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Updated: 1 hour 17 min ago

Discounts announced for Latin American Colloquium registrants

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 20:19
Special discounts available for group registrations and participants from some Latin American countries

The Cochrane Colloquium is Cochrane’s flagship annual event that is a great opportunity to meet and network with Cochrane contributors and users globally and to learn more about the wide usage of Cochrane evidence in health decision-making at all levels. This year the 26th Cochrane Colloquium will take place in the vibrant city of Santiago, Chile, 22-25 October 2019.

To foster participation of Latin American attendees in the 2019 Cochrane Colloquium, new discounts will be offered to participants from the region. Participants coming from Argentina, Uruguay, and Panama will now receive the LMIC/UMIC rate. Institutions from LMIC/UMIC countries in Latin America will receive progressive discounts for sending groups to the Colloquium (10% discount for 5 or more registrants, 15% discount for 10 or more registrants, and 20% discount for 20 or more registrants).

Additionally, institutions from Chile will receive a 10% discount off the Early Bird registration rate for groups of 5 or more, 20% discount for groups of 10 or more, and 30% discount for groups of 20 or more. Members of the Colegio Médico de Chile will receive 15% off of the Early Bird registration rate.

Participants coming from outside Latin America can access the Early Bird registration rate, which provides an 18% discount over the regular registration rate, until July 25.

 For more information on updated registration rates and discounts, please visit:  https://colloquium2019.cochrane.org/registration-fees

Don’t miss out on the exciting Scientific Programme at the 2019 Cochrane Colloquium! Learn more about the Programme here: https://colloquium2019.cochrane.org/news/2019-cochrane-colloquium-scientific-programme

Friday, June 21, 2019

2018 Journal Impact Factor for Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews is 7.755

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 16:16

The 2018 Journal Citation Report  has just been released by Clarivate Analytics, and we are delighted to announce that Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) Journal Impact Factor is now 7.755. This is an increase on the 2017 Journal Impact Factor, which was 6.754.

This means that, in 2018, a Cochrane Review was cited on average, once every 8 minutes!

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 2 years and dividing that number by the total number of Reviews published in the past 2 years. It is a useful metric for measuring the strength of a journal by how often it its publications are cited in scholarly articles.

Some highlights of the CDSR 2018 Journal Impact Factor include:

  • The CDSR is ranked 11 of the 160 journals in the Medicine, General & Internal category
  • The CDSR received 67,607 cites in the 2018 Journal Impact Factor period, compared with 62,332 in 2017
  • The 5-Year Journal Impact Factor is 7.949 compared to 7.669 in 2017

Cochrane’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. We are pleased to see a rise in total citations to now over 67 thousand and the five year impact factor is consistently strong. All of these data demonstrate the usage and impact of Cochrane reviews, and reflect enormous credit on our many thousands of contributors and groups.”

The main Journal Impact Factor report and the Cochrane Review Group reports will be delivered in August 2019.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Updated European Consensus Guidelines on Respiratory Distress Syndrome in preterm babies cites 39 Cochrane Reviews

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 15:23

Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is a breathing disorder caused by immature lungs that affects preterm babies, particularly those born more than 6 weeks before their due date. RDS is a one of the most significant causes of sickness and death for preterm babies.

The European Consensus Guidelines on the Management of Respiratory Distress Syndrome have just been updated by a European panel of experienced neonatologists and a perinatal obstetrician, and have been endorsed by the European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR). The guidelines are underpinned by evidence from 39 Cochrane Reviews: 32 from Cochrane Neonatal and 7 from Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth.

These Cochrane Reviews inform a broad set of interventions related to the prevention and treatment of RDS, ranging from antenatal care to how we use breathing machines or drugs, such as surfactant.

Cochrane Neonatal prepares systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for preventing and treating neonatal diseases or problems, particularly for infants born preterm or with low birth weight.

Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth prepares and maintains Cochrane systematic reviews of interventions that relate to pregnancy and childbirth, and up to 30 days following childbirth, as well as lactation.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Featured Review: Nutritional interventions for preventing stunting in children living in urban slums

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 14:06

UN‐Habitat estimates that there are at least one billion people living in urban slums, that is, places in cities without adequate access to health care, clean water, and sanitation. One consequence of an inadequate diet is growth stunting, that is, very short stature for age. Stunting is associated with greater susceptibility to infection, cognitive (memory and thinking skills) and behavioral problems, and lower adult work performance and earnings.  Nutritional interventions to improve infant and young children's growth have not been comprehensively or systematically assessed within urban slums.

This Cochrane review included 15 studies involving 9261 children less than five years old and 3664 pregnant women. About 73% of children were less than one year old.

The interventions studied ranged and included maternal education; nutrient supplementation of mothers, infants, and children; improving nutrition systems; or a combination of these but not dietary modification.

The reliability of the studies was very low to moderate overall because studies were not designed to cope with research problems linked to urban slum communities, such as high mobility and high loss of participants to follow‐up. This meant that the effectiveness of the intervention could not be properly assessed at later dates.

The authors concluded that the nutritional interventions reviewed had the potential to decrease stunting, based on evidence from outside of slum contexts; however, there was no evidence of an effect of the interventions included in this review as the evidence was considered as very low‐ to moderate‐certainty.

More evidence is needed of the effects of multi‐sectorial interventions, tackling the immediate and underlying causes of malnutrition at the individual, household and community levels , as well as the effects of 'up‐stream' practices and policies of governmental, non‐governmental organisations, and the business sector on nutrition‐related outcomes such as stunting.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Cochrane ENT seeks Systematic Reviewer - Oxford, UK or flexible location

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 17:46

Specifications: Full- or part-time (minimum of 2 days/week); fixed-term (12 months from start date)
Salary: £32,236 - £39,609 (pro rata for part-time)
Application Closing Date: 24th July 2019 (12.00 noon BST); interviews 5 August 2019

We are looking for an experienced Systematic Reviewer to work with our Cochrane ENT team, based at Cochrane UK in Oxford. The main purpose of the role is to assist in the prioritisation of ENT topics and facilitate the completion of high-priority systematic reviews. The post-holder will also support the Cochrane ENT editorial team and authors with methodological advice.

You will be working closely with the Cochrane ENT editorial team and the main duties of the post will include: leading scoping reviews to prioritise reviews in key ENT topic areas and devising template protocols, including core outcome measures; co-authoring Cochrane ENT protocols and reviews, usually as lead author; commenting editorially as a methods adviser on draft protocols and reviews.

You will have a MSc in a relevant area or a higher degree, plus a first degree in a health-related discipline or equivalent experience. You will have experience in conducting high-quality systematic reviews, including familiarity with Cochrane guidance and standards for the design, conduct and reporting of systematic reviews (e.g. MECIR and GRADE). Completion of at least one Cochrane review or systematic review for a guideline producer is desirable.

This full-time post is available immediately and is fixed-term for 12 months in the first instance. We would be willing to consider applications for part-time hours (minimum 2 days per week) and we are also willing to discuss remote working options.

For further information: please contact Jenny Bellorini, Managing Editor: jenny.bellorini@nds.ox.ac.uk
Deadline for applications: 24 July 2019 (12 noon BST) Interviews to be held on: 5 August 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 Category: Jobs

2019 Cochrane Colloquium Scientific Programme

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 19:35

Cochrane is proud announce final scientific programme for the Santiago Colloquium, October 22-25, 2019.

The Cochrane Colloquium, Cochrane’s flagship annual event, will highlight this year’s theme of ‘Embracing Diversity’.

Cochrane Chile is proud to announce that the 2019 Cochrane Colloquium scientific program is finalized! This year’s scientific program is highly focused on the over-arching Colloquium theme, ‘Embracing Diversity’, which will be carried out through plenaries from global speakers, special sessions, oral presentations, and workshops.

Plenary sessions will address the importance of evidence regarding equity, how Cochrane evidence can be used by diverse stakeholders, and the growing methodological diversity within Cochrane as a global organization. A Cochrane Lecture will review thoughts on the diversity of choices Cochrane faces as part of its future.

There will be nine 90-minute special sessions presented throughout the scientific program. These sessions, chosen for their innovative content and relevance to the Colloquium audience, will range from discussion of important methodological advances with the launch of the new Cochrane Handbook, to the use of evidence in decision-making in Chile and with policy-makers from Latin America; from engaging non-financial conflicts of interest to welcoming Spanish-speaking newcomers and mentoring of non-English-speaking authors; from using evidence to assist consumers with making informed health choices to technological search tools that could integrate with the Cochrane ecosystem.

The Colloquium’s concurrent sessions will experience a presentation of myriad oral presentations and workshops. Hard work undertaken over recent months by the abstract and workshop committees have resulted in acceptance of 565 Abstracts and 63 workshops as part of the main Colloquium program. Representing truly, diverse content, presentations will include authors from around the world and topics spanning 17 abstract categories and 19 workshop categories. Sessions will be scheduled over the next few months, and sign-ups will be available starting in early October.

Gabriel Rada, Director of Cochrane Chile and chair of the 2019 Cochrane Colloquium, says this year’s scientific programme is particularly strong: “We are proud to have such a complete and high-quality scientific programme, with presenters that are all leaders in the topics they will speak about. We believe that it addresses diversity in all its dimensions and complexity, and the challenge of truly embracing it. We are pleased to bring back the traditional Cochrane Lecture with Andy Oxman. Andy is not only a key player in the origins and evolution of evidence-based medicine, systematic reviews, the GRADE method and the Cochrane Collaboration, but also has a strong connection with Chile and Latin America, as part of his work aimed at low- and middle-income countries. It will be an excellent and exciting Colloquium.”

Join us for this year’s globally diverse scientific program!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Podcast: Improving the implementation of school-based policies and practices to improve student health

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 18:24

Alongside learning about mathematics, history, languages and many other things, schools are a recommended setting for interventions to improve health. However, it can be difficult to implement these interventions and, in November 2017, Luke Wolfenden of the University of Newcastle in Callaghan, Australia and colleagues published their new Cochrane Review looking into how this might be done. Luke tells us what they found in this podcast.

 Although there are a variety of school-based interventions that improve the diet, physical activity and weight status of school students or reduce their risk of harmful alcohol or tobacco use, their implementation in schools is not routine. Broadly, therefore, our objective was to review strategies that might be used to improve the implementation of school-based interventions which target student diet, activity, obesity, tobacco or alcohol use. Unfortunately, we’ve found that the current evidence base is weak for such an important topic.

The sorts of thing that might be done when a health promoting intervention is introduced into a school include training, audit and feedback or incentives. We looked for randomized and non-randomized trials that had assessed the impact of these and other strategies on how well the health promoting intervention was implemented. The strategies could target policies and practices in the school environment such as changes to cafeteria offerings, or the school curriculum itself, such as the introduction of physical education lessons.

We included 27 trials, most of which were from the USA. Nineteen of the trials were randomised and all reported multi-component implementation strategies. The most common of which were educational meetings, educational outreach visits, and educational materials. The main focus was on policies or programs targeting healthy eating or physical activity interventions, and none of the included trials sought to improve the implementation of interventions to influence alcohol consumption.

Among 13 trials reporting change in the proportion of schools or school staff implementing a targeted policy or practice, the average improvements achieved by the strategies ranged just under 10% to nearly 70%. Whereas, among the seven trials that reported the percentage of a practice, program or policy that had been implemented, we found a drop of 8% for one up to an increase of 43% for another. 

Turning to the actual effect on health outcomes, we found only very low certainty evidence. The impact on student health behaviour or weight status were mixed and there was also mixed, low certainty evidence for their effects on health behaviours of the school staff. 

In summary, there’s no clear evidence at the moment on the impact of implementation strategies on getting health-promoting policy and practice initiatives into schools or on the health behaviours or weight status of the students. This leaves an important gap and further research is required to develop the implementation evidence base, so that policies, practices and programs designed to improve student health can be applied and can yield their intended benefits.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Aqsa Iqbal

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 11:01

Cochrane is made up of 11,000 members and over 67,000 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 lparsonson@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: Aqsa Iqbal
Age: 28
Occupation: MD and researcher
Program: Research Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
I have always been interested in learning about systematic reviews so that I can help improving evidence-based medicine. A few years ago, in order to learn systematic reviews, I started searching the best sources for systematic reviews. I came across the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions which is an excellent resource for systematic reviews.

Cochrane is helping me in my systematic review studies by proving me access to Covidence, which is an efficient tool for conducting systematic review studies. Cochrane improved my knowledge about evidence-based medicine and qualified me to conduct different studies around the globe.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
Being an MD, I have always been interested in practicing evidence-based medicine. Last year, I started systematic reviews with Universities in China and Iran. I was inspired by different programs Cochrane have started to support evidence-based medicine. I decided to get involved with different programs in Cochrane to support their mission.

What do you do in Cochrane?
I am a Cochrane citizen scientist, a peer- reviewer and a have recently signed up as a member of student for best practice.

What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
I enjoy participating in identifying reports of randomized trials and helping other researchers with their studies. Participating as a citizen scientist in Cochrane Crowd serves my desire to improve and expedite medical research. It is fulfilling to assist researchers in finding answers important questions regarding treatment.

What are your future plans?
My future plans are to keep contributing to the different field of medicine, expedite and improve evidence-based medicine and reduce sufferings of people. I would also like to get more involved with more Cochrane programs.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
One thing that Cochrane could improve is to increase its visibility especially how people can contribute and learn. If more videos and free courses became available on how to conduct systematic review and meta-analysis that would be helpful.

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
Cochrane should increase its global involvement especially in low and middle income countries. During my medical school, I did not know about Cochrane and its incredible services. If I knew about Cochrane earlier, I would have learnt and contributed to Cochrane in a much better way.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane? Why is this, do you think?
It is very important that young people should get involved with Cochrane. Involvement with Cochrane will train them to learn to produce high quality research right from the beginning of their career.

Cochrane provides excellent resources, community and guidance to learn to produce high quality research. 

What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
Young people should start thinking about getting involved in research at the early part of their career. Start from screening studies as Cochrane citizen scientist. Training provided by Cochrane is very informative. They should also reach out to local Cochrane centers as well as community for guidance and mentorship.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Ahmad Sofi Mahmudi

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 10:28

Cochrane is made up of 11,000 members and over 67,000 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 lparsonson@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: Ahmad Sofi Mahmudi (on Twitter: @AhmadSofiM)
Age: 25
Occupation: Dental Student at SBMU
Program: Translation Manager at Cochrane Iran

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
When I was in the second semester in college, one of our lecturers in dental school introduced Cochrane as a reliable source of evidence. That said, I must admit I did not fully appreciate what Cochrane does and provide.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
Two years ago, I started a project named “Dahaan” (meaning Mouth in Persian). Dentistry in Iran is primarily carried out privately. There was a clearly a lack of organized effort from the dental community to the public. We were a group of enthusiastic students who spotted this and decided to fill in the void by providing evidence-informed oral health material. Our first major project was the translation of Public Health England evidence based toolkit titled “Delivering better oral health.” Once I engaged in this project, I become aware that Cochrane systematic reviews have been frequently used and cited across this toolkit. This was an enlightening moment which intrigued us to look into Cochrane Oral Health systematic reviews. We were particularly keen on translating plain language summaries. Two months later, I came across an advertisement by Cochrane Iran inviting volunteers. Luckily, I was given a chance to be part of the Cochrane community by Dr Mesgarpour who serves as the co-director of Cochrane Iran.

What do you do in Cochrane?
Currently, I am a member of Cochrane and the manager of volunteer translators group of Cochrane Iran. We translate a variety of texts and podcasts.

What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
Before joining the dental school, I was passionate about programming. I would describe myself a GNU/Linux enthusiast. The GNU/Linux is a category of operating systems that has its own community and culture. In that community, everyone is ready to help others. This is something I appreciated and enjoyed. When I became a member of the Cochrane family, I realized that there is a similar culture in the Cochrane community. Cochrane members were willing to help each other in every aspect of the research process. In the end, everyone benefits from the result of the research. In the last two years, I have learnt a lot on how to conduct high-quality research and the criteria for evaluating the researches.

What are your future plans?
Alongside working as a dentist and treating patients, I wish to pursue my postgraduate studies health sciences. That being said, I will continue my collaboration with Cochrane as this has allowed me to view dentistry and health sciences in a different way.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
I think we need to make sure that our outputs are easy to understand. Also, we need to actively engage an advocate for conducting high quality randomised controlled trials. There are many unanswered questions in healthcare, so there are lots of opportunities for improvement.

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
I hope that Cochrane will answer many more questions in health.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane? Why is this, do you think?
Cochrane, like all other communities, thrives on engaging younger people. I think this should be a high priority for Cochrane.

Every project and organisation needs new and young people to continue their desired pathway. Therefore, Cochrane needs new people and new ideas every moment. Besides, young people could benefit from the Cochrane community and learn a lot from excellent scientists.

What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
Please give it a go. Explore Cochrane and enjoy science.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Video: Cochrane Public Health and Health Systems

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 19:35

Cochrane has created eight new Networks of Cochrane Review Groups  responsible for the efficient and timely production of high-quality systematic reviews that address the research questions that are most important to decision makers.

In this short film we focus on the Cochrane Public Health and Health Systems Network. This film introduces the team, what has happened so far, and the ambition for what is to come.

 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Cochrane’s Neurological Sciences Field launches 2019 Summer School for young physicians and trainees interested in cerebrovascular diseases

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 17:52

 

Together with support from the Umbria Region Health Authority, Perugia, Italy, Cochrane’s Neurological Sciences Field is organizing a four-day Summer School 10-13 September 2019.

The residential course targeted to young physicians and trainees interested in cerebrovascular diseases, aims to present, discuss and appraise key methodological issues encountered in clinical practice with examples in vascular neurology.


Participants will learn to what extent and how methodology sustains clinical practice and the decisions that can be made accordingly, using cerebrovascular diseases as an example.

Discussions on evidence-based medicine (EBM), elements of statistics, and what is needed to appraise evidence will be conducted so that participants will be encouraged to promote clinical EBM research and systematic reviews in their professional activity to manage uncertainty.

After successful completion of the course, participants will bridge the research-practice gap in a context of evidence-based education through:

  1.  knowing when and how to screen for particular conditions;
  2. having an understanding of how to appraise the evidence from trials and systematic reviews
  3. knowing how to read a Cochrane Summary of Findings Table;
  4. understanding useful elements about statistics;
  5. knowing the current debate on the meaning and role of EBM.

If you are a practitioner, neurologist, healthcare worker, researcher, guideline developer or policy-makers who wants to get more involved in Cochrane methodology and stroke medicine, find out more information and register here: https://neurosciences.cochrane.org/summer-school-2019 or contact Kathryn Mahan, Coordinator, Cochrane Neurological Sciences Field, kmahan@regione.umbria.it

 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Cochrane launches Knowledge Translation mentorship programme

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 17:29

Would you like to develop your skills and experience in knowledge translation? Would you like to become a Cochrane leader and mentor of the future?

Cochrane defines Knowledge Translation (KT) as the process of supporting the use of health evidence from our high quality, trusted Cochrane systematic reviews by those who need it to make health decisions.

In order to develop and build on our existing KT implementation work and to encourage sharing of good practice, we’re excited to announce the launch of our first Knowledge Translation mentorship initiative.

KT mentoring in Cochrane is described as a structured, sustained relationship between two colleagues, in which the person more experienced in a specific area of knowledge translation (mentor) uses their knowledge, experience and understanding to support the development of specific KT practices that will be used in a mentee’s daily Cochrane work.


We are looking for mentees across Cochrane and mentors from Cochrane or beyond who will work collaboratively and confidentially on a 1:1 basis to discuss specifics of a KT activity or project, learning and development needs. A mentor will be paired with a mentee to provide advice and guidance based on their knowledge and experiences in an agreed specific area of KT. They will aim to help to increase the mentee’s awareness of issues involved in delivering KT and to support in exploring solutions to outcomes the mentee wants to achieve. They will also be able to offer the mentee additional tools or resources to support learning.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Do you want a role in leading Cochrane to 2020 and beyond?

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 14:21

Nominations are now open for Co-Chair of the Cochrane Governing Board – we welcome you to apply!

The deadline for receiving nominations is the end of the day on Sunday 30 June in any time zone.

The Board has two Co-Chairs, to share workload, utilize complementary skills and experience, and permit continuity through the Co-Chairs stepping down at different times. The new Co-Chair will work alongside current Co-Chair Martin Burton and replace Marguerite Koster, who is stepping down as Co-Chair at the end of her current term but will remain on the Board as a member.

The Co-Chairs are accountable to the Board, and to the members of the organization. They are expected to have leadership skills, to be fully consultative, to have vision, to be adept at dealing with people, to be able to solve problems and resolve conflicts effectively, to communicate well, and to be able to represent Cochrane in a variety of different settings.  

Members of the Governing Board have responsibilities both as trustees under UK charity law and as directors under UK company law. All Board members must adhere to the Governing Board Charter and to the Code of Conduct for Trustees.

Eligibility
Anyone who holds, or has held, a leadership position within Cochrane is eligible to apply for the position of Co-Chair. Experience of membership of the Governing Board is advantageous but not essential. Anyone appointed Co-Chair that is not already a Board member becomes a member upon their appointment.

Responsibilities

Co-Chairs agree upon an appropriate division of responsibilities, which include:

  • Chairing Board meetings and various Board sub-committees;
  • Chairing Cochrane’s Annual General Meeting;
  • Facilitating strategic planning by the Board;
  • Advising and guiding the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Editor in Chief and the Central Executive Team in working towards delivery of Cochrane’s strategy;
  • Serving as official spokesperson(s) for Cochrane and the Board, with the authority to delegate this responsibility to others;
  • Responding to issues raised by members of the organization, outside the remits of the CEO and the Editor in Chief;
  • Conducting the performance appraisal of the CEO.

Time commitment

There is a need for a minimum of eight hours per week for the Co-Chairs combined, but with an expectation that a combined total of up to 30 hours per week might sometimes be needed (not including the full-time requirements at the times of the two face-to-face Board meetings per year).

This year, the new Co-Chair must be available to travel to Santiago, Chile for the Board’s meeting 19-21 October 2019, and stay on to attend the Colloquium, to at least 23 October 2019.

Term of office

The Co-Chairs hold office for two years. They may continue to hold office for a further two-year term with the approval of the Board. The term of the new Co-Chair will begin on 1 September 2019.

How to nominate

The Board appoints the Co-Chairs. Candidates should be nominated by three Cochrane Members as defined by the Membership Terms & Conditions, including a current member of the Board.

Current Board members may only nominate one candidate each and a serving Co-Chair is not permitted to provide a Letter of Support for a fellow Board member standing for a Co-Chair appointment.

Candidates standing for appointment must submit their nomination by email to Lucie Binder, by the specified deadline below, including:

  1. A completed Co-Chair Candidate Statement which includes a declaration of conflicts of interest (including direct and indirect conflicts, and professional relationships to other members of the Board, and other boards they may sit on).
  2. Letters of Support from three Cochrane members acting as 'nominators' for the candidate, including one current member of the Board, supplying the following information:
    • Name and role in Cochrane of the person writing the Letter of Support.
    • Statement about the capacity in which they know the nominee, why they consider the nominee to be an appropriate candidate in the light of the Co-Chair job description as set out in this policy and the extent to which they think the nominee has the necessary attributes.

For more information, please refer to the Board electoral and appointment procedure on the Cochrane Community website or contact Lucie Binder (lbinder@cochrane.org), Senior Advisor to the CEO (Governance & Management).

Important dates

Nominations openThursday 6 June 2019Deadline for nominationsSunday 30 June 2019Results announcedFrom Thursday 11 July 2019 (following the Governing Board’s decision)

    
    
    

 

 

Friday, June 7, 2019 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Head of Review Production - Editorial and Methods Department

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 15:05

Specifications: Full-time, permanant
Salary: Competitive
Location: London
Application Closing Date: 5th July 2019 (12 Midnight GMT)

Head of Review Production for Cochrane, producer of the Cochrane Library, the world’s pre-eminent collection of high quality evidence to inform healthcare decisions.
 
Cochrane’s new Editor in Chief is seeking to appoint a Head of Review Production to work closely in delivering the objectives and targets of the Cochrane’s Editorial and Methods Department. 
 
The Head of Review Production will support the Editor in Chief by leading our global review production operations and help to implement our goal of offering high-quality, relevant, up-to-date systematic reviews and other synthesized research evidence that informs health decision-making around the world.
 
The successful candidate will support the strategic and editorial development of the Cochrane Library built around the needs of its users, and ensure the Library remains a premier international source of healthcare evidence.
 
The Head of Review Production will also work with the Cochrane Review Groups, and as a member of Cochrane’s Senior Management Team will contribute to organizational management and successful implementation of its Strategy to 2020 and future goals and objectives.
 
The successful candidate will have proven experience of working at a senior leadership level with strong people, project and budget management skills and expertise. Management experience within the healthcare charity sector is not essential.

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 Head of Review Production 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: 5th July 2019 (12 midnight GMT)
Interviews to be held on: (TBC)

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Featured Review: Different ways to reduce consumption of sugary drinks

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 13:34

New Cochrane Review assesses evidence on different ways to reduce consumption of sugary drinks

Consumption of sugary drinks is considered to be a key driver behind the global obesity epidemic, and is linked with tooth decay, diabetes and heart disease. Many public health bodies including the World Health Organization (WHO) have called upon governments, the food and drink industry, educational institutions, places of work and civil society to support healthier beverage choices. This new Cochrane Review summarizes evidence from research studies testing different ways of reducing consumption of sugary drinks at a population level.

A team of researchers from Germany and the UK looked at the results from 58 studies that assessed a range of approaches and strategies aimed at changing the physical or social environment where people consume or buy sugary drinks. The studies were done in a variety of settings, including schools, cafes, restaurants, homes, and retail outlets. The studies assessed a wide range of different approaches to reduce consumption such as labelling and pricing of sugar sweetened drinks and healthy alternatives. They also looked at broader policy initiatives such as community-based campaigns to encourage healthier choices. The studies were conducted in 19 different countries from North and South America, Australasia and Europe and South East Asia.

Within the broad categories of interventions studied, (labelling, nutrition standards, price increases and subsidies, home-based interventions, interventions aimed at the whole food supply, retail and food services, and intersectoral approaches such as food benefit programs and trade and investment policies), the certainty of the evidence for specific measures ranged from very low to moderate.

The review authors identified a number of measures which the available scientific evidence indicates reduces the amount of sugary drinks people drink. These measures included:

  • Labels that are easy to understand, such as ‘traffic-light’ labels, and labels that rate the healthiness of beverages with stars or numbers.
  • Limits to the availability of sugary drinks in schools.
  • Price increases on sugary drinks in restaurants, stores and leisure centres.
  • Children’s menus in chain restaurants which include healthier beverages instead of sugary drinks as the default.
  • Promotion and better placement of healthier beverages in supermarkets.
  • Government food benefits (e.g. food stamps) which cannot be used to purchase sugary drinks.
  • Community campaigns focused on supporting healthy beverage choices.
  • Measures that improve the availability of low-calorie beverages at home, e.g. through home deliveries of bottled water and diet beverages.

The Cochrane authors also found evidence that improved availability of drinking water and diet beverages at home can help people lose weight. There are also other measures which may influence how much sugary drinks people drink, but for these the available evidence is less certain.

Past research has shown that health education and taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages can also help to reduce their consumption, but these approaches were not examined in the current review. Taxation of sugary drinks, unprocessed sugar and sugar-added foods will be examined in two future Cochrane Reviews.

Review author Hans Hauner, Professor of Nutritional Medicine at Technical University Munich, Germany, and a world-leading expert in the field, commented: “Rates of obesity and diabetes are rising globally, and this trend will not be reversed without broad and effective action. Governments and industry in particular must do their part to make the healthy choice the easy choice for consumers. This review highlights key measures that can help to accomplish this.”

Review author Eva Rehfuess, Professor of Public Health and Health Services Research at LMU Munich, Germany, adds: “This review highlights essential building blocks for a comprehensive strategy to support healthy beverage choices for the whole population. However, we need to do more work to understand what works best in specific settings, such as schools and workplaces, for people of different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and in countries at different levels of economic development. This would help us to improve existing approaches further. Policy-makers and practioners who implement such measures should therefore cooperate with researchers to allow for high-quality evaluations.”

Review lead author Peter von Philipsborn, Research Associate at LMU Munich, Germany, said: “Sugary drinks are a global problem, and middle-income countries such as South Africa, Mexico and Brazil are particularly affected. The measures highlighted in this review should be considered by policy-makers worldwide.”

This Cochrane Review from Cochrane Public Health was conducted by researchers affiliated with the Institute of Medical Information Processing, Biometry and Epidemiology at the Pettenkofer School of Public Health at the LMU Munich, the Technical University Munich, and University College London.

Full Citation: Von Philipsborn P, Stratil JM, Burns J, Busert LK, Pfadenhauer LM, Polus S, Holzapfel C, Hauner H, Rehfuess E. Environmental interventions to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and their effects on health. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD012292. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012292.pub2

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Podcast: Vaccines for preventing rotavirus diarrhoea: vaccines in use

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 13:23

Rotavirus infection is a common cause of diarrhoea and a variety of vaccines are used to try to prevent it. The evidence for these is examined in the fourth update of a Cochrane Review, published in March 2019 and we asked Hanna Bergman one of the authors based in the Cochrane Response team in London UK to tell us about the problem and the latest findings.

"Rotavirus infection is common across the world and although some babies and young children might not develop any symptoms, others might get so ill that they need to go into hospital and some may die. Most of the deaths associated with rotavirus occur in children in low- and middle-income countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Before children started being vaccinated, rotavirus infection caused almost half a million deaths per year in children under five.

Since 2009, the World Health Organization has recommended that a rotavirus vaccine be included in all national infant and child immunization programmes, and almost 100 countries currently do so. Therefore, we have updated this review in order to examine the latest evidence on both the benefits and the potential side effects of the rotavirus vaccines that have been prequalified by the WHO for preventing diarrhea and deaths in infants and young children. We also looked at whether the effects differ when the vaccines are used in countries with high or low mortality rates.

We included 55 randomized trials in more than 200,000 infants and young children that had compared one of the vaccines against a placebo or no vaccine. Two of the three vaccines tested, Rotarix and RotaTeq, have been studied in several large global clinical trials and are approved for use in many countries, On the other hand, the third vaccine, Rotavac has only been evaluated in India and is only in use there.

Pooling the trial results suggests that the total number of cases of severe rotavirus diarrhoea were reduced by between 35 and 63% after vaccination in high mortality countries and by 82 to 92% after vaccination in low mortality countries, in the couple of years after vaccination. We also found a small reduction in diarrhoea from any cause and a large reduction in rotavirus-related hospitalizations and healthcare encounters as a result of vaccination. We did not detect a reduction in mortality, but unlike the other outcomes mentioned, the evidence for this was of low to very low certainty because there were so few deaths in the trials.

Turning to the side effects, we didn’t find any increased risk of serious adverse events as a result of using the vaccines but we could not exclude the possibility of a small risk of rare serious adverse events. Like with previous rotavirus vaccines, monitoring for these events is ongoing in countries that have introduced rotavirus vaccine and we may have more to say about this in future updates of this review.

To finish and as the take home message, our review shows that Rotarix, RotaTeq and Rotavac do prevent rotavirus diarrhoea and have comparable safety and efficacy profiles."

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Video: Cochrane Mental Health and Neuroscience Network

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 20:32

In this short film we introduce the Cochrane Mental Health and Neuroscience Network.

Cochrane has created eight new Networks of Cochrane Review Groups  responsible for the efficient and timely production of high-quality systematic reviews that address the research questions that are most important to decision makers.

This film introduces the team, what has happened so far and the ambition for what is to come.

 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Anneliese Arno

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 12:43

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 lparsonson@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: Anneliese Arno
Age: 29
Occupation: PhD/MPhil student, University College London
Program: Community Manager, Covidence.org

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
I first heard about Cochrane through a module in my Masters course in Global Health at Trinity College Dublin.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
I loved the course during my time at Trinity – just loved the whole concept of making better health decisions by drawing on large amounts of data. My MSc thesis ended up being a systematic review – not a Cochrane review, however.

I describe my background as being in Public Health, but really, it’s been a journey. My undergrad degrees were in Biology and Economics, and I figured Public Health would be a good way to combine the two interests. From there I studied Global Health, and then started the job I’m currently in with Covidence after seeing it listed on the Cochrane website. Through working with Covidence and Julian Elliott, I started my PhD researching automation technologies.

What do you do in Cochrane?
I’m not directly associated with Cochrane, but rather with Covidence, the recommended tool for Cochrane reviews. With Covidence, I train users and communicate user needs back into the product development process. With my PhD work, I’m researching the adoption of automation technologies in systematic reviewing.

Through both my PhD and through Covidence, I’ve attended several Cochrane Colloquia and am involved with the Living Systematic Review Network, the Human Behaviour Change Project, and collaborate within Cochrane on my research.

What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
Getting to connect with people all over the world is a huge plus for me – I’ve always wanted travel and exploration to be part of my life, so it’s great to combine that with my work.

In terms of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt: first, to be adaptable. Even the most well-planned projects hit road bumps and have to be continually re-evaluated, and that is okay. I think early career researchers (myself absolutely included) can get very discouraged when this occurs and feel like we’re incapable of the research we’ve undertaken, when the truth is that the whole process is fairly normal. Second, that it’s always worth it to take a moment to ask the bigger questions about the research you’re doing. Keeping your sights on your mission and ‘zooming out’ of what you’re doing helps to make the tougher periods easier to get through.

What are your future plans?
Finishing my PhD! After that, I’m hoping to continue with the same sort of research – how do we maximise efficiency and quality in health research? I’d love to also get back to my Global Health background and contribute to technological capacity building in LMIC settings.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
Cochrane is still very English-speaking world focused, in my observation. There’s been improvements in this, but I think there’s a long way to go!

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
I hope that Cochrane continues to focus on its overall mission of creating better evidence for better health and makes sure to frame all organisational endeavours through that lens. Given the following question, I also hope that Cochrane communicates to new graduates that their input is desired and valued.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane? Why is this, do you think?
Extremely! Every organisation can always improve, and new, fresh ideas are often the best way to do that.

What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
Check out Task Exchange to see if you can get some bits of experience here and there. It can be hard to face the wall of job descriptions requiring seemingly huge amounts of experience, but you can get that experience in creative ways if you’re willing to jump on a few volunteer research projects. Also try to be active in discussion forums like Twitter and LinkedIn – with a bit of regular academia-minded input, people will learn your name and help you with further connections.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Podcast: Immunosuppressive treatment for people with proliferative lupus nephritis

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 10:53

Systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE, is an autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body. About half the people with it develop lupus nephritis. In the June 2018 update of their Cochrane Review, David Tunnicliffe from the Centre for Kidney Research in the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health in Australia and colleagues brought together the studies that have tested a range of treatments.

"Lupus nephritis is a serious condition, leading to end-stage kidney disease in 15% of patients after 10 years. It mainly affects women of child-bearing age, and is more common in some groups, such as those of Hispanic and Asian ethnicity, who also experience more aggressive disease. In the 1950s, most patients survived less than five years, but newer treatments mean that more than 90% of patients will now live a normal lifespan. Cyclophosphamide-containing regimens became established as first line therapy for inducing remission in the 1970s and 1980s, but the drug has a high incidence of adverse events, such as serious infection, hair-loss, and infertility. Furthermore, response to treatment is often slow, and even if remission is achieved, the risk or relapse or flare remains considerable.

In the past ten years, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) emerged as a less toxic alternative to cyclophosphamide but there is uncertainty about which agent is more effectie. Over recent years, randomized trials have been done to compare these drugs and to test other therapies such as the combination of low-dose MMF and tacrolimus and newer biologic agents.

Our updated Cochrane Review evaluates the relative effects of these various drugs, looking at all available trials of immunosuppressive therapies for the induction and maintenance treatment of proliferative lupus nephritis, the most serious form of the disease.

We have now identified 74 randomized trials, involving more than 5000 participants but these trials differ in many ways and only relatively small numbers are available for the various comparisons.

For the induction of disease, eight trials, with a total of about 800 patients, compared MMF with intravenous cyclophosphamide and two trials, with 402 patients, compared low dose MMF and tacrolimus against intravenous cyclophosphamide. Our analyses show that patients receiving short term treatment of up to six months with MMF or intravenous cyclophosphamide may have similar rates of complete remission. There was less leucopenia and alopecia with MMF, but an increased risk of diarrhoea. The addition of data from some recent trials shows that the effect on ovarian failure is unclear, because of the fragility in the effect estimates. This contrasts with the general medical consensus and observational data suggesting a risk of ovarian failure from repeated cyclophosphamide doses. When tacrolimus and low-dose MMF are used together, this may increase complete remission, but the safety of this therapy is uncertain, and the generalizability of these findings is unclear because they come from just two trials, both done in China.

There are only a small number of trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of biological therapy in patients with lupus nephritis. For example, four trials, including 452 patients, have compared MMF with azathioprine for maintenance therapy and these showed a significantly lower risk of renal relapse with MMF than with azathioprine.

The best duration of therapy remains unclear and longer-term outcome data are sparse, with patients followed up for an average of 12 months in the induction therapy trials and 30 months for maintenance therapy. This is not long enough to examine critical and important outcomes, such as death and end-stage kidney disease. So, the power of the existing studies to detect significant differences among interventions is limited, even when their findings are combined in meta-analyses.

In summary, the main messages from this review are that there are similar effects for induction of remission with MMF and cyclophosphamide, but with fewer toxic effects for MMF. This supports MMF over cyclophosphamide as induction therapy for lupus nephritis. Combining low-dose MMF with tacrolimus may increase complete remission but we are cautious about this because the findings comes from few trials, restricted to patients of Asian ethnicity. Despite the small amount of data on maintenance therapy, MMF appears more effective than azathioprine at preventing renal relapse with less leucopenia and doubling of serum creatinine.

However, in conclusion, despite identifying 74 trials for our review, there are still lots of unanswered questions about the treatment of lupus nephritis. Many interventions, including rituximab and other biologics, and tacrolimus and cyclosporin, have only been tested in small studies with inconsistent outcome reporting and we see two main implications for future research: the need to make better use of existing data, and to plan new studies in a strategic way. Multi-centre collaboration and trials of longer follow-up and in a wider range of ethnic groups are needed. This research would also benefit from registry-based randomized studies, which use efficient data linkage between hospital records, and national registries, to clarify the potential benefits and harms of therapies for this uncommon disease.”

Friday, May 31, 2019

Podcast: Interventions for improving outcomes in pregnancies that follow stillbirth

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 10:39

The Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group has produced several hundred reviews on the effects of interventions for women who are pregnant, giving birth or with a newborn baby. They also assess the evidence on how to help after pregnancy loss, and one of their new reviews from December 2018 looks at care during pregnancies following a stillbirth. Lead author, Aleena Wojcieszek from the Mater Research Institute in the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, tells us what they found.

"Women who have had a stillborn baby are up to five times more likely to have a stillbirth in their subsequent pregnancies. They are also at higher risk of other complications, such as preterm birth and growth problems for the baby. On top of this, women and their families often experience high anxiety in pregnancies after stillbirth, which can be particularly intense at significant pregnancy milestones and in the lead up to, and during, antenatal care visits. However, although these women and their families clearly have increased medical and psychosocial needs, there is currently little evidence to guide clinical practice and provide optimal care.

We did this broad systematic review to bring the existing evidence together, aiming to capture any interventions or models of care that might be provided before and during pregnancies following stillbirth. These could include medical interventions, as well as psychosocial support targeting anxiety, depression or complicated grief. We focussed on interventions for mothers or their partners whose previous stillbirth occurred 20 weeks or more into the pregnancy.

The lack of research is highlighted by the fact that we were able to include just 10 trials, with data from only 222 women and their babies. All these trials assessed drug therapies and presented us with nine different comparisons, including looking at the effects of low dose aspirin, low molecular weight heparin, third‐party leukocyte immunisation, intravenous immunoglobulin G, and progestogen.

With so few participants, such a small number of trials, and so many comparisons, this relatively small amount of evidence means that it is uncertain whether any of the interventions had an effect on most of the outcomes we looked at. Although there was some suggestion that low dose aspirin and third‐party leukocyte immunisation may increase the birthweight of babies, even these findings were unstable due to the very small sample sizes.

One of our greatest challenges was when assessing the articles for eligibility. There was a lot of inconsistency in the terminology used to describe pregnancy loss, and reports often did not define words like ‘miscarriage’, ‘abortion’, or ‘stillbirth’ by gestational age. We often had to contact the original researchers to determine if a trial was eligible, and we also found that in many cases women whose previous pregnancy loss occurred 20 or more weeks into their pregnancy were recruited alongside women who had earlier pregnancy losses. This lead to the further complication of needing the researchers to split up their data, so that we could use only data from the former women in our analyses. We are very grateful to the researchers who did this and provided data, but it’s also important to note that not all trials in the review necessarily targeted the pathophysiology of stillbirth specifically, and we had to leave out some potentially eligible trials because researchers did not respond to our queries or for other reasons.

In summary, we were not able to capture sufficient evidence to inform clinical practice for care in subsequent pregnancies following stillbirth. Carefully-designed trials are urgently needed, and these trials should specifically address the prevention of recurrent stillbirth, and be large enough to detect differences in rare, but vitally important outcomes such as stillbirth and death of the newborn baby. We would also like to see the prioritisation of trials of psychosocial support interventions, which are currently lacking from our review."

Thursday, May 30, 2019

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