2019 Cochrane Colloquium in Santiago. She now works as part of the Community Support team in People Services and as a Communication Officer in the Knowledge Translation Department of the Cochrane Central Executive Team. Due to widespread violence and civil unrest in Santiago, the Cochrane Colloquium was canceled. Our annual event would have featured a four-day, wide-reaching scientific programme entitled ‘Embracing Diversity’ as well as a Gala Dinner open to all delegates. Due to the cancellation, all the pre-ordered food including catering provisions for a three-course Gala dinner was donated to a local charity in Santiago. Turning this negative moment into something positive is definitely something to be proud of!
Muriah Umoquit, from Canada, joined Cochrane in 2015. Working in the Knowledge Translation Department of the Central Executive Team, she is a self-proclaimed 'Cochrane Fangirl'. Knowing how daunting rows of academic posters can be, she was thrilled to work on a project bringing branded #BetterPoster templates to disseminate Cochrane work at Colloquia and other academic conferences. You can view many of these posters from our virtual 2019 Colloquium - including hers!
We want to come together and tell our collective and individual Cochrane stories! To share your #MyCochraneStory please contact Lydia Parsonson - firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- A photo: At your desk, at Cochrane event, or a headshot.
- Your country of residence: Our community is diverse and we want to celebrate this!
- Your Cochrane Story: We want to hear about what Cochrane work and achievements you are most proud of! 3-4 sentences about yourself and your story and any URLs that could be included.
- Cochrane Evidence Essentials - free online resource offering an introduction to health evidence and how to make informed health choices.
- Cochrane Handbook
The Early Career Professionals Network aims to provide its members with opportunities to enhance their knowledge, skills, and expertise by providing a platform for international networking with early career professionals or other members in the Cochrane community.
Though there is no one single definition of an ‘Early Career Professional/Researcher,’ bodies such as the European Research Commission, Economic and Social Research Council, and De Montfort University generally agree that an ECP is someone who is roughly within the first five years of their research activity. Informally, we also define an ECP as PhD students and post-docs.
This group has four main objectives, including international networking, representing trainees, active patient involvement, and knowledge translation.Upcoming Events:
Journal Club - Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy
Date: 28 April 2022
Time: 14- 15:30 EDT (view in your time zone)
Register: Register for free!
Join Cochrane Early Career Professionals Network (ECP) for two presentations, join in the discussion, and ask questions. A great opportunity to learn and network! Everyone is welcome!
- Hosted by Joel Pollet
- Presentation 1: 'Methodology issues of rehabilitation research: ‘Specific issues’ of rehabilitation.' by Chiara Arienti, Coordinator of Cochrane Rehabilitation.
- Presentation 2: 'The methodology used for the production of the guideline on Low Back Pain treatment. ' by Prof. Pierre Côté, from Ontario Tech University
- Visit the Early Career Professionals Cochrane Network page on Cochrane Community
- View videos of past events
- Follow ECP on Twitter or check out the #CochraneEarlyCareer hashtag
Subscribe to the ECO Newsletter for a ‘one-stop-shop’ of resources, training, events, opportunities, features, blogs relevant to Early Career Researchers. Register for a Cochrane Account > My account > Communications tab > Sign up for all of the newsletters you’re interested in, including the Early Career Professionals Network newsletter.
Readable, clinically-focused, actionable answers to inform point-of-care decision-making for health professionals.
Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCAs) provide a readable, digestible, clinically-focused entry point to rigorous research from Cochrane Reviews. They are designed to be actionable and to inform point-of-care decision-making. Each CCA contains a clinical question, a short answer, and data for the outcomes from the Cochrane Review deemed most relevant to practicing healthcare professionals. The evidence is displayed in a user-friendly tabulated format that includes narratives, data, and links to graphics.
COVID-19 CCAs are available for free. Latest COVID CCAs:
- Can pre‐exposure SARS‐CoV‐2‐neutralising monoclonal antibodies help prevent COVID‐19?
- Can postexposure SARS‐CoV‐2‐neutralising monoclonal antibodies help prevent COVID‐19?
- What are the effects of janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors for people with moderate to severe COVID‐19?
- What is the accuracy of World Health Organization (WHO)‐specified and related COVID‐19 symptoms for the diagnosis of COVID‐19?
- What evidence is available on unintended health and societal consequences of measures implemented in the school setting to contain the COVID‐19 pandemic?
Get involved: The clinical answer is written either by a practicing clinician or by a CCA Editor, with the answer being peer-reviewed by a practicing clinician. If you would like to join the Clinical Answers authoring team, please contact the team at email@example.com. We are specifically looking for clinicians in the following areas: respiratory medicine; care of the elderly; cardiovascular medicine; pregnancy and childbirth; neurology - especially epilepsy; infectious disease; paediatrics; rheumatology; ENT; and urology.