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Cochrane seeks Executive Assistant to Editor in Chief - London

Gio, 05/02/2019 - 12:48

Specifications: Full Time, Permanent
Salary: Competitive
Location: London
Application Closing Date: Thursday 16th May 2019

This role is an exciting opportunity to use your experience as an Executive Assistant to make a difference in the field of health care research. 

The Executive Assistant will provide an efficient and responsive administrative, organisational, and logistical service to the Editor in Chief (EiC) and the leadership team of the Editorial and Methods Department (EMD) when relevant, helping them to manage and prioritise their time and to support the strategic aims and operational activities of the department.

We are looking for a self-motivated and highly organised individual who is able to work effectively and collaboratively with a diverse range of contacts across the world.  The successful candidate will also have:

  • Previous EA/PA/Secretarial experience at a senior level
  • Excellent typing skills - speed and accuracy essential
  • Intermediate IT skills, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Ability to prioritise and manage own workload amid conflicting demands and busy work periods
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, coupled with a sensitivity to different cultural backgrounds and how/when to adapt communications accordingly
  • Experience in working and communicating with people from varied cultural/geographic backgrounds
  • Ability to communicate confidently with people at all levels
  • Proven ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • Ability to exercise discretion and diplomacy in dealing with confidential or sensitive matters

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.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Executive Assistant to Editor in Chief” 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.


For further information, please download the full job description from here.

Deadline for applications: Thursday 16th May at Midnight GMT
 
Interviews to be held on: TBD


 

Thursday, May 2, 2019 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Editorial and Communications Officer - Flexible location

Mar, 04/30/2019 - 20:52

Specifications: Full Time, Permanent
Salary: Competitive
Location: Flexible
Application Closing Date: Wednesday 22nd May 2019

This role is an exciting opportunity to use your experience as an Editorial and Communications Officer   to make a difference in the field of health care research. 

The Editorial and Communications Officer will support the Editor in Chief and Editorial and Methods Department (EMD), as part of Cochrane’s Central Executive Team, with internal and external communications aimed at increasing the profile of the Cochrane Library, coordinating communication activities on behalf of the Cochrane Review Group (CRG) Networks, and supporting the external dissemination of high profile, impactful Cochrane Reviews.

They will work closely with the Knowledge Translation (KT) Department to ensure that all internal and external communications to relevant stakeholders are coordinated; and, to support Cochrane’s KT aims and operational activities across Cochrane CRG Networks.

We are looking for a self-motivated and highly organised individual who is able to work effectively and collaboratively with a diverse range of contacts across the world.  The successful candidate will also have:

  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • A degree or equivalent experience working within a communications or editorial environment, journalism, and/or in a similar role.
  • Demonstrable experience of planning and implementing a communications strategy in conjunction with others; and proven success in communicating the vision and mission of an organization.
  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects and work assignments.
  • Impressive interpersonal skills both in person and through teleconferences and webinars.
  • Proven experience of building productive working relationships, both internally and externally, in an international and geographically dispersed environment.
  • Well-organized, having good attention to detail.
  • Willingness to work flexibly including outside normal working hours to accommodate different time-zones, and sporadic international travel.
  • Ability to work fast and under pressure when needed.
  • Commitment to Cochrane’s mission and principles.

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.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Editorial and Communications Officer” 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.

For further information, please download the full job description.

Deadline for applications: Wednesday 22nd May 2019 (12 midnight GMT)
Interviews to be held on: Week commencing 3rd June 2019

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 Category: Jobs

March for Science Day of action: Be a citizen scientist and join Cochrane Crowd’s classification challenge

Mar, 04/30/2019 - 17:59

The March for Science is holding an international day of action this Saturday, 4 May 2019. You can get involved by joining Cochrane Crowds 1 hour screening challenge 10-11am BST and contribute to the goal of 3 million classifications. This is a perfect virtual event for those wanting to participate in the March for Science but don't have have a local event to attend.

Cochrane Crowd, Cochrane’s citizen science platform, is a global community made up of volunteers who are helping to identify the research needed to support informed decision-making about healthcare treatments.


Anyone can join Cochrane Crowd and no previous experience is necessary.
Members find the experience helps build skills in evidence assessment, and by focusing their effort to a health topic of interest they can keep abreast of the latest research. Brief (and fun!) online training is provided, and any contribution is welcome, whether it be five minutes here and there or more focused periods of time.

How can you get ready for Saturday?
First of all, sign up to Cochrane Crowd.

Then complete the short (10-15minutes) training module for the randomised controlled trial task (RCT ID).  Just  find the RCT ID task on your dashboard and access the training there. Once you've completed it, you can start "live screening”.

What happens on Saturday, 4 May 10-11am BST?
Log into Cochrane Crowd and start screening! You can keep in contact with the team on Twitter and egg each other on! Follow @cochrane_crowd and please use ##MarchForScience and #Crowd3Million.

Prizes will be available to people who take a screenshot of the Crowd tally at 3 million classifications (or as close to 3 million as you can get!) and tweet the screenshot, making sure to tag @cochrane_crowd. If you're not on Twitter you could email it instead.

Interested in getting involved but unable to join on Saturday?
You can still take part – any contribution you make between now and then will help meet the 3 million goal.

If you have any questions about the challenge, please email Cochrane Crowd.

For more information on other ways to get involved:

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Podcast: Light therapy for prevention of winter depression

Lun, 04/29/2019 - 13:43

Many people experience the "winter blues", but some suffer from something more serious, seasonal affective disorder, which has a major impact on their quality of life. Light therapy is one of the interventions that is used to try to prevent it and a team of researchers from Austria and the USA published the update of their Cochrane Review in March 2019. Lead author, Barbara Nussbaumer, from the Danube University Krems in Austria, summarises the findings in this podcast.

"Seasonal affective disorder, which is also known as winter depression, is a seasonal pattern of recurrent major depressive episodes. These usually occur during fall or winter and stop in the spring. One especially harmful feature is the high risk of recurrence and persistence, such that two-thirds of those diagnosed with it experience this type of depression every year. However, the predictable seasonal aspect provides promising opportunities for prevention and we are working on a series of four reviews of interventions that might help. The review that will be focussed on for the next few minutes, examines the effects of light therapy, a well-established non-pharmacological intervention used to treat acute episodes of seasonal affective disorder, which exposes people to artificial light. However, very little is known about its use for preventing winter depression.

Modes of delivery and form of light vary, and we wanted to investigate whether any form of light therapy reduces the risk of new depressive episodes in patients with a history of seasonal affective disorder, who were free of symptoms at the start of the preventive treatment. We searched widely for studies comparing light therapy to no treatment, other types of light therapy, or other interventions such as antidepressants or psychological therapy; but, unfortunately, found just one randomized trial that we could use.

This trial was a single-centre study from the Netherlands that included a total of 46 participants from an outpatient clinic. The intervention was implemented at participants’ homes, after they had been randomly assigned to one of three study groups: bright white visor light, pure infrared visor light, and no light exposure. They were instructed to use light therapy 30 minutes a day in the morning except for weekends.

Overall, the two forms of preventive light therapy reduced the incidence of seasonal affective disorder compared with no light therapy and yielded similar rates of depressive episodes to each other. However, the quality of evidence for all outcomes was very low, with high risk of bias due to the lack of blinding, missing information on drop-outs, and other limitations, such as the small sample size.

In summary, evidence on the effectiveness of light therapy for preventing seasonal affective disorder is limited. We’re not able to draw firm conclusions from the one available study and, so any decisions about using, or not using, light therapy in this way should be strongly based on patient preferences until more research becomes available."

Monday, April 29, 2019

Launch of Cochrane First Aid

Gio, 04/25/2019 - 19:53

Cochrane is delighted to announce the official launch of Cochrane First Aid.

Cochrane First Aid (CFA) is one of 12 thematic areas called Cochrane Fields. Cochrane First Aid aims to be a global, independent network of people interested in producing, disseminating and implementing high-quality research evidence within the field of first aid.

The new Field will advocate and promote the use of evidence in first aid. First aid is defined by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as the “immediate assistance provided to a sick or injured person until professional help arrives. The first aid provider should be understood as a layperson with basic first aid knowledge and skills”. According to the First Aid Task Force of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, first aid interventions aim to “preserve life, alleviate suffering, prevent further illness or injury and promote recovery”.

Cochrane First Aid is led by Professor Emmy De Buck, PhD, and coordinated by Bert Avau, PhD, Vere Borra, PhD, and Anne-Catherine Vanhove, PhD, all researchers at Cochrane First Aid headquarters located at the Centre for Evidence-Based Practice (CEBaP), a subsidiary of Belgian Red Cross in Mechelen, Belgium.

Belgian Red Cross is a pioneer in the development of evidence-based first aid guidelines and has been active in this domain for well over a decade. Evidence collected by CEBaP for these guidelines showed that there are still ample opportunities for Cochrane to address topics relevant for a lay setting with high-quality reviews. Considering the range of Cochrane Review Groups and Networks with relevant connections to first aid and the need for increased knowledge transfer and advocacy for first aid, CEBaP and Belgian Red Cross decided to initiate the establishment of the Cochrane First Aid Field in 2018. The Global First Aid Reference Centre of the IFRC is a collaborating centre of Cochrane First Aid.

Cochrane First Aid will form the link between the major players in the field of first aid and Cochrane as the world’s major evidence-synthesizing organization. Cochrane First Aid aims to become the go-to resource for high-quality, first aid-related systematic reviews providing people with the best available, usable evidence to help in decision-making.

Cochrane First Aid is part of Cochrane, a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health. Cochrane works with collaborators from more than 140 countries to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Cochrane’s work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.


 Director, Emmy De Buck, says this is an exciting opportunity: “The launch of Cochrane First Aid will expand the scope of evidence in first aid practices and policy by reaching laypeople as healthcare providers, not just as consumers of care. We envision that our work will be able to translate the practical needs that exist within first aid so that research priorities can be addressed by high-quality Cochrane reviews. We also aim to disseminate existing first aid-related Cochrane evidence to broader audiences in a variety of forms.”

 

Cochrane’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Wilson, warmly welcomed today’s news, “I am delighted we are announcing this launch. The unique focus of Cochrane First Aid on laypeople as the providers of care was until now not represented within Cochrane Groups. By working closely together I am very confident that we will deepen and expand the scope, reach and impact of Cochrane activities on health and healthcare decision making across the world.”

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Santiago Castiello de Obeso

Mar, 04/23/2019 - 09:55

Cochrane is made up of 13,000 members and over 50,000 supporters come from more than 130 countries, worldwide. Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.

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

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

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

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

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

Name: Santiago Castiello de Obeso (on Twitter @psscdo)
Age: 27
Occupation: Full-time DPhil (PhD) student researcher; Member of Cochrane Mexico; and author with Cochrane Schizophrenia
Program: DPhil in Experimental Psychology, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford; and Cochrane Schizophrenia

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
Five years ago, in Mexico when I was studying for my bachelor’s degree in psychology, a close friend commented about Cochrane and the work done in producing high quality meta-analysis for health care interventions, as well as their advantage compared to other research and studies. The idea of assembling the body of evidence for a particular intervention to assess his efficacy fascinated me. Afterwards, I began researching Cochrane and strongly identified with their goal: providing the best possible evidence for improving decision-making in health care. My interest in Cochrane grew and I became enthusiastic to learn more about the collaboration. I decided to get involved and contacted Cochrane Schizophrenia (which works with my topics of interest).

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
I contacted Cochrane Schizophrenia when a friend and I decided to conduct a Cochrane Review on schizophrenia. We decided to look for support from Cochrane authors that lived in our city and that had previous experience with systematic reviews. We contacted and met the Cochrane community in Guadalajara, Mexico. This was a small, Cochrane community composed by young physicians, still in training but very enthusiastic, welcoming and open to new ideas. I liked the idea of collaboration that they had, where they prioritised collaborative team work before individual goals.

In relation to my background, I completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at ITESO Jesuit University of Guadalajara, and then a Masters in Behavioural Sciences at the University of Guadalajara. I am currently working towards a doctorate in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, where I am researching and studying about Schizotypy and Schizophrenia.

What do you do in Cochrane?
In Cochrane Mexico, I have worked in all the four goals of Cochrane: we organized workshops, contacted and discussed with policy makers to disseminate the work of the collaboration. Also, I like to help other Cochrane collaborators around the world, for instance by conducting screening of Spanish studies.


What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
When I worked on my first Cochrane review, I highly enjoyed the time we spent working on the weekends. We ordered food, drank some beers, read clinical studies, and learned and discussed a significant number of stats and methodology. I can assure future authors that, it could be very amusing to produce a Cochrane review. Also, I’ve rejoiced with enthusiasm motivated to create a world with better evidence for health care decision-making. Cochrane provides an atmosphere that is very friendly and collaborative and this has been clear to me since the first time I met the collaborators in Guadalajara, and until the last colloquium in Edinburgh, where I met incredible people.

What are your future plans?
After finishing the DPhil, my plan is to get back to Mexico. There, I want to be lecturer of Evidence-Based Health Care, start a lab of Computational Psychopathology, and continue working with Cochrane. In addition, I plan to engage professionals and leaders involved in the health policy decision-making to establish partnerships for Cochrane.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
Overall, I admire the direction and orientation of the collaboration, the Strategy to 2020 describe the needs of Cochrane very accurately: producing evidence, make it accessible, advocate for it, and building a sustainable organization. However, one aspect I have observed in my personal experience, is that when I try to share Cochrane Reviews to family and friends, the reviews are too technical. We could aim to produce brief and accessible summaries that make it easier for the general public to understand. 

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
I hope that more people get involved. There is a lot work to do that needs to be done! I also expect that we can influence more and aid in the development of other sciences (environmental and ecological sciences). With the recent changes in the government board, I’ve observed a dynamic and resilient collaboration. For me this is an example of the things that we will face and improve in the future. I am very glad that Cochrane has this internal dynamism. I think, it’s a good example for young people and we could learn a lot from it.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane? Why is this, do you think?
Very important. I believe that one of the most important things that Cochrane can transmit to young people, or at least that I have learnt from Cochrane, are values and vision. Two of the values i believe are very important are collaboration; help anyone because we have bigger goals as a group; and honesty; report data and conflicts of interest as they are - try to not jump to conclusions with the results, just describe them.



What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
If you want to start and you don’t know where and how, contact me (santiago.castiello@st-annes.ox.ac.uk). I am happy to arrange a videocall and I can listen to you and explain in detail my experience and the opportunities. We all start with no prior knowledge, only the will to learn and help. Also, if you had a Cochrane group in your country, contact them, I am sure they are doing something interesting.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Cochrane’s annual Colloquium in Chile hosts some of the world’s most influential health researchers

Mer, 04/17/2019 - 13:50

Cochrane’s annual Colloquium in Chile hosts some of the world’s most influential health researchers

Scientists, academics, opinion leaders, clinicians, and patients join together to promote evidence-informed decision-making in Santiago, October 2019.

Lea esta Nota de Prensa en Español

Cochrane Chile is hosting Cochrane’s Colloquium at CasaPiedra in Santiago, October 22-25, 2019. Cochrane’s Colloquium is an annual, global health event based on promoting the most prestigious evidence in the world and where hundreds of international researchers, opinion leaders, health experts and patients join together for open, scientific debate promoting the use of evidence in health.

The scientific programme will compose of plenary sessions, workshops and abstracts in poster format and oral presentations. Proposals for Abstracts for the Colloquium are being accepted until 26 April 2019 on the event website https://colloquium2019.cochrane.com, where registration information can also be found.

This year's theme is “Embracing diversity”, exploring the advantages of examining different languages, ethnicities, genders and health evidence in policy and practice with the aim of strengthening equity in health and considering the growing need to incorporate new methodologies in the synthesis of evidence.

Dr Gabriel Rada, Director of Cochrane Chile says: “This is an exciting opportunity for us here in Chile and everyone around the world to stimulate the incorporation of diversity in their scientific work. This message encourages participants to embrace diversity to improve the health and quality of life of people living in South America and across the world.”

Dr Xavier Bonfill, Director of Cochrane’s Iberoamerican Network, remarked: “We are very proud that this year’s Colloquium takes place in Santiago. Our Chilean colleagues have been very active and productive in contributing to Cochrane and Evidence-based Medicine, either in their country, in Latin America and worldwide. Therefore, the Colloquium is also a great opportunity to show to a large international audience the many good things that are being done there and establish fruitful collaborative links for the future.”

Cochrane’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Wilson, says: “I am delighted that Cochrane’s annual international Colloquium is taking place in Chile this year. Learning from, and supporting the future work of, health researchers, clinicians, policymakers and patients in South America is a major objective of this year’s Colloquium. South America is experiencing some of the widest inequalities in health provision and outcomes in the world; and we hope that the Colloquium will highlight ways in which Cochrane evidence can impact health and healthcare decision-making across the region more effectively, thereby improving the health of millions of people.”

For more information and to submit an abstract https://colloquium2019.cochrane.org.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Cochrane seeks Project Manager - Flexible location

Mer, 04/17/2019 - 12:34

Specifications: 12 months Fixed Term contract, Part Time (0.6 FTE)  
Salary: Competitive 
Location: Flexible location - London, Freiburg or Copenhagen preferred
Application Closing Date: 16th May 2019

This role is an exciting opportunity to use your experience as a Project Manager to make a difference in the field of health care research. 

Cochrane Informatics and Technology (IT) Services Department is looking to establish a Technology Advisory Group (TAG). TAG and its subgroups will provide advice and guidance on further development and implementation of the Cochrane Technology Strategy and technology- and data and informatics-related strategic decisions as they relate to the organisation’s mission and goals.
Additionally, this new structure will explore and discuss opportunities for, and challenges of, technological and organisational innovations and investments and partnerships, in both a responsive and proactive manner to inform future strategy and investment.
 
The Project Manager will provide project management support for the formation and ongoing support for Cochrane’s new Technology Advisory Group (TAG) and its sub-groups/working groups. The successful applicant will work across a range of project areas and teams within the ITS Department and across both Cochrane’s “ecosystem” technology partners as well as key interfaces to the Cochrane community such as the Editorial Board and the Scientific Committee, among others.

We are looking for a self-motivated and highly organised individual who is able to work effectively and collaboratively with a diverse range of contacts across the world.  The successful candidate will also have:

  • University degree and qualification in project management and/or equivalent experience
  • 3-5 years of experience in project management or programme management
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize work requirements
  • Knowledge of various project management methodologies including Agile
  • Effective communicator at all levels within and outside the organization as well as globally
  • The ability to work efficiently and effectively with a geographically-dispersed department and organization
  • Good understanding of organisational effectiveness and of identifying and helping to implement best practice
  • Excellent written, presentation and verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge of project management tools (e.g., Confluence, Jira)
  • Excellent team player
  • Is diligent with attention to detail
  • Willingness to travel as required

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.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Project 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.

For further information, please download the full job description from here.

Deadline for applications: Thursday 16th May (12 Midnight GMT)
 
Interviews to be held on: (TBC)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Assistant Editor for Editorial Policy and Publication Unit - London

Mer, 04/17/2019 - 11:51

Specifications: Full time 
Salary: Competitive 
Location: London
Application Closing Date: 1st May 2019

This role is an exciting opportunity to use your experience as an Assistant Editor to make a difference in the field of health care research. 

The Assistant Editor will assist with the development and implementation of editorial policies, and be responsible for key editorial management and publishing tasks and relationships.

Editorial policy

  • Assist with preparing, editing, and updating editorial policies and related guidance.
  • Assist with research into areas of editorial and publishing policy and practice (e.g. searches for retracted studies).
  • Use content management systems to edit and publish changes to websites providing information and guidance on editorial and publishing policies.
  • Collate data (e.g. using surveys or querying databases) and prepare reports related to editorial policies for different audiences.
  • Assist with the management and development of the Cochrane Style Manual

Publishing – Cochrane Library

  • Manage editorial workflows for Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Editorials, from submission through to publication on the Cochrane Library, work with authors, editors, peer reviewers, and our publisher, to ensure Editorials are published on time and to a high standard.
  • Monitor comments received on Cochrane Reviews via the Cochrane Library system, support comment publication processes, and track progress against turnaround targets
  • Edit and publish changes to the Cochrane Library website using the platform content management system, including: responsibility for updating the homepage content and general website content; and publishing Special Collections

We are looking for a self-motivated and highly organised individual who is able to work effectively and collaboratively with a diverse range of contacts across the world.  The successful candidate will also have:

  • Degree in relevant field or equivalent experience.
  • An understanding of the importance of systematic reviews to clinical decision-making.
  • Demonstrable interest in healthcare research.
  • Previous experience in a similar editorial or publishing role, and experience with developing or implementing editorial policy.
  • An ability to develop and maintain working relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Strong organization and prioritization skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proficient level IT skills, including but not limited to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; and able to quickly adopt to different IT packages being used by the organization such as website content management systems (e.g. Drupal, Confluence).Ability to work methodically and accurately with attention to detail.
  • A pro-active approach to problem-solving

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.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Assistant Editor” 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.

For further information, please download the full job description from here.

Deadline for applications: Wednesday 1st May 2019 (12 midnight GMT)
 
Interviews to be held on: TBC

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 Category: Jobs

Featured Review: Different doses, durations and modes of delivery of nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation

Mar, 04/16/2019 - 09:34

New evidence published today in the Cochrane Library provides high quality evidence that people who use a combination of nicotine replacement therapies (a patch plus a short acting form, such as gum or lozenge) are more likely to successfully quit smoking than people who use a single form of the medicine.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a medicine that is available as skin patches, chewing gum, nasal and oral sprays, inhalers, lozenges and tablets that deliver nicotine through the body to the brain. In many countries, people can get NRT from healthcare professionals as well as over-the-counter, without prescriptions. The aim of NRT is to replace the nicotine that people who smoke usually get from cigarettes, so the urge to smoke is reduced and they can stop smoking altogether. We know that NRT improves a person's chances of stopping smoking and that it’s a popular choice for people who want to quit.

There are many different ways to use NRT. This Cochrane Review looks at the different ways to use NRT to quit smoking, and which of these work best to quit smoking for six months or longer. It includes 63 trials including 41,509 participants. All studies were conducted in people who wanted to quit smoking, and most were conducted in adults. People enrolled in the studies typically smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day at the start of the studies.

The Cochrane authors found that using a nicotine patch and another type of NRT (such as gum or a lozenge) at the same time made it more likely that a person would successfully stop smoking than if they used one type of NRT alone. Just over 17% of people who combined a patch with another type of NRT were able to quit compared with about 14% people who used a single type of NRT . 

People were also more likely to successfully quit if they used higher dose nicotine gum (containing 4mg of nicotine) in comparison to lower dose nicotine gum (containing 2mg of nicotine). Higher dose nicotine patches (containing 25mg or 21mg of nicotine) probably make it more likely that a person will quit smoking than lower dose nicotine patches (15mg or 14mg of nicotine), however more evidence is needed to strengthen this conclusion.

When people quit smoking, they often set a quit day, which is the day when they plan to stop smoking entirely. There is evidence that starting to use NRT  before a quit day may help more people to quit than starting using NRT on the quit day itself, but more evidence is needed to strengthen this conclusion.

Some studies looked at the safety of different types of NRT use and found that very few people experienced negative effects and those that were mentioned were minor, such as skin irritation with patches or mouth ulcers with lozenges. NRT is considered to be a safe medication, however data on the safety of different types of NRT use in comparison to one another is sparse.

Lead author, Dr Nicola Lindson from the  Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, UK said: “NRT is easy to access over the counter for people who would like to quit smoking,  but many people don’t use it to best effect, so their chances of giving up smoking are reduced.”

“This high-quality evidence clearly signposts that the most effective way to use NRT is to use a combination of two products at once, a patch and a fast acting form such as gum, nasal spray or lozenge. Quitting this way increases the chances of you  stopping smoking altogether. Some people are concerned about using two forms at the same time, but the evidence does not indicate an increased risk of harms.”  She added: “While this advice is included in the most recent clinical guidelines in the UK and US, incorporating these findings into training and prescribing guidelines for health professionals, and advice for individuals looking to purchase NRT will likely help more people to give up smoking.”

“We tried to answer some more questions about NRT use, such as how long NRT should be used for, whether NRT should be used on a set schedule or as wanted, and whether more people stop smoking using NRT when it is provided for free versus if they have to pay for it. However, more research is needed to answer these questions.”

This review is published by the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group. This Group has also published other evidence for people considering giving up smoking, including systematic reviews on electronic cigarettes, behaviour therapies, and other medications for quitting smoking.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Appointment of a new Editor in Chief for the Cochrane Library

Ven, 04/12/2019 - 16:56

The Governing Board is delighted to announce that, with effect from 1 June 2019, Dr. Karla Soares-Weiser will become the new Editor in Chief of the Cochrane Library. Karla will replace current Editor in Chief Dr. David Tovey, who is stepping down from the role at the end of May following ten years of distinguished service.

Karla Soares-Weiser was born in Brazil and now lives in Israel. She is a trained psychiatrist, holds a Master's degree in epidemiology, and a Ph.D. in evidence-based healthcare from the University of São Paulo. She has been working in evidence-based health care since 1997 and is an author of over 60 Systematic Reviews, including 33 Cochrane Reviews. She has held numerous positions in Cochrane Groups, including as a Visiting Fellow at the IberoAmerican and UK Cochrane Centres, where she provided training in systematic review production. Outside Cochrane she has held Assistant Professor posts in Brazil and Israel, and established her own consultancy business providing evidence synthesis services to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. She was instrumental in the development of Cochrane Response, the organization’s evidence consultancy service; and in 2015 was appointed Cochrane's first Deputy Editor in Chief. Since 2016 she has been leading the transformation programme of Cochrane Review Groups into Networks, and in 2017 became Acting Editor in Chief for four months during David Tovey’s leave on health grounds.

Karla was appointed following an extensive recruitment process led by a recruitment panel made up of Martin Burton and Marguerite Koster (Governing Board Co-Chairs), Fergus Macbeth (Council Co-Chair), Nicky Cullum (Co-ordinating Editor and Board member), Chris Eccleston (Senior Editor, Cochrane Mental Health and Neuroscience Network), Ginny Barbour (Chair of the Cochrane Library Oversight Committee, founding Editor of PLOS Medicine and Chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)) and Mark Wilson (CEO). “Karla competed in a strong, international field, in what was a rigorous and challenging recruitment process. Her appointment comes with the unanimous support of the Recruitment Advisory Panel and the full Governing Board” said Martin Burton. “Karla’s appointment is indicative of the strength and depth of talent we have in the Collaboration, and the Governing Board is delighted to be in a position to appoint from within the organization for this key role. We look forward to Karla implementing her vision to develop the Cochrane Library in support of Cochrane’s strategic goals.”

Mark Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, welcomed Karla’s appointment: “Karla’s deep knowledge of systematic reviews and the wider healthcare evidence landscape, and her expertise in the methods and challenges of synthesized evidence mean she is well-equipped to become Cochrane’s new Editor in Chief. Her passion for Cochrane and deep commitment to its ethos, principles and mission are well known by everyone who works with her; and she is already a valued member of Cochrane’s Senior Management Team with a proven record of leading change and supporting our global community of collaborators. We are looking forward to working with her in her new leadership role.”

Of his successor, David Tovey said: “Karla has done a fantastic job supporting me as Deputy Editor in Chief, and has also made a major contribution to Cochrane over many years. I am completely confident that she will be an enormous success in her new role, and wish her all the best in leading the next phase of the development of the Cochrane Library.”

Following her appointment, Karla reiterated her vision for the Cochrane Library: “to improve health care decision making by consistently publishing timely, high priority, high-quality reviews responding to the needs of our end-users. I am committed to working with the Cochrane community to achieve this vision, strengthening diversity, and striving for an excellent author experience.”

On behalf of Cochrane’s Governing Board, we invite you to join us in welcoming Karla to this important leadership role in Cochrane.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Ndi Euphrasia Ebai-Atuh

Ven, 04/12/2019 - 13:13

Cochrane is made up of 13,000 members and over 50,000 supporters come from more than 130 countries, worldwide. Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.

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

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

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

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

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

Name: Ndi Euphrasia Ebai-Atuh (on Twitter @Euphras01426918)
Age: 31 (30 at time of interview)
Occupation: Assistant Lecturer in Accounting department of the Faculty of Business & Management Sciences at the Catholic University of Cameroon (CATUC), Bamenda; systematic reviewer Effective Basic Services (eBASE) Africa
Program: Co-director of Cameroon Consumer Service Organisation (CamCoSO)

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
It was in line with my Consumer rights advocacy that I got introduced to Cochrane in 2017. I went through a number of systematic review training sessions and workshops organised by eBASE Africa. The concept of evidence informed decision making around systematic review so revolutionized my perspective and approach towards consumer rights advocacy.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
Ever since I was introduced to Cochrane, I have been not only a consumer of its evidence syntheses but an evidence synthesizer and an active advocate for the consumption of evidence syntheses by others in making health decisions as well. I am an Accountant by training and thanks to several training on systematic reviews I have been able to provide consumer referee inputs to a handful of Cochrane reviews.

What do you do in Cochrane?
I am a Cochrane consumer peer reviewer. I have provided consumer review of several PLS including; Interventions for improving oral hygiene in people after stroke(Cochrane Stroke Group);  Pro-coagulant hemostatic factors for the prevention and treatment of bleeding in patients without hemophilia (Cochrane Injuries Group); Clinically-indicated replacement versus routine replacement of peripheral venous catheters (Cochrane Vascular Group);  Pharmacological interventions for painful sickle cell vaso-occlusive crises in adults (Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group); Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor administration for subfertile women undergoing assisted reproduction (Cochrane Gynecology and Fertility Group),  just to name some. Consumer Refereeing with Cochrane has provided me a global platform from which my consumer advocacy can have far reaching effects; rendering a PLS understandable by non-clinicians (patients, carers, policy makers etc.) facilitates evidence implementation.


What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
I enjoy Cochrane’s inclusive, participatory and transparent approach in its activities from task assigning to election into post of responsibility. Group heads send out tasks well ahead of deadlines and to a wide range of consumer referees. They are equally polite and appreciative of every effort made from expression of interest to comment on a review, to submitting completed review forms. There is that personal-touch! Working with Cochrane at any level is rewarding; I got a Cochrane membership designation due to my active participation as a consumer peer reviewer and as such I was eligible to vote during the just ended Cochrane Governing Board elections. Working with Cochrane has enabled me to further build my capacity in systematic review through access to resourceful materials in the Cochrane Library and website. Of recent, I attended two webinars titled: Task Exchange; a new hub for Cochrane Consumers organised and facilitated by Richard Morley and Dr. Emily Steele. I learned what task exchange is all about, how to participate in task exchange, benefits from participating in task exchange etc.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
Looking at the results of the just ended Governing Board Elections, I noticed that the Board did not get anyone from Africa and maybe Asia elected. This is a concern to me and I think it has implications on Cochrane’s popularity and engagement in these continents. From my humble perspective, Cochrane could increase the number of positions on the Governing Board and make the election continent-wise. This will ensure that Cochrane gets a governing board member from each continent and that will go a long way to improve on its diversify and inclusiveness (global profile).

Editors Note: Since this interview, the Board has posted that they are still looking for candidates based in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
I hope that Cochrane continues to provide platforms for the effective demand and supply of high quality evidence for informed decision and better health care. Also, I hope that Cochrane equally devotes adequate resources towards evidence implementation as the case is with evidence synthesis. It would be lovely to have more Cochrane branches worldwide specifically in Africa where quality health care is farfetched for many citizens and policy makers seem relatively unconcerned with the increasing deterioration of health systems and facilities.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane? Why is this, do you think?
Young people can benefit from and contribute immensely by getting involved in Cochrane.  With more and more young people occupying world class leadership positions (Presidents, Ministers, Directors etc.) it is more than ever before crucial for them to get involved in Cochrane, so as to foster the implementation of evidence policy making in health at global, continental and national levels. In my continent Africa which is largely youthful, more young people getting involved in Cochrane would mean Africa making informed and better health care decisions.



What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
If you have the desire to see you, your community and the world at large healthier, then you are ready to go. There are several platforms in Cochrane through which you can get involved; from task exchange, Cochrane crowd to peer reviewing. What you must do is to go to the Cochrane website where you would find extensive information on Cochrane and its activities. There also you will get directives and proposals on how to get involved as well as contacts of managing personnel who would be delighted to put you through.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Featured Review: Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of doctor‐nurse substitution strategies in primary care

Gio, 04/11/2019 - 13:33

What factors influence implementation of doctor-nurse substitution strategies in primary care?

  • Nurses as substitutes for doctors in primary care: evidence from 66 qualitative studies
  • Patients may accept the use of nurses to deliver services that are usually delivered by doctor
  • Implementation prompts have been developed to help programme managers who are considering implementing task-shifting strategies

 Many people do not get the healthcare they need because of a lack of healthcare workers where they live. Governments across the world are trying different solutions to address this problem. One possible solution is to move tasks from more-specialised to less-specialised health workers, for instance, moving certain tasks from doctors to nurses.

In this Cochrane Review of qualitative studies, the review authors working with the Cochrane EPOC (Effective Practice and Organisation of Care) Group explored peoples' views and experiences of moving tasks from doctors to nurses in primary healthcare, it includes 66 studies (69 papers).

This qualitative evidence synthesis links to another Cochrane Review published in 2018 that assesses the effectiveness of moving tasks from doctors to nurses in primary care. Doctor-nurse substitution is a complex intervention. The Cochrane intervention review on doctor-nurse substitution concluded that the effectiveness of doctor-nurse substitution initiatives was promising. However, the level of organisation and support used in these trials may have been higher than in real-life settings. When implementing complex interventions, we need to consider the contextual factors of each setting. This includes a proper understanding of the factors that might influence the intervention’s implementation, success and sustainability. These factors could include the values and preferences of stakeholders and the feasibility and applicability of the intervention for particular settings and health care systems. Our synthesis of qualitative evidence helped to identify factors influencing the success of substitution interventions, including the attitudes and experience of the health workers themselves and also those of other stakeholders.

Lead author of this Cochrane review Elham Shakibazadeh concluded, “Many people do not get the healthcare they need because of a lack of healthcare workers where they live. Governments across the world are trying different solutions to address this problem. One possible solution is to move tasks from more-specialised to less-specialised health workers, for instance, moving certain tasks from doctors to nurses.”

“Patients, doctors and nurses may accept the use of nurses to deliver services that are usually delivered by doctors. But this is likely to depend on the type of services. Nurses taking on extra tasks want respect and collaboration from doctors; as well as proper resources; good referral systems; experienced leaders; clear roles; and adequate incentives, training and supervision. However, these needs are not always met.”

Monday, April 15, 2019

Eleven Cochrane Reviews inform a World Health Organization Guideline on digital healthcare

Gio, 04/11/2019 - 10:20

A new WHO guideline on Digital Interventions for Health System Strengthening published on April 17th, 2019.  The main objective of this new guideline is to provide evidence-informed recommendations to policy makers on key digital health interventions, to inform country investment plans. The guideline also describes potentially important implementation considerations for these interventions. And finally, the guideline identifies evidence gaps to inform member states and streamline future research investments and implementation planning. The guideline includes contributions from eleven Cochrane reviews.

Nine of these reviews were commissioned by the WHO for the guideline. The other two reviews were already in progress but were finalised in collaboration with the WHO.  Two of the reviews are qualitative evidence syntheses and two reviews are mixed methods reviews.

Simon Lewin and Claire Glenton, from Cochrane’s Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) Group, have played central roles in the development of the guideline. As part of the technical team, they helped to scope the guideline, commission the reviews, prepare the evidence, and support the decision-making process. They have also been closely involved as editors or co-authors of most of the reviews.  In addition, Cochrane Response – the systematic review unit set up to increase Cochrane’s capacity to respond to the needs of commissioners – has worked on most of the reviews and has played a key part in review production.

In this interview we asked Simon Lewin and Clare Genton from the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (EPOC) to tell us more.

Tell us about this guideline…

To give you an overview, the guideline looks at different ways of using digital technology to organise health services, primarily through mobile phones. Some of the recommendations involve service users – for example, people receiving text messages from the health services, or people receiving different types of healthcare services via mobile phone or tablet. However, most of the recommendations focus on health workers using mobile phone technology to improve service delivery, for instance through keeping track of supplies or commodity levels in health facilities, notifying births and deaths, linking with other health workers to receive advice or support on clinical questions, and accessing in-service training.

How/when did your relationship start with WHO on this topic?

This guideline has involved the preparation of eleven Cochrane Reviews, seven of which are from the EPOC Group.

Were some of these reviews specially commissioned by WHO? How were Cochrane Response involved?

Most of the reviews were specially commissioned by WHO. Cochrane EPOC played a key role in shaping the scope of these reviews, providing technical support to the review teams, such as with searching and assessing how much certainty to place in the review findings, and ensuring that the reviews have moved rapidly through the necessary Cochrane editorial processes.

Cochrane Response has also played a central role in getting this large body of work done on time, and the collaboration between WHO, Cochrane Response, Cochrane EPOC and the review author teams has been excellent. Cochrane Response came on board very early on in the process and helped us and the WHO to plan most of the reviews, together with the leads for those reviews. Since then, the Cochrane Response team has worked closely with the lead authors to prepare the reviews and helped to present the results to the WHO Guideline Development Group who were responsible for making the recommendations.  Cochrane Consumers and Communication are also involved through two reviews, and they have also been very supportive.

None of the reviews were published before the guideline was finalised. We relied on preliminary summary of findings tables and evidence profiles for the guideline process. We’re now busy finalising the reviews for final peer review and publication and hope to see all of them published before the end of 2019. 

Can you tell us about the Cochrane Reviews that have contributed to the guideline?

Most of the reviews were intervention reviews and focused on the effectiveness of these digital health interventions included in the guideline. However, two of the intervention reviews also included other types of data that could tell us something about how people are using these digital systems in practice and what influences their use. And two of the reviews were qualitative evidence syntheses. We used these qualitative evidence syntheses to answer questions about the acceptability of the interventions to different stakeholders, including service users and health care providers, as well as the feasibility of implementing these interventions and their impacts on equity and human rights. These qualitative evidence syntheses add to the growing body of such reviews within the Cochrane Public Health and Health Systems Network.

The guideline uses the GRADE Evidence to Decision Framework, why do you think this is important?

The GRADE Evidence-to-Decision framework is a key tool for helping decision makers with the process of moving from the best available evidence to a decision or recommendation. It helps decision makers, such as Guideline Development Groups, consider all important factors in a systematic and balanced way and makes the decision process more transparent to others, such as users at the country level. The framework presents in a condensed format the best available evidence for pros and cons of each option or intervention, including evidence on effectiveness and on the acceptability and feasibility of interventions. WHO has used the GRADE Evidence-to-Decision framework in this guideline – this means that there is a call for different types of evidence in addition to evidence of effectiveness.

How valuable do you think the Cochrane reviews have been in terms of their contribution to the guideline?

Despite widespread enthusiasm in many settings around the use of digital interventions delivered via mobile phones, the reviews showed a number of evidence gaps, and the evidence we did find was often of low or very low certainty. There was some evidence of impacts on health outcomes, but in many other cases, the available evidence suggests that these types of interventions may make little or no difference to the outcomes that were measured. The qualitative evidence can perhaps explain some of these results – it pointed to quite a few problems with the feasibility of these types of programmes, particularly in settings with weak health systems. The qualitative evidence also showed a number of acceptability issues, for instance tied to the privacy and confidentiality of information, as well as equity issues.

Although most of the digital interventions have been recommended by the WHO, the guideline made some recommendations conditional in response to some of the feasibility and acceptability issues identified. The WHO also highlighted acceptability, feasibility and equity issues – drawing on evidence from Cochrane qualitative evidence syntheses – when presenting implementation considerations to its end users. As all interventions have benefits and harms, use resources and need to be accepted by those to whom they are directed, it is important that recommendations are not simply based on enthusiasm and assumptions about benefits that may not be valid. The Cochrane reviews helped ensure that the recommendations were informed by the best available global evidence. Based on the findings of these reviews and the deliberations of the Guideline Development Group, the guideline also describes important research gaps to inform future studies in this field.

 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Featured Review: Home use of devices for cleaning between the teeth

Mer, 04/10/2019 - 07:57

This review asked the question, “How effective are home-use interdental cleaning devices, used in conjunction with toothbrushing, compared with toothbrushing only or another device, for preventing and controlling gum diseases, tooth decay and plaque?”

Tooth decay and periodontal diseases (gum diseases called gingivitis and periodontitis) affect the majority of people. These conditions can cause pain, difficulties with eating and speaking, low self-esteem, and, in extreme cases, may lead to tooth loss and the need for surgery. The cost to health services of treating these diseases is very high.

As dental plaque is the root cause, it is important to remove plaque from teeth on a regular basis. While many people routinely brush their teeth to remove plaque up to the gum line, it is difficult for toothbrushes to reach into areas between teeth ('interdental'), so this type of cleaning is often recommended as an extra step in personal oral hygiene routines. 


Different tools can be used to clean interdentally, such as dental floss, interdental brushes, tooth cleaning sticks, and water pressure devices known as oral irrigators.

Review authors working with Cochrane Oral Health identified 35 studies including 3929 adult participants; notably participants knew that they were in an experiment, which might have affected their teeth cleaning or eating behaviour. 

Lead author of the review, Dr Helen Worthington concluded: “Using floss or interdental brushes in addition to toothbrushing may reduce gingivitis or plaque, or both, more than toothbrushing alone and interdental brushes may be more effective than floss."



"However, overall, there is considerable uncertainty in the evidence, and we don’t know if the effects observed are important or lead to improvements in periodontal health long term. We hope that any future trials will clearly report participant periodontal status according to the new periodontal diseases classification, and last long enough to measure interproximal caries and periodontitis.”

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Cochrane Clinical Answers

Mar, 04/09/2019 - 19:32

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 practising healthcare professionals. The evidence is displayed in a user-friendly tabulated format that includes narratives, data, and links to graphics.

CCAs are available with a Cochrane subscription or national license. The following CCAs will be free until the 31 May:

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 clinicalanswers@cochrane.org. 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.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Cochrane in the Workplace - High School

Ven, 04/05/2019 - 17:28

Cochrane does not make clinical recommendations, instead it provides unbiased and high-quality health evidence so that health decisions, policies, and clinical guidelines can be informed by the best available evidence. ‘Cochrane in the workplace’ series collects stories about how Cochrane evidence is being 'put to work' in non-clinical settings - by teachers, by guideline makers, and by policy makers.

High School teacher, Ray Gowlett's story of using Cochrane evidence:

Ray Gowlett
Physical Education High School Teacher
Central Algoma Secondary School
Algoma District School Board
@raygowlett

"I'm a physical education teacher at a high school outside of my small hometown of Richards Landing, Ontario, Canada.  When teaching about nutrition, many students would make claims of ‘research says this’, and ‘research says that’.  I had to teach my students how to analyze the primary research that lead to the recommendations in the first place. My students had to be taught to think critically and evaluate evidence for themselves.  They needed to learn the concepts and terminology required to provide an accurate rationale for ignoring click bait editors who misinterpret results and sensationalize headlines.

In order to learn about how to read and understand evidence, I had to go outside of the world of education.  As luck would have it, I ran into a retired emergency medicine doctor, Dr. Roedde, who had taught evidence based medicine using the principles of Cochrane.  We quickly hit it off, and he committed to helping me through this process which is now going into year three.  Since then, it has been an absolute whirlwind of reading, analyzing, presenting, and defending what I have come to understand about the Cochrane principles. 

I was amazed that in a relatively short period of time students had gone from reading “Buzzfeed” articles for advice, to formulating clinical questions addressing outcomes of interest, finding systematic reviews of randomized control trials, differentiating between statistical significance and real world relevance, and were forming reasonable conclusions.  I would leave classes exhausted, but impressed. 

After my experiences of using the principles of Cochrane to improve my own subject specific knowledge and pedagogical practices, I believe that it is my professional obligation to become as proficient as I can with this skillset and to teach it to as many of my colleagues who would like to do the same.  I believe it is my responsibility to teach the principles of Cochrane to students, so they too, will have the ability to ‘Debunk Anything That I Teach Them’."

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

Friday, April 5, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Meisser Madera

Mer, 04/03/2019 - 10:25

Cochrane is made up of 13,000 members and over 50,000 supporters come from more than 130 countries, worldwide. Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.

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

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

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

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

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

Name: Meisser Madera (on Twitter @resiem1209)
Age: 30
Occupation: Professor at Faculty of Dentistry, University of Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia; and member of Iberoamerican Cochrane Center, Barcelona, Spain
Program: PhD candidate in Methodology of Biomedical Research and Public Health at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
I first heard about Cochrane Collaboration when I was a Masters student. My classmates and I had to read some Cochrane systematic reviews and discuss the importance of Evidence-Based Medicine.  

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
I have been involved in medical research since I was an Undergraduate student in Dental School at the University of Cartagena, Colombia. After my dentistry bachelor’s degree, I worked as a Research Assistant in the Research Department at that same University. There, I worked in several projects focusing on dental public health. Afterwards, I attended two Master degrees: one on Clinical Epidemiology, and the second one on Biochemistry. Currently, I am enrolled in the Methodology of Biomedical Research and Public Health doctorate program at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. So, my involvement with Cochrane began when I started to develop my PhD thesis in collaboration with the Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre in Barcelona. The main focus of my thesis is on quality assessment of available evidence about diagnosis and treatment for oral cavity cancer.

What do you do in Cochrane?
Besides my PhD thesis project, I have been collaborating in some projects concerning evidence-based medicine. They are mainly focused on quality assessment of clinical practice guidelines, evidence mapping methodology and systematic reviews.  I also belong to Students 4 Best Evidence and Oral Health Evidence Ecosystem initiative.

Fortunately, I also had the opportunity to attend the Edinburgh Colloquium and the Cochrane UK student elective program in Oxford, last year. It was fabulous and I had a different perspective about the Cochrane's work and its importance in research all over the world.


What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
I love the spirit of openness of its members, all the availability of all researchers and the spirit of sharing information, and the discussion around important themes. It is an organization where you can work with people from across the world, be involved in different ways and tasks, with the main goal to contribute on the improvement of evidence-based health care practice. In this sense, I have learnt so much about critical appraisal of evidence, as well as different ways to translate the best available evidence into practice.

What are your plans?
I am planning to finish my PhD program and to continue to be involved in Cochrane's work as much as possible before I go back to Colombia. I will continue to work as a professor at University of Cartagena, where I hope to share all my knowledge on Evidence-Based Medicine with my students and colleagues with the main goal of spreading everything I learnt and indirectly improve the quality of dental practice performed in my country. However, I think that I will keep on developing research because if you do not investigate, science wont go further…

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
In my opinion, Cochrane’s work is wonderful. However, I think that Cochrane should increase the participation of stakeholders such as clinicians, health care students, patients and their families, etc. into its process.  Although Cochrane has been doing a great work on evidence dissemination, it should be more accessible, especially in developing countries.

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
I hope that Cochrane continues to be an independent leader organization, which impacts on public health policies globally. I also wish that Cochrane’s work will be of knowledge and recognized in all regions where currently is unknown. It would be a great help on the improvement of health care practice and decision-making process in those areas.   

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane, why is this, do you think?
I believe that the involvement of young people in Cochrane is essential to guarantee the continuous in the evolution in research and the pursuing of its principles in the future.  

Why is this, do you think?
Since one of Cochrane's aims is to build an effective and sustainable organization. In my opinion, the young people’s work is crucial to achieve this goal. Young investigators can contribute in different areas and tasks in many ways. We also have the chance to recognize the importance of use of high-quality evidence into clinical practice. Therefore, it is likely that all young people involved in Cochrane Collaboration will apply that knowledge in their careers. 



What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
I felt very cherished when I came to Cochrane; there is hope for everyone in Cochrane!

Please do not be afraid. My first suggestion is, that they look for information about Cochrane on its website and follow Cochrane on social media. In those sites there is useful information that will help them to apply and decide in which field or task they want to get involved. The second suggestion is for them to contact Cochrane Center or Network that they are interested in. They will get an answer as soon as possible.   


Monday, April 8, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Tahira Devji

Mar, 04/02/2019 - 10:53

Cochrane is made up of 13,000 members and over 50,000 supporters come from more than 130 countries, worldwide. Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.

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

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

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

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

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

Name: Tahira Devji (on Twitter @TahiraDevji)
Age: 28
Occupation: PhD Candidate, Health Research Methodology Program
Program: Department of Health Research Methods (formerly Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics), Evidence and Impact, McMaster University

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
I first heard about Cochrane in a course I took on systematic review methods while completing my Masters training in the Health Research Methodology program at McMaster University. The course covered fundamentals of rigorous review methods based on the guidance offered in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation framework for evaluating certainty of estimates, and presenting and interpreting evidence.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
Early in my doctoral studies at McMaster University under the supervision of distinguished Professor, and leader in evidence-based medicine, Dr. Gordon Guyatt, I took a keen interest in the use, analysis and presentation of patient-reported outcome (PROs) – specifically, questionnaires addressing patients’ health status (e.g. quality of life, symptoms, functional abilities) – in clinical research. Despite the increased use of PROs in the evaluation of health care interventions in clinical trials and systematic reviews, interpretation of their results remains challenging. My doctoral research aims to improve methods for enhancing the interpretation of PROs, with a focus on the concept of the minimal important difference (MID) – the smallest change in an outcome, either positive or negative, that patients perceive as important – which has proved invaluable in facilitating the interpretation of PRO results.

Given my research interests and Dr. Guyatt’s role as the co-chair of the Cochrane PRO methods group, I was encouraged to join the PRO methods group to broaden my research network, share my research interests and ideas with other members, and potentially collaborate on projects that contribute to the objectives and efforts of the group.

What do you do in Cochrane?
The Cochrane PRO methods group offers a workshop at the annual Cochrane Colloquium addressing issues in using, interpreting and presenting PROs in Cochrane reviews. I first attended the PRO workshop in Seoul, South Korea in 2016 as an attendee, and have since helped facilitate the workshop at the last two Colloquia (Cape Town, SA and Edinburgh, UK).

Together with my colleagues from McMaster University, we are leading an emerging program of research on MID methods. Based on this work, at the last two Cochrane Colloquia, we created and offered a second workshop that focuses on the methods for evaluating credibility of MID estimates and their application in meta-analysis to make PRO results more interpretable in systematic reviews and guidelines.

I have also co-authored the new PROs chapter for version 6 of the Cochrane Handbook. This chapter illustrates key risk of bias issues that systematic reviewers should consider when including results from PROs in meta-analysis and provides guidance on approaches to meta-analysis that will improve the interpretability of PROs to enhance decision-making.


What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
Cochrane remains a world leader in promoting evidence-informed health decision-making by producing trustworthy, relevant and up-to-date synthesized research evidence. What is most impressive is the collaborative culture instilled in Cochrane’s ethic, evidenced by a network of 37,000 contributors from more than 130 countries, united through a common vision to produce credible evidence and improve health outcomes. I have experienced first-hand, the diversity, inclusivity and openness in the Cochrane community, which, for me, has led to important collaborations on innovative projects.

What are your plans?
In the immediate future, I plan to continue my work in MIDs and PROs during my post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Guyatt. In response to a continually expanding field, both in terms of the number of published studies estimating MIDs and the increasing uptake of these estimates for PROs interpretation in clinical trials and systematic reviews, our research group has developed resources for facilitating identification and appraisal of MID estimates. We have created a comprehensive inventory of all published MIDs for PROs and created a novel instrument to evaluate the credibility of these estimates. Future work will focus on maintaining updated records of latest evidence and making this inventory of MID estimates easily available to users, such as Cochrane reviewers and guideline developers, through implementation in authoring platforms, such as RevMan Web, GRADE Pro and MAGIC app.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
I believe there is an opportunity for Cochrane to bolster engagement with practitioners, consumers and the public, as well as researchers, funding agencies, and policy-makers to improve mechanisms for identifying critical research gaps, prioritizing health care questions, co-producing Cochrane reviews, and co-developing knowledge translation (KT) plans.

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
With the mounting body of research evidence in the published medical literature, an enormous pressure exists for decision-makers to remain informed of best current evidence. The most important facilitator for the uptake of Cochrane evidence is effective knowledge translation to consumers. Cochrane has recognized this as a priority and is developing a KT strategy/implementation plan for 2019.

For the future, it is critical that evidence produced by Cochrane responds to the needs of key stakeholders and is presented in a format that decision-makers can easily digestible. Optimal presentation of evidence will require creative efforts that extend beyond traditional forms of publishing (i.e. stagnant journal publications), such as the development of interactive and dynamic electronic resources to facilitate rapid access to evidence summaries of systematic reviews, as well as implementation of these summaries in health care systems at the point of primary care. Certainly, as an advocate and producer of high-quality and up-to-date evidence syntheses, Cochrane has a unique and important opportunity to act as a key player within the vision for a Digital and Trustworthy Evidence Ecosystem.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane, why is this, do you think?
Young people, in particular graduate trainees and those early in their independent research career, should certainly seek opportunities to get involved in Cochrane, as both the organization and such individuals are very likely to benefit. Cochrane’s global reach and diverse network of researchers and health professionals provides a nurturing environment for international and interdisciplinary research, professional development and training. Young people may benefit from access to global networks to broaden their own collaborative network and opportunities to work with renowned experts in evidence-based care. It is important young people think about not only what they have to benefit from their involvement in Cochrane, but also what they have to offer. Even if one is considered a novice on a particular topic, they may offer different or fresh perspectives and identify important research issues and questions that may not have previously considered. Given we are living in a digital age, young people who tend to be more tech savvy, may be able to harness technology to drive innovation in Cochrane.



What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
The Cochrane community is remarkably diverse, inclusive and open, and young aspiring researchers should take full advantage of this culture. Some tips that worked for me and others may find useful: 1) become a Cochrane member, 2) join a Review, Geographic or Methods group; 3) attend and network at the Cochrane Colloquium (present your research, sign-up and attend workshops and open business meetings for groups of interest).


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Podcast: Which talking therapies work for people who use drugs and also have alcohol problems?

Lun, 04/01/2019 - 13:49

The Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group studies interventions to help people who have problems with alcohol or who use illicit drugs. In December 2018, these came together in an updated review on psychosocial interventions for people who use drugs and also have alcohol problems. Jan Klimas, from the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use in Vancouver, Canada tells us about the latest evidence in this podcast.

For people generally, drinking alcohol above the low‐risk drinking limits can lead to serious alcohol related problems or disorders. But it’s even worse for those who also have problems with other drugs, leading to a large impact on their physical and mental health.

One class of psychosocial interventions, called talking therapies, aim to help people identify an alcohol problem and then boost their motivation to do something about it. Talking therapies can be given by trained doctors, nurses, counsellors, psychologists, etc. They may help reduce alcohol use and we wanted to find out if they can help people who also have problems with other drugs, such as opioids and stimulants. Our main aim was to see whether these therapies reduce drinking in adults who use illicit drugs and whether one type of therapy is more effective than another.

We found seven randomised trials that examined five talking therapies among 825 people with drug problems. Overall, we found that the therapies led to little or no differences for the outcomes assessed in the trials, which included abstinence, reduced drinking, and substance use. However, to give you a little more detail, I’ll work through our findings for each type of therapy.

There were several studies based around motivational interviewing, which helps people to explore and resolve doubts about changing their behaviour. It can be delivered in group, individual and intensive formats. There is also a shorter form, called brief motivational interviewing that takes 45 minutes to three hours, and even briefer forms take only five to 30 minutes and are often delivered by a non‐specialist.

One study found that intensive motivational interviewing may be somewhat better than a standard form at reducing the severity of alcohol use disorder among women, but not among men and it did not show differences for other outcomes. Another study found that brief motivational interviewing is probably better at reducing alcohol use than usual treatment, which was needle exchange in this case, but did not detect differences in other outcomes.

However, things were even less promising for other comparisons. The findings from three studies of motivational interviewing compared with usual treatment or education alone suggest that there may be no difference between these approaches. And the evidence from three studies comparing brief intervention and usual treatment leads to a similar conclusion.

Finally, the single study that compared cognitive‐behavioural coping skills training with a twelve‐step programme, based on theories from Alcoholics Anonymous, also failed to show a difference between these two talking therapies.

Where this leaves us, after this second update of our review that was first published in 2012 is that we remain uncertain about whether talking therapies reduce alcohol and drug use in people who also have problems with other drugs. There are no high‐quality studies and these are much needed to help with this major problem for individuals, families and society.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Pagine