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11th Croatian Cochrane Symposium (CroCoS)

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 15:53

 The 8th May was a hub of excitement at the University of Split School of Medicine as members of Cochrane Croatia were getting ready to host their 11th Annual Croatian Cochrane Symposium. This year’s CroCoS was co-organised with the Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty of the University of Split, represented by Assist. Prof. Darko Hren.

Thanks to collaboration between Prof. Ana Marušić, Research Coordinator for Cochrane Croatia, and member of Cochrane’s Scientific Committee, and Howard White, CEO of Campbell Collaboration, the 11th Croatian Cochrane Symposium was dedicated to systematic reviews in the social sciences. Over 50 participants from all over Croatia and neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina had the opportunity to hear about the work of Cochrane and Campbell in promoting positive social change through the production and use of evidence synthesis.

Vivian Welch, Editor-in-Chief of the Campbell Library, Co-Director Cochrane Campbell Global Ageing and Co-convenor, Campbell-Cochrane Equity Methods Group described the many ways in which both organisations strive to create ‘better evidence for a better world’, with Campbell producing systematic reviews, plain language summaries and policy briefs in areas such as crime and justice, education, disability and social welfare. Ashrita Saran, Evidence Synthesis Officer for Campbell, presented the role of ‘evidence and gap maps’, as a visual form of knowledge brokering and a practical source of inspiration for needed research, both primary and secondary.

Helena Domeij, Project Manager and Dental Advisor, from the Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU), presented SBUs model of knowledge brokering. SBU is commissioned by the Swedish government to undertake systematic reviews within the areas of health care and social services. SBU was established in 1987 and today employs 80 people, whose main purpose is to assess interventions in healthcare and social services from a broad perspective, including medical, economic, ethical and social aspects.

This year, participants also had the opportunity to learn about the ‘why and how of scoping reviews’. This was presented by Keti Glonti, a PhD student in the ‘Innovative Training Networks Horizon 2020 Project’, who is undertaking a scoping review on the ‘roles and tasks of peer reviewers in the manuscript review process in biomedical journals’. This was further illustrated by Dr Marin Viđak, a member of Cochrane Croatia, who presented the findings from his scoping review with a focus on promoting an ethical climate to prevent scientific misconduct.

Finally, Ivana Burić, from Split, shared her experience in conducting a systematic review as part of her PhD at the Radboud University in the Netherlands, on gene expression changes induced by meditation and related practices. Although sceptical at the outset when tasked with doing a systematic review, Ivana concluded her presentation by stating that doing systematic reviews is definitely worthwhile because ˝they get published well, can create new career opportunities and can be done for free!˝

In the afternoon participants actively contributed to one of two round table discussion: ‘Promoting use of research synthesis for policy and practice’ or ‘Incentivizing researchers to do systematic reviews’. Many great ideas were heard and will hopefully be put into practice. Finally, as is tradition, two training workshops were offered to symposium participants, one on creating evidence and gap maps and the other on conducting systematic reviews.

The symposium would not have been possible without the generous support of the University of Split School of Medicine, MiRoR Horizon 2020 Project and the City of Split.

Irena Zakarija-Grković
Co-Director, Cochrane Croatia

Monday, May 13, 2019

Featured Review: Treatments for hand eczema

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 12:08

The Cochrane Review, 'Interventions for hand eczema', addresses the effects of topical and oral or injected medicines that work throughout the entire body as treatments for hand eczema when compared against placebo (an identical but inactive treatment), no treatment, inactive ingredients that help deliver an active treatment, or another treatment. The study and its conclusions will be of interest to researchers, research funders, as well as people living with this condition and patient groups representing them.

Hand eczema is an inflammation of the skin that can be caused by an allergic reaction (such as rubber chemicals) but other external factors (irritants such as water or detergents) and atopic predisposition are often important triggers. Hand eczema can cause a reduction in quality of life and lead to many work‐related problems. Various types of hand eczema exist, and different treatments with unknown effectiveness are currently used. 

The review included 60 randomised trials published up to April 2018 comprising 5469 participants.

Twenty‐two studies were funded by pharmaceutical companies or were (co-)authored by employees of pharmaceutical companies. Most participants were hospital outpatients over 18 years of age with mild to severe chronic hand eczema. Treatment was usually given for a short duration, up to four months, and outcomes were mainly assessed after treatment.


Limited data are available to support the best way of managing hand eczema due to varying study quality and inability to pool data from studies with similar treatments. Corticosteroid creams/ointments and phototherapy (irradiation with UV light) are the major treatment options, although comparisons between these options are lacking.

The quality of evidence was mainly moderate, with most analyses based on single studies that had small sample sizes; therefore, some results should be interpreted with care.

Lead author Wietske Andrea Christoffers, from the University Medical Center Groningen, in the Netherlands explains, “The results of this review cannot be used to inform clinical practice with regard to the best way of managing hand eczema, especially in the long term.  Most findings were from single studies with low precision, so they should be interpreted with caution. Topical corticosteroids and UV phototherapy were two of the major standard treatments, but evidence is insufficient to support one specific treatment over another. A relatively new systemic treatment (an oral retinoid called alitretinoin) for patients with severe chronic hand eczema showed clearance or almost clearance of about half the participants in three large RCTs (Fowler 2014; Ruzicka 2004, Ruzicka 2008). We found high-quality evidence that relative to placebo, people who are given alitretinoin were more likely to achieve good symptom control (investigator or participant rated). The benefit became more apparent with increased dosage (10 mg versus 30 mg).

Well-designed and well-reported, long-term, head-to-head studies comparing different treatments are needed. Consensus is required regarding the definition of hand eczema and its subtypes, and a standard severity scale should be established.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Chinese Team

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 10:58

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.

Names: Chunli Lu, Jing Li, Yuqi Li, and Xun Li
Age: 25, 23, 25, and 34
Occupation: Postgraduate students (Chunli Lu, Jing Li, and Yuqi Li) and staff (Xun Li) of Centre for Evidence-Based Chinese Medicine
Program: Cochrane Cochrane translation project of simplified Chinese

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
We got to know Cochrane via the translation project (CENTRAL and Cochrane Translation Project) once we entered the Centre.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
We are all from an Evidence-Based Chinese Medicine background and all became involved with Cochrane via the translation project.

What do you do in Cochrane?
We translate and edit Cochrane reviews into Simplified Chinese. We also help Cochrane Review Groups to translate and extract data from Chinese publications.

What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
As a team, we enjoy disseminating and sharing best evidence to the world. From Cochrane, we learn useful methodology, the idea of knowledge translation, patterns of organized activities as well as effective communication.

What are your future plans?
We wish to get more involved with Cochrane, including helping to generate and disseminate more Cochrane evidence with simplified Chinese translation, and more Cochrane systematic reviews. Altogether we would like to help more people with good clinical evidence.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
Cochrane is dong very well in the academic area, yet not that well-known among larger populations in China. Multimedia dissemination is very important for Knowledge Translation and we think informing the general population of Cochrane evidence and making Cochrane a habit, is very important.

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
We hope Cochrane evidence could become one of the resources that people first consider looking at when making clinical decision. It would be fantastic for Cochrane to become more accessible to every one, such as much more free full text.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane? Why is this, do you think?
Young people are essential for forming the habit of the generation during the next decades, in practice, training as well as knowledge searching.

Why is this, do you think?
The young people are currently students or starting with their research. On one hand they are the future of research and practice area with more open views, on the other hand, they will be handing over the skill and habits to the next generation.

What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
We suggest they start with translation as during translation and task exchange, they can learn the methodology and get familiar with Cochrane styles. There are also people working together with them so they are always able to seek help and advice. Cochrane evidence can influence the clinical decision and their own decision in the future.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Embracing Diversity at Cochrane Santiago

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 14:35

Cochrane Chile is delighted to be hosting the upcoming 2019 Colloquium. It will be 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 decision-making at all levels.

The Colloquium will take place from 22-25 October 2019 at CasaPiedra in the vibrant city of Santiago, Chile.

Cochrane is an inclusive organization, and all are welcome to participate and contribute. But true inclusion means the participation of diverse audiences with diverse evidence needs for diverse health decisions. The theme of the 2019 Colloquium is ‘Embracing Diversity’ and the aims are:

  • To make Cochrane more relevant to different audiences making health decisions in varied settings
  • To build new partnerships and relationships, especially with difficult-to-reach audiences
  • To grow the global Cochrane community
  • To advance relevant methodological discussions to make Cochrane reviews more relevant


The 2019 Cochrane Colloquium seeks to look at diversity as an advantage rather than a disadvantage by examining linguistic, stakeholder, and methodological diversity, among other perspectives. Keynote/Plenary Sessions will address the Embracing Diversity theme.

In addition to the programme, there is no better place to experience diversity than in Chile. In 2018, Chile was recognized as the best country to visit by the prestigious Lonely Planet travel guide. This long and narrow strip of land, isolated from the rest of the world by the soaring Andes to the east, and the vast pacific ocean to the west, acts as a catalogue of natural wonders, ranging from the unearthly scenery of the world’s driest desert in the north, to the world’s largest continental ice fields in the south. In between, countless unforgettable locations, including top-of-the-list wine growing regions, the clearest skies in the world, the impenetrable wilderness of Patagonia and the enigmatic Easter island, just to name a few. Chile is nature on a colossal scale, and travel is safe and easy.

To learn more about how the Colloquium approaches diversity, visit: https://colloquium2019.cochrane.org/embracing-diversity

Registrations are open! Register before 25 July 2019 to receive a discounted rate.

Further information: Thursday, May 9, 2019

Podcast: Nasal saline for allergic rhinitis

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 12:29

Allergic rhinitis, or hayfever, is a common condition affecting both adults and children. One suggestion for treating it is to rinse the inside of the nose with salt water and the Cochrane Review of the effects of this was published in June 2018. We asked Carl Philpott from the Norwich Medical School in the UK to tell us what he and his co-authors found.

"Allergic rhinitis is swelling or irritation of the inside of the nose caused by allergies to airborne particles, such as grass pollen or dustmite. It’s accompanied by symptoms including a blocked, runny or itchy nose, and sneezing.

Various treatments have been proposed, and some of them have been assessed in Cochrane Reviews. We looked at the use of nasal saline irrigation, which is also known as nasal douche, wash or lavage, and involves rinsing the nasal cavity with saline, or salt water. The idea is that this would work by thinning the mucus in the nose, making it easier to remove, as well as removing some of the allergy particles. People can do the rinsing for themselves, using the saline on its own, or with nasal sprays or other treatments.

We looked for any studies that had tested the effects of nasal saline irrigation alone or in combination with other things, and found 14 studies involving nearly 750 patients, about two thirds of whom were children. Five studies used what is called ’very low’ volume saline, such as nasal sprays providing under 5ml, which is less than a teaspoon full, per nostril. Two studies used low-volume, that’s between 5 and 59ml via a syringe, and four studies used high-volume solutions, more than 60ml per nostril. The solutions were either stronger, called hypertonic, or weaker, hypotonic; but there was too little data for us to be able detect any differences between the different volumes and concentrations.

In the comparison of nasal saline irrigation with no saline irrigation, we found benefits for symptom relief in both adults and children and little suggestion of any side effects, but this evidence was either low or very low quality. On the other hand, we were not able to determine whether adding nasal saline irrigation to other medical treatment improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis compared to using those medications alone. And there is not enough evidence to know whether saline irrigation on its own is better, worse or the same as using steroid nasal sprays or antihistamine tablets.

In summary, the current evidence for this simple treatment for this common condition is not strong enough to be sure if it is worth using instead of other treatments but is probably sufficient to recommend that it is used along with other treatments as it is a cheap, safe and acceptable treatment. More evidence will be needed to say if it can be used as an alternative to treatments such as steroid nasal sprays and antihistamine tablets, so we’d like to see further high-quality studies to produce the evidence that will help people with allergic rhinitis make a well informed choice.”

Thursday, May 9, 2019

A tribute to Cochrane consumer, Tony Joy

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 17:38

Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, and people interested in health, including healthcare consumers. Cochrane's healthcare consumers are made up from a wide range of people, including patients (or people with personal experience of a healthcare condition), health and social care service users, caregivers and family members. Also included are people who represent or are advocates for patients and carers. What unites them all is their search for high quality, unbiased information about health conditions and treatments.

Professor Clive E Adams, Co-cordinating Editor of Cochrane Schizophrenia, shares memories of Tony Joy and his valuable contributions made to Cochrane Reviews as a consumer.

Maybe it was 1993. I am not sure. Iain Chalmers sent along this quizzical, unremittingly dogged, intelligent, kind and fun UK Midlands businessman. He had an interest in schizophrenia and wanted to help. We had recently published a blockbuster review (new vs old drug) and were rather pleased with the product – smug, even. Tony lay/peer reviewed it and went straight to the key outcome – a 20% shift on the foremost scale in schizophrenia. He asked “what does that mean?”, “can you put it into words?”. We did not know or how. Our bubble burst. It was quite some time later, still troubled by our deficiencies, that I was able to meet up with the senior US professor linked to that scale and asked her Tony’s question. She immediately saw his point and was kind enough to define that extent of change as “pissing in the wind”. This was a good lesson for Cochrane Schizophrenia to learn.

But Tony wanted to do a review. I think I remember him saying he had once been a salmon fisherman off Canada. Anyway, Tony believed in fish oils. Gee – there is nothing worse than a lovely, energetic, but honestly, openly, biased lay reviewer! We teamed him up with a medic and an historian of the fishing industry (it could only be Oxford!). This was the early days of Cochrane. Would good methods hold out against a tsunami of Tony’s well-meaning bias? His bright intelligence enjoyed the systematic approach. Tony was self[bias]-aware but trusted the methods and those methods, although certainly tested, proved robust. Again, a good lesson for us to learn. Tony continued to hold out hope that the big randomised trial would come along to prove that fish oil really did cure schizophrenia.

Finally, Tony suggested his daughter as a volunteer. She then became reviewer and finally - now Claire Irving – the Managing Editor of Cochrane Schizophrenia.

Some years ago, on receiving his diagnosis of prostate CA, Tony sought the foremost experts, the best evidence and, where there were gaps in the evidence, the randomised trials to participate in. However, after a sudden deterioration in the last weeks, Tony died peacefully on 30th April 2019. There are few folk I have known so little, but owe so much to. So, so many with schizophrenia across the earth have their care nearer that suggested by the best evidence because of the kind, pragmatic, real-world input of Tony Joy.

Clive E Adams
Co-Co-cordinating Editor, Cochrane Schizophrenia

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Cochrane January-March 2019: highlights from Q1

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 15:20

'Cochrane exists so that healthcare decisions get better.’ That is the first sentence of our Strategy to 2020 that aims to put Cochrane evidence at the heart of health decision-making all over the world. Here’s a look back at some key highlights of our work in the first quarter of 2019, from January to March.

Cochrane began preparations for its annual flagship event, Cochrane’s Colloquium in Santiago, Chile 22-25 October, 2019. During this time, many Cochrane contributors submitted abstracts as part of the scientific programme, this year ‘embracing diversity’. We also opened the call for hosts for the second Global Evidence Summit in 2021, a multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural event to exchange ideas about how we best produce, summarize and disseminate evidence to inform policy and practice, and using that evidence to improve people’s lives across the world. 

In Q1 2019, we saw the many ways people are using and accessing our health evidence. An international group of researchers found Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews to be the most referenced health-related journal on Wikipedia. The World Health Organization published guidelines for malaria vector control, drawing on seven Cochrane reviews specially prepared for them by the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group. We also started a new online series that collects stories about how Cochrane evidence is being used - from in the workplace,  in clinical practice, to in everyday life.

We saw our global reach and impact expanded with the Launch of Cochrane ColombiaCochrane Ireland, a Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth satellite group established in the United States. Cochrane’s status as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in official relations with the World Health Organization was renewed at WHO’s Executive Board meeting in January2019.  We increased our reach with a younger audience, PhD and med students and early-career professionals with the launch of Cochrane on Instagram.  We also delivered training  with eight news Cochane Learning Live webinars attracting 548 attendees.

In Q1 2019, we announced that approximately  2.1 billion people have free one-click access to the Cochrane Library. We released two Special Collections: one that highlighted the 'Best of 2018' on the Cochrane Library and another on 'Diagnosing tuberculosis' that was part of World Tuberculosis Day.

 While we published many systematic reviews in Q1, we  highlighted 10 Cochrane Reviews with a feature news item on our website, an interview with the author, or a press release. We had 1,987 pieces of global media coverage in Q1 2019.

Many clinical areas, diseases, and conditions have annual global awareness days. These are important moments to shine the spotlight on available Cochrane evidence related to this important health topic.  Since January 2019, we have disseminated Cochrane evidence as part of the following global health campaigns: 

Cochrane podcast offers a short summary of a recent Cochrane review from the authors themselves. They have been recorded in 33 languages and are brief, allowing everyone from healthcare professionals to patients and families to hear the latest Cochrane evidence in under five minutes. In Q1 2019, we published 11 new English podcasts and 36 podcasts were translated  and recorded in 6 languages. You can view and search our entire catalogue of hundreds of podcasts or subscribe via iTunes for the latest updates.

 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Cochrane in Everyday Life - Fluoride toothpastes of different concentrations for preventing dental caries

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 15:44

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 Evidence in Everyday Life’ series collects stories about individuals, families, and carers making health decisions based on Cochrane evidence. Each piece in the series collects stories around the personal impact that one Cochrane Review has made.

Review: FLoride toothpastes of different concentrations for preventing dental caries
Year published: 2019
Review Group: Cochrane Oral Health
Conclusions:
There are benefits of using fluoride toothpaste at certain strengths to prevent tooth decay when compared with non-fluoride toothpaste. The stronger the fluoride concentration, the more decay is prevented. For many of the comparisons of different strengths of toothpaste, the findings are uncertain and could be challenged by further research. The choice of fluoride toothpaste for young children should be balanced against the risk of fluorosis.
Plain language summary: available in English, Spanish, French, Croatian, Japanese, Malay, and Polish, and Russian.
Note worthy mentions: Blog post: Which strength of fluoride in toothpaste is most effective?

User Story:

"My name is Netzahualpilli Delgado.  As pediatrician and professor of evidence based dentistry in our faculty at University of Guadalajara in México, many parents of our pediatric patients had expressed the concerns about safety and effectiveness of fluoride toothpaste for their children daily oral hygiene compared with non-fluoride toothpaste. A comprehensive systematic review of fluoride tooth pastes formulations by Cochrane Oral Health has helped to clear patients doubts about using toothpaste with fluoride. It also has let our dental students make decisions with evidence, raise awareness of prescribing the appropriate toothpaste by age, and the ways to help preventing caries and decay of  the tooth of  young children and adolescents. This Cochrane evidence is setting a greater circle of informed consumers of oral health information in México - from patients  to the next generation of dentists."

@NetzaDelgado

Would you  like to add your story of using this or another Cochrane review? Please contact mumoquit@cochrane.org to share your story.  

 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Emma Axon (née Mead)

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 15:43

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 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: Emma Axon (née Mead) (on Twitter @Emma_L_Axon)
Age: 29
Occupation: Cochrane systematic review methodologist (Cochrane Skin)
Program: Cochrane Skin and the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology at the University of Nottingham

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
I first heard about Cochrane during my Masters degree in ‘Epidemiology and Biostatistics’ at the University of Leeds where we learnt about systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
I became involved in Cochrane as a review author. I started a PhD in public health and childhood obesity at Teesside University in October 2013 and quickly became involved in a series of six Cochrane systematic reviews assessing the treatment of obesity in children and adolescents, of which two formed part of my PhD thesis.

What do you do in Cochrane?
I’m currently working at the Cochrane Skin editorial base as a systematic review methodologist, based within the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology at the University of Nottingham. My role is to provide support to authors who are conducting Cochrane Skin systematic reviews and peer review all Cochrane skin protocols and reviews to ensure they meet the MECIR standards. I also work for the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology as a research associate and part of my role is to co-author a Cochrane systematic review assessing different strategies of using topical corticosteroids in the treatment of people with eczema.

What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
I really enjoy working for Cochrane because there are lots of opportunities to attend conferences and training events. There is a real community feel within Cochrane and lots of support and guidance available as both an author and an editor. When I first started my PhD in 2013, I knew very little about Cochrane systematic reviews, but over the last few years I have learnt so much and I am constantly learning about new methods and ways of working which is exciting.

What are your future plans?
I still have a passion to learn more about conducting systematic reviews and would like to be involved in more reviews using complex methods such as network meta-analysis. I also still have a desire to work within the public health field, carrying on with the research I conducted during my PhD.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
Link up more with relevant University educational courses worldwide, e.g. Masters courses in health, to ensure students know more about Cochrane and how they can get involved.

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
I hope Cochrane continues to produce relevant and high-quality systematic reviews on topics which are of interest to the public. Cochrane needs to ensure the key messages from each systematic review are communicated to as many people as possible using different ways of presenting evidence, ensuring what is expressed is accurate and useful to the public.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane? Why is this, do you think?
It is obviously very important to involve young people in Cochrane to ensure there is a future for Cochrane in the next generation and so on.

Why is this, do you think?
Involving young people brings fresh and new ideas ensuring the future of Cochrane is relevant and engaging to everyone.



What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
Become a Cochrane member and explore the opportunities within Cochrane. Become involved in projects such as Cochrane Crowd and find available tasks at Cochrane TaskExchange. Take advantage of any available training opportunities either online or face-to-face and keep up to date by subscribing to the newsletter and following Cochrane on social media. I would also say that if you are given the opportunity to become an author on a Cochrane systematic review, it is important that you have the time and capacity to put the effort in as well as the support of co-authors who have experience conducting Cochrane systematic reviews. They are generally huge pieces of work and take a lot of hard work and perseverance to complete (but they are worth it in the end!).


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Cochrane seeks Executive Assistant to Editor in Chief - London

Thu, 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

Tue, 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

Tue, 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

Mon, 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

Thu, 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

Tue, 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

Wed, 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

Wed, 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

Wed, 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

Tue, 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

Fri, 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

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