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Living Systematic Review: Interventions for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children aged five years and under

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 10:51

In this interview we ask Rebecca Hodder from the National Health and Medical Research Centre Early Career Research Fellow, the University of Newcastle, Australia and Nicole Martin, Managing Editor, Cochrane Heart, University College London, London, UK to tell us more about this Living Systematic Review, which looks at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children under five years old.

Why was this review selected to be a Living Systematic Review (LSR) originally, was it in response to a target audience need?

Rebecca: The original review was initiated by the author team, who are embedded within the Hunter New England Local Health District, to inform the delivery of healthy eating health promotion services to children. The original review identified 5 studies and little evidence of effectiveness to inform what interventions could be implemented within the Local Health District to increase the fruit and vegetable consumption of young children.

For the first update of this review, the number of studies had substantially increased from 5 to 50 studies and it was during this update that we were approached to participate in a pilot study to maintain our review as an LSR.

Our review was considered appropriate for an LSR, given it met three key criteria:

First, the review question was considered a priority for decision making. There is a growing burden of disease internationally as a result of inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption, we know that childhood is a critical period during which lifelong healthy eating behaviours are established, and evidence from this review has the potential to inform international childhood obesity prevention interventions (as well as those within our Local Health District).   

Second, the quality of the evidence for each of the comparisons from the original review was assessed as very low. This indicated there was a lack of certainty in the evidence and the results and the conclusions of the review were likely to change with the addition of new studies, if any were identified.

Third, on the basis of the identification of 45 new studies and a further 5 ongoing studies since the publication of the original review, there was new research evidence available that may change the conclusions and recommendations.

The current review update was published in November 2019. It includes 78 studies with a further 16 ongoing studies yet to be synthesised, and the quality of evidence for comparisons range from very low to moderate quality evidence. As a result it remains appropriate for an LSR and we will continued to maintain it as an LSR.

Nicole: This review meets the three criteria that make it appropriate for a review to be living (according to the Cochrane LSR Methods Guidance):

  • The topic is a priority for decision making
  • There is uncertainty in the existing evidence base
  • Emerging evidence that may impact on the conclusions 

This review has applied living systematic review methods since September 2017. Since then monthly searches are being run and screened and three subsequent updates were published – in January 2018, May 2018 and November 2019.

The increase in included and ongoing studies over time shows that this is a very active research area. The large disease burden based on insufficient consumption of fruit and vegetables means there is a need to incorporate new evidence when it emerges to adequately inform policy makers and the public.

Is the review in partnership with any other organisations?

Rebecca: Whilst the review is not explicitly conducted in partnership with other organisations, the author team hold positions or affiliations with the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Local Health District and Hunter Medical Research Institute (Australia.)  Author roles within Hunter New England Local Health District include delivering health promotion services, including those focused on healthy eating, to children via various settings including childcare services, hospitals and community health. Our LSR provides current evidence regarding which interventions are most likely to be effective for improving child heathy eating which can then be implemented within the Local Health District.

What does the review tell us?

Rebecca: Despite the large number of studies that have been conducted, now 78 in total, there is still limited evidence regarding effective ways to increase the fruit and vegetable consumption of young children. Of the types of approaches that have been investigated, multicomponent interventions (e.g. those that combine parent nutrition education with preschool nutrition policy changes), seem to have the most promise. The review found that multicomponent programs probably increase fruit and vegetable intake by children (by 0.36 cups per day) based on the moderate quality of the evidence from 14 studies. The review also found child feeding interventions may increase, and it was uncertain whether parent nutrition education interventions alone increased, child fruit and vegetable consumption.

How is working on/updating an LSR different to a ‘normal’ Cochrane review update, does this present any challenges/opportunities?

Rebecca: The main differences between maintaining an LSR and conducting a ‘normal’ Cochrane review update is the frequency of searching for and synthesising data from new studies.

For an LSR, database searches, screening of identified records, and data extraction from eligible studies are conducted on a monthly basis. Data from newly identified studies are then incorporated into the existing review; results and conclusions are updated; and the review update re-published. For our LSR we aim to re-publish the review every 3-4 months.

The main challenge of LSRs for an author team, is the ongoing availability of authors to undertake the required monthly and other tasks within a short time frame, and often concurrently. Early on we identified a team of authors that had expertise in child nutrition, the conduct of systematic reviews and ongoing capacity to contribute to our LSR. For the most part we have maintained this team of authors since the inception of our LSR. Additionally, we have used a number of tech-enablers to reduce the workload for authors during the screening stage, including a machine learning classifier of randomised controlled trials and Cochrane Crowd, which combined have more than halved the number of studies to be screened.

The RCT classifier (available in the CRE-Web) identifies which records from a database search are most likely to be RCTs (10-100% likely to be an RCT) and which are not (0-9% likely to be an RCT). For our LSR, those records likely to be RCTs were then screened by the author team against all review eligibility criteria, whereas those unlikely to be RCTs were sent to Cochrane Crowd to be screened. Any records identified as RCTs by Cochrane Crowd members were sent back to the author team to be screened.

Other key enablers for the conduct of LSRs includes the support and strong partnership with your Cochrane editorial team and access to LSR expertise. For our LSR, the Cochrane Heart Group have conducted the monthly database searches and facilitated an expedited timeline for editorial review and publication which has made our LSR possible. We have also had ongoing guidance and advice from many experienced members of the LSR Support team formed as part of Project Transform regarding the conduct of LSRs.

Our LSR provides an opportunity to generate the most up to date evidence for practitioners and policy-makers and inform international efforts to improve the dietary intake of young children. We are also currently investigating some other opportunities, including ways our LSR can be linked with child nutrition guidelines, and also partnering with health policy-makers to ensure the research evidence generated by our LSR is translated into policy and can achieve population wide benefits. There are also a number of other tech-enablers available or in development to assist with LSRs both within and beyond Cochrane, including Screen4Me.

Nicole: From an editorial prospective, the main challenge an LSR presents relates to time.

Our team’s Information Specialist works on compiling the latest search results on a monthly basis. While some of this is covered by search alerts, other databases have to be searched afresh each time. Deduplication of records against each month’s yield as well as all previously retrieved records also takes time. The numbers of search results to manage each month are relatively small, but the frequency of this task can be a challenge.

The time for the editorial review of LSR updates is much reduced compared to our usual processes. This requires careful planning and for everyone involved to be committed to very quick turn-around times - the editorial team, peer reviewers, editors, copy editors, sign-off editor and review authors.

For the latest update published on 7 November 2019 the first draft of the review update was submitted to us on 3 October 2019. Within just over a month, comments from everyone mentioned above were obtained and the authors addressed those in two separate rounds of revisions.

This highlights another prerequisite for an LSR – a high quality of the initial submission.

Some specific aspects are slightly different to the usual review process. We aim to involve peer reviewers repeatedly for LSR update cycles as familiarity with the review contents is thought to support a quicker response time. This was done for the publications in January and May 2018 and we aim to apply this again, with a new set of peer reviewers, to this current round of publications in November 2019 and the subsequent two during the first half of 2020.

A similar principle applies to copy editing in that the same copy editor looks at only those elements of the review that have changed compared to the previously published version.

How often will the LSR be updated?

Rebecca: During 2020 we will continue to maintain our review as an LSR. This involve ongoing monthly searches and identification of new studies, and re-publication of the review every 3-4 months. The ‘What’s new’ section of the review is updated every month to indicate how many new studies have been identified to date that will be synthesised in the next review update.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Toronto Colloquium - Early registration open

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 17:52
Register before the 2 July 2020 to receive the reduced early bird rate

The 2020 Cochrane Colloquium will be held at The Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Canada on the October 4-7, 2020. 

This year’s theme is ‘Rapid-learning Health Systems’, exploring approaches to improving people’s experiences and health outcomes while keeping costs manageable and health care stakeholders engaged. Rapid-learning health systems apply to all levels of health care (from clinical encounter to program, organization and system) and across all parts (from home care to primary and specialty care and public health). The Colloquium will also address the role of technology in achieving Rapid-learning health systems. More information on the theme can be found here.

To ensure that all levels of health care decision-makers feel welcome and included, we were recently excited to announce that this year’s Colloquium, will now become a Patients Included Accredited Event. The choice to make the 2020 Colloquium a Patients Included event also furthers some of the key goals identified in Cochrane’s Strategy to 2020. As Cochrane prepares a new organizational strategy beyond 2020, Cochrane Canada and the 2020 Colloquium will play a key role in launching the next phase of Cochrane’s future growth and sustainability plans. This includes continuing to bring together stakeholders under the common goal of creating better health outcomes for patients.

See how the Toronto Colloquium will meet the 5 charter criteria here.

Further information:

Website: colloquium2020.cochrane.org
Twitter:  @CochraneCanada and #CochraneToronto

Monday, February 3, 2020

Cochrane’s Colloquium 2020 in Toronto becomes a Patients Included Accredited Event

Fri, 01/31/2020 - 16:06

Cochrane exists so healthcare decisions get better.

Cochrane evidence provides a powerful tool to enhance your healthcare knowledge and decision making; regardless as to whether you are a doctor or nurse, patient or carer, researcher or funder. 

All of these individuals are welcome at Cochrane Colloquium in Toronto in 2020, where we gather as a community to promote evidence-informed decision making. This year’s theme ‘Rapid-learning Health Systems,’ has been chosen as approaches apply to all levels of stakeholders and health care (from clinical encounter up to program, organization and system) and across all parts of a system (from home care to primary and specialty care and public health).  

To ensure that all levels of health care decision-makers feel welcome and included, this year’s Colloquium,  being held in Toronto, Canada from October 4-7 will now become a Patients Included Accredited Event.

The choice to make the 2020 Colloquium a Patients Included event also furthers some of the key goals identified in Cochrane’s Strategy to 2020. As Cochrane prepares a new organizational strategy beyond 2020, Cochrane Canada and the 2020 Colloquium will play a key role in launching the next phase of Cochrane’s future growth and sustainability plans. This includes continuing to bring together stakeholders under the common goal of creating better health outcomes for patients.

This is not the first time Cochrane’s annual Colloquium has received the Patients Included accreditation. The 2018 Edinburgh Colloquium was designated Patients Included, with the Cochrane Consumer Network playing a leading role in the facilitation and participation of patients, carers and family members with first-hand experience of a healthcare condition (referred to as Consumers). The Cochrane Consumer Network is a large and growing community of over 1,500 people and in 89 countries worldwide. 

For more information – click here

Important Information: According to its website, The Patients Included charter provides entities with a means of demonstrating their commitment to incorporating the experience and insight of patients into their organizations by ensuring that they are neither excluded nor exploited. Conferences that successfully meet all five of the Charter’s clauses may accredit themselves as Patient Included events. These clauses can be viewed in full on the Patients Included website, but require that the active participation of patients or caregivers in the design, planning and delivery of the Colloquium, the provision of scholarships for patients and carers, and accessibility requirements (including access for virtual participants) is accommodated. 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Cochrane seeks - Senior Copy Editor

Thu, 01/30/2020 - 16:18

Specifications: 0.6 FTE, 22.5 hours, permanent contract
Salary: £30,000
Location: flexible
Application closing date: 13 February 2020

This role is an exciting opportunity to make a difference in the field of healthcare research working as a Senior Copy Editor.

The Senior Copy Editor will be responsible for the copy-editing of Cochrane Reviews and other Cochrane Library content, and will support copy-editing operations, including management of the Copy Edit Support service, maintenance of the Cochrane Style Manual, supporting the EMD Editorial Service, and deputising for the Copy Editing Manager.

The mission of the Cochrane Editorial and Methods Department (EMD) is to ensure that the Cochrane Library maintains its reputation as the international source of trustworthy, independent, and relevant information to guide healthcare decisions.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the following activities:

  • Undertake copy-editing of submissions to Copy Edit Support and the EMD Editorial Service, with particular responsibility for complex, high-priority, or urgent Cochrane Reviews and new types of Cochrane Review;
  • Undertake copy-editing of reports for the Cochrane Library (including Editorials and Special Collections) prepared by the EMD;
  • Assist with the management of the Copy Edit Support service, including holiday cover for the Copy Editing Manager and preparation of reports;
  • Contribute to the maintenance and development of the Cochrane Style Manual;
  • Help to develop and conduct assessments or audits of copy-editing quality and policy adherence;
  • Assist with the copy-editing accreditation process;
  • Help to develop and deliver training relating to copy-editing or the Style Manual;
  • Participate in EMD projects, as required.

The successful candidate will also have:

  • Proven experience in medical or scientific copy-editing;
  • Familiarity with Cochrane Reviews;
  • Good organizational, prioritization, and people skills; ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines in a timely fashion;
  • The ability to work methodically and accurately with meticulous attention to detail;
  • The ability to work independently or as part of a team;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English;
  • An adaptable, flexible attitude, and be willing to undertake additional responsibilities/tasks;
  • The ability to develop and maintain working relationships with stakeholders;
  • Proficient IT skills, including – but not limited to – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; and able to adopt quickly to editorial management and other systems being used by the organization;
  • A proactive approach to problem-solving;
  • Familiarity with Cochrane;
  • The ability to work flexible hours;
  • Availability for occasional national and international travel.

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 recognized 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 ‘Senior Copy 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 that you feel are relevant to the post. Shortlisted candidates will be required to take Cochrane's copy-editing accreditation test (if they are not already accredited) as part of the selection process.

  • For further information, please download the full job description
  • Deadline for applications: 13th February 2020 (12 midnight GMT)
  • Interview information: w/c 26th February 2020 (to be confirmed)
Thursday, January 30, 2020 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks - Senior Human Resources Advisor

Thu, 01/30/2020 - 16:04

Specifications: Permanent, Full time
Salary: £40,000
Location: London Office based
Application Closing Date: 24th February 2020

The HR team at Cochrane is currently working on a new strategy to bring Human Resources to the next stage of development within the organisation, ensuring that the wider organisation is supported and developed as it grows. Reporting to the HR Manager, this role will have responsibility for developing and embedding of a whole range of generalist HR activity from recruitment and management support, through to some organisational development initiatives. We are seeking a Senior HR Advisor  looking to use and develop further their experience in HR to work with a friendly, small team at this exciting time and make a difference in the field of health care research.  As part of this team, you will work with us in providing a high quality, responsive, efficient and effective Human Resources function for Cochrane.

Your key areas of responsibility will be:

  • Responsible for our recruitment and on-boarding processes from end to end, partnering with managers to ensure that we recruit “the right people at the right time” to further Cochrane’s objectives
  • Leads on developing workforce planning so that we can meet our future staffing needs
  • Key responsibility for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Offers a casework management service to all levels of Cochrane managers
  • Develops, reviews and implements HR policies across the organisation
  • Leads on ensuring an effective HR appraisal system is in operation
  • Maintain effective and supportive relationships throughout the organisation

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

  • CIPD qualification equivalent to Level 7 or working towards this
  • Previous experience of HR in the not-for-profit sector with a generalist remit
  • Skilled at coaching and supporting managers to build their competence
  • Self-confidence, personal credibility and the ability to support and challenge others appropriately
  • Good understanding and application of the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Pragmatism and problem-solving skills and the ability to think creatively when faced with new problems
  • Commitment to Cochrane’s mission and values
  • Although not essential, we would also welcome candidates with a working knowledge of employment legislation in Denmark and/or Germany, plus experience of supporting remote workers internationally.

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 “Senior Human Resources Advisor” 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
  • Interviews to be held: week commencing 9th March
Thursday, January 30, 2020 Category: Jobs

The Cochrane-Wikipedia Partnership in 2020

Wed, 01/29/2020 - 18:09

Cochrane has a commitment to producing and sharing high quality health evidence to as broad an audience as possible. Cochrane partnered in 2014 with Wikipedia, with the joint goal of improving the quality and reliability of human health-related articles that people are accessing online.

Jennifer Dawson, PhD, is a Wikipedia Consultant for Cochrane . Her role includes maintaining and building further relations with Wikipedia, connecting new editors to the Wikipedia community, and supporting requests for engagement in Wikipedia work from the Cochrane community. We interviewed Jennifer to learn more about the Cochrane-Wikipedia partnership:

Why should we care about Wikipedia?
Millions of people around the world access health-related information on Wikipedia each day. Medical-related articles are available in over 286 languages on Wikipedia and often come up early on an internet search. The readership base varies broadly and includes members of the public, medical students, medical professionals, journalists, and policy makers (More info here). Given that so many people are consulting Wikipedia on a daily basis, we feel that Cochrane’s commitment to producing and sharing high quality health evidence includes sharing that evidence where people are accessing it.



How can I get involved?
Nearly half of all Cochrane Reviews are already shared on Wikipedia! Cochrane is presently the most frequently cited peer-reviewed medical journal on Wikipedia (More info here).  English Wikipedia includes over 36,000 health-related articles and there are over 3000 Cochrane reviews that are not yet shared on Wikipedia. There are two main ways you can get involved:

1.    Add new Cochrane Evidence to Wikipedia - Every three months, a new list of Cochrane Reviews to consider for Wikipedia is generated. Reviews to consider for Wikipedia are organized by Cochrane Review Group and can be access here:  Cochrane Review List (English).

2.    Ensure that the evidence already shared on Wikipedia is accurate, unbiased, and up to date. - Volunteers are needed to review what is presently shared in Wikipedia. Wikipedia articles that include out dated versions of Cochrane Reviews need to be updated. Cochrane maintains a list of Reviews that need updating. This list is refreshed monthly to include recently updated Cochrane Reviews: Cochrane-Wikipedia Update Project.



How can I edit Wikipedia in languages other than English?
Cochrane has active projects in many different languages including Spanish, French, and Dutch. Please visit the “Projects” tab project page to learn more about specific projects: Cochrane-Wikipedia Projects.



How can I learn how to edit Wikipedia?
Cochrane has developed and collated numerous training resources. Our newest resource, the Wikipedian in Training Resource, is the best place to begin. This resource shares suggested first steps, ideas for how to practice editing, and an example of the general workflow of editing Wikipedia and sharing Cochrane evidence.

Jennifer can be found on Wikipedia at: JenOttawa and by email at jdawson@cochrane.org. Please visit the Cochrane-Wikipedia Project Page for more information.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Featured Review: Treating depression after stroke

Tue, 01/28/2020 - 13:22

Depression is common after stroke yet often is not detected or inadequately treated.

Review authors from Australia, Canada, Taiwan and the UK asked, "Do pharmacological treatments, non‐invasive brain stimulation, psychological treatments, or combination treatments reduce the proportion of people with depression or the extent of depressive symptoms after stroke?"

The authors included trials that reported on the use of pharmacological, non‐invasive brain stimulation, psychological, and combination therapy interventions to treat depression after stroke. Mean age of people included in the trials ranged from 54 to 78 years. Studies were from Asia (30), Europe (11), North America (6), and Australia (2). 

The review authors included 49 trials (56 treatments) involving 3342 people. Pharmacological treatments resulted in fewer people meeting the study criteria for depression and less than 50% reduction in depression scale scores at end of treatment. Psychological therapy reduced the number of people meeting the study criteria for depression at end of treatment. More people in the pharmacological treatment group reported central nervous system (in five trials) and gastrointestinal side effects (in four trials) than in the placebo groups. Information on side effects of other treatments was not provided. 

Estimates of treatment effects were imprecise due to small numbers in most studies and recruitment of people with very different baseline characteristics. The authors rated the certainty of evidence as very low due to these and other limitations in study design.

Antidepressant drugs may benefit people with persistent depressive symptoms after stroke, but care is required in their use, as little is known about their side effects. Psychological therapy may offer a treatment option. Future research should include a broader group of people with stroke.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Cochrane Czech Republic seeks PostDoc in Meta-Research in Public Health

Mon, 01/27/2020 - 19:29

Closing: Feb 29 2020

The open post-doc position is focused on meta-research in field Public Health. Czech National Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare and Knowledge Translation (CEBHC-KT), Institute Biostatistics and Analysis, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University stands on three international pillars: Cochrane Czech Republic, Czech CEBHC: Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence, and Masaryk University GRADE Center (https://cebhckt.med.muni.cz/en/). CEBHC-KT is mainly focused on methodology and conducting Systematic Reviews (meta-analysis, meta-synthesis) and Clinical Practice Guidelines, training in Evidence-Based Healthcare approach, Evidence Synthesis, GRADE methodology, and Evidence Implementation.

Mentor Dr. Miloslav Klugar is a director and co-founder of the Czech National Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare and Knowledge Translation and its parts (Cochrane, JBI, GRADE); also Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at University of Adelaide.

Postdoc fellow will become a member of CEBHC-KT and all its three international collaboration. The main aim of this postdoc fellowship is the methodology and conducting systematic reviews in Public Health. However, postdoc fellow will be involved in all activities of CEBHC-KT, including for example ongoing projects “Czech national guidelines project”, COST Action „Evidence-Based Research“, ERASMUS+ project “SPIDER”; etc.; and preparation of project proposals within Horizon 2020. Postdoc fellow will also be involved in the organization of the Global Evidence Summit.

The successful candidate should:

  • be a researcher who has received a PhD or its equivalent within the last 7 years
  • be a researcher who has worked at least two whole years in the last three years outside the territory of the Czech Republic in the field of research with a working time of at least 0.5 full-time equivalent, or who has been PhD student (or equivalent) abroad
  • have a publishing record – in the last three years at least two publication outputs registered in the Thomson Reuters Web of Science, Scopus or ERIH PLUS databases and at the same time publications such as “articles”, “books”, “book chapters”, “letters” and “reviews”.

Specific criteria:

  • experience or knowledge in the field of Public Health or Research Methods
  • knowledge of EBM, Systematic reviews and Clinical Practice Guidelines is an advantage
  • excellent communication skills and the ability to collaborate in teams
  • English of the level C1 is a requirement, other languages (German, Russian, Portugal or Chinese) are an advantage

MU offers the opportunity to get:

  • an interesting job in a dynamically-expanding university area
  • diverse and challenging work in an excellent research environment
  • tenure track with an initial appointment for 2 years
  • a professional team and pleasant working conditions
  • interaction with leading scientists in an inspiring, internationalised environment
  • a welcoming service for the successful candidate and his/her family

More information and apply

Monday, January 27, 2020 Category: Jobs

Cochrane Czech Republic seeks PostDoc in Meta-Research in Rehabilitation and Podiatry

Mon, 01/27/2020 - 19:24

Closing: 29 Feb 2020

The open post-doc position is focused on meta-research in field Rehabilitation, Biomechanics, Podiatry, or Public Health. Czech National Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare and Knowledge Translation (CEBHC-KT), Institute Biostatistics and Analysis, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University stands on three international pillars: Cochrane Czech Republic, Czech CEBHC: Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence, and Masaryk University GRADE Center (https://cebhckt.med.muni.cz/en/). CEBHC-KT is mainly focused on methodology and conducting Systematic Reviews (meta-analysis, meta-synthesis) and Clinical Practice Guidelines, training in Evidence-Based Healthcare approach, Evidence Synthesis, GRADE methodology, and Evidence Implementation.

Mentor Dr. Jitka Klugarová is a deputy director and co-founder of the Czech National Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare and Knowledge Translation and its parts (Cochrane, JBI, GRADE); also Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at University of Adelaide; and she has more than 15 years clinical experience in Physiotherapy and Podiatry.

Postdoc fellow will become a member of CEBHC-KT and all its three international collaboration. The main aim of this postdoc fellowship is the methodology and conducting systematic reviews in the fields specified above. However, postdoc fellow will be involved in all activities of CEBHC-KT, including, for example, ongoing projects “Czech national guidelines project”, COST Action „Evidence-Based Research“, ERASMUS+ project “SPIDER”; etc.; and preparation of project proposals within Horizon 2020. Postdoc fellow will also be involved in the organization of the Global Evidence Summit.

The successful candidate should:

  • be a researcher who has received a PhD or its equivalent within the last 7 years
  • be a researcher who has worked at least two whole years in the last three years outside the territory of the Czech Republic in the field of research with a working time of at least 0.5 full-time equivalent, or who has been PhD student (or equivalent) abroad
  • have a publishing record – in the last three years at least two publication outputs registered in the Thomson Reuters Web of Science, Scopus or ERIH PLUS databases and at the same time publications such as “articles”, “books”, “book chapters”, “letters” and “reviews”.

Specific criteria:

  • experience or knowledge in field Rehabilitation, Biomechanics, Podiatry or Public Health
  • knowledge of EBM, Systematic reviews and Clinical Practice Guidelines is an advantage
  • excellent communication skills and the ability to collaborate in teams
  • English of the level C1 is a requirement, other languages (German, Russian, Portugal or Chinese) are an advantage

MU offers the opportunity to get:

  • an interesting job in a dynamically-expanding university area
  • diverse and challenging work in an excellent research environment
  • tenure track with an initial appointment for 2 years
  • a professional team and pleasant working conditions
  • interaction with leading scientists in an inspiring, internationalised environment
  • a welcoming service for the successful candidate and his/her family

More information and apply

Monday, January 27, 2020 Category: Jobs

Launching Cochrane Portugal to support the use of high quality, trusted health information

Mon, 01/27/2020 - 17:39

 Cochrane is delighted to announce the official launch of Cochrane Portugal, a new Cochrane centre with a vision to increase the use of best evidence to inform healthcare decision making throughout Portugal.

On January 16th, 2020, Cochrane Portugal was launched in Lisbon, at the Institute for Evidence Based Health of the Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Lisbon.

After presenting the actual structure approved by the Cochrane  Board - three Associate Centers at the Faculties of Medicine at the Universities of Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto – António Vaz Carneiro (Director of Cochrane Portugal) projected the future in terms of adding three potential Affiliate Centers at Universities of Braga, Covilhã and Lisbon (Nova University) that will constitute Cochrane Portugal in the near future.

After this introduction, Mark Wilson (CEO of Cochrane) addressed a 150 strong audience talking about “Leading Global Evidence-Informed Healthcare in the 2020s: Cochrane’s Achievements and Challenges”. He provided an overview of Cochrane, spoke about Strategy 2020 and presented Cochrane’s four goals. Also stressed was the need to have strong Knowledge Translation activities in Portugal.

The final part of the meeting was a roundtable headed by the former Ministry of Health, Prof. Adalberto Campos Fernandes and the representatives of the Portuguese Medical Association (Alexandre Lourenço, MD) and Portuguese Pharmacists Association (Ana Paula Martins, PharmD). The exchange with the audience was a lively one and plenty of ideas on how Cochrane Portugal can play an important role in the national health system were shared.

The meeting was closed by the Secretary of State (António Sales) who, in a short speech, addressed the need for high quality evidence to support policy decision making and stated the need for Cochrane Portugal to work closely with the government in providing relevant and usable evidence.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Cochrane Heart seeks Assistant Managing Editor - London, UK

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 18:24
Location of position: London, UKHours: Part TimeHours per week (%FTE): 18.25 hours per week (50% FTE)Salary: £29,089 - £34,090 per annumCloses: 11 Feb 2020

Cochrane Heart aims to prepare, maintain and promote the access of systematic reviews of the effect of interventions for treating and preventing heart diseases.

The Assistant Managing Editor will work closely with the Managing Editor to contribute to an efficient editorial process. This varied role will include identifying and communicating with peer reviewers, responding to queries from authors and editors, ensuring the timely completion of conflict of interest forms, assisting with the preparation of reports, as well as more general administrative duties. This post is available for 1 year in the first instance.

We are looking for a self-motivated individual with strong organisational and communication skills, a high degree of attention to detail and experience of working in a busy office environment.

If you wish to discuss the post informally, please contact Nicole Martin (nicole.martin@ucl.ac.uk)

Friday, January 24, 2020 Category: Jobs

2020 New Year Message from Cochrane's Chief Executive Officer and Editor in Chief

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 17:14

Mark Wilson, CEO and Karla Soares Weiser, Editor in Chief extend their warmest wishes to the Cochrane community at the beginning of this new year.

Here, they reflect on the achievement from the last 12 months, including their personal highlights and summarize what lies ahead for Cochrane over the next year.

Read the Strategy to 2020

Read more about Cochrane’s 2020 Annual Targets

Monday, January 20, 2020

Cochrane seeks - Project Manager (CRM)

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 17:02

This role is an exciting opportunity to use your experience in CRM Project Management to make a difference in the field of healthcare research. 

This role is the first point of contact and key relationship holder for our CRM supplier and will manage all work that is conducted with that partner. This ranges from technical support issues through to major development projects, all of which is outsourced but requires project management expertise within Cochrane to ensure that the partnership works efficiently.

We are looking for a self-motivated and highly organised individual who is able to work effectively and collaboratively with our CRM partner.  The successful candidate for this role will have:

  • Project management skills and experience.
  • Experience of successfully managing and working collaboratively with external suppliers.
  • Experience of using a CRM system, and of generating bespoke reports to track and analyse organisational
  • performance and engagement.
  • Experience in providing excellent customer service, training and support.
  • Demonstrated experience of strong relationship building and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience with software and systems related to CRM and communications, such as Jira, SugarCRM and MailChimp in addition to the ability to learn new systems quickly.

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: (05 February 2020 12 midnight GMT)
  • Interviews to be held on: Week commencing 25 February 2020

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 Category: Jobs

Winner of Thomas C Chalmers Award 2019 for Best Oral Presentation - Dena Zeraatkar

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 10:09

The Thomas C Chalmers MD Award Committee 2019 wishes to extend its congratulations to this year’s winner for best Oral presentation, Dena Zeraatkar.

2019 Oral presentation winner - Dena Zeraatkar

Froeks Kamminga, Methods Liaison Officer in the Editorial and Methods Department, caught up with best Oral presentation winner Dena Zeraatkar to find out a little more about her and ask what winning the award meant to her.

Dena is a doctoral candidate in the Health Research Methodology program in the department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University (Canada). Her work centers on evidence synthesis and evaluation in nutrition. She is also a member of the NutriRECS group, an international consortium of nutrition researchers, methodologists, consumers, and clinicians dedicated to developing dietary guidelines that meet internationally accepted standards for trustworthy guideline development. 

Why did you decide to enter the competition?
I attended the Cochrane Colloquium for the first time in 2018 and was extremely impressed by the work presented by the delegates. It was an excellent opportunity to learn about methods in evidence synthesis and to expand my network. My colleagues and I subsequently decided to submit two abstracts describing the methodological aspects of our work on a guideline addressing the consumption of red and processed meat.

What do you take away from winning this award, or what does it mean to you, personally?
It is an honor to win an award named after the late Dr. Thomas Chalmers, who played a pivotal role in the development of randomized controlled trials and meta-analysis. Also, it is an honor to be recognized by the largest organization dedicated to the promotion of evidence-informed health decision-making. My colleagues and I hope to continue prioritizing rigorous methodology in our work in nutrition and in other areas.

In terms of the impact of the award on her work, she stated that the award had motivated her and her colleagues to continue their work developing high-quality, trustworthy guidelines in nutrition. She added: “Nutrition is a challenging field to study. It is a positive experience for us to know that others recognize the importance and value of the work we have been doing.”

Lastly, what would your message would be to other researchers considering entering for the Thomas C Chalmers award in 2020?
I hope that other researchers would be equally inspired by the legacies or Dr Chalmers and other individuals on whose work current emerging research builds. I am looking forward to seeing what next year's delegates will present at Cochrane 2020 in Toronto!

Dena’s presentation: "A novel approach to evaluate the plausibility of causal relationships from non-randomized studies" .

 

For further information on other prizes which are awarded at the Colloquium, please visit https://colloquium2019.cochrane.org/prizes-and-awards

Thursday, January 30, 2020

A statement in support of EMA’s clinical study report transparency policy

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 10:36

Cochrane supports EMA’s policy to make drug regulatory documents publicly available, which is currently the subject of a legal challenge.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is awaiting a ruling from the European Court of Justice regarding whether they are legally allowed to grant public access to clinical study reports (CSRs).

CSRs are detailed documents that pharmaceutical companies submit to regulators as part of the drug authorisation process. They are often the single most comprehensive source of information on a clinical trial, giving details of the design and methods used, as well as results for under-reported outcomes like adverse effects.

EMA started proactively publishing new CSRs in 2016 – the first regulator to take such a step (The programme is currently suspended, due to the Agency’s move from London to Amsterdam).  In response, two pharmaceutical companies have launched legal challenges against EMA, arguing that the information contained in CSRs should be considered commercially confidential.

An initial ruling by the European Court of Justice in February 2018 found in favour of EMA. This went to appeal and, in September 2019, an advocate general for the court published an opinion that the policy does in fact compromise commercial interests. A final judgment is expected soon. The EMA Management Board has said that, if the advocate general’s recommendations are followed, “existing transparency policies would be impaired and have to be revised”.

Statement from Cochrane’s Editor in Chief, Dr Karla Soares-Weiser

“Much research has shown that journal article reporting of randomized controlled trials is often incomplete and that some trials are never published. Access to CSRs for re-analysis is one tool to strengthen integrity in medical research – reducing the potential for mistakes, misinterpretations, bias, evidence distortion, corruption and fraud.

EMA’s transparency efforts should be encouraged and furthered, not scaled back. We are very concerned that a judgment in this case that CSRs should be treated as commercially confidential information could set a dangerous precedent that will hinder the work of researchers, slow scientific progress and – in the worst-case scenario – put people’s health and lives at risk.”

 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Cochrane seeks - Research Integrity Editor

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 10:28

Specifications: Full Time, Permanent
Salary: £38,000 – £45,000
Location: Flexible (In office, homeworking, flexible arrangements)
Application Closing Date: 26th January 2020 (At 12 midnight GMT)

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

Cochrane is committed to independence, transparency, and integrity in healthcare research. The role of the Research Integrity Editor will be to support and strengthen this commitment through advocacy, policy development and implementation, and community outreach.

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
  • Strong understanding and experience of editorial and publishing policy in the Science, Medicine and Technology sector, including conflict of interest, scientific fraud and misconduct, and avoiding research waste
  • Strong understanding of issues around methodological quality in primary and secondary research
  • Understanding of the importance of systematic reviews to clinical or policy decision-making
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with key stakeholders in and outside the Cochrane community
  • Intermediate level IT skills, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Strong organization and prioritization skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work methodically and accurately
  • A pro-active approach to problem-solving

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 “Research Integrity 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: 26th January 2020 (At 12 Midnight GMT)
  • Interviews to be held on: (TBC)
Tuesday, January 7, 2020 Category: Jobs

Submissions for abstracts open - Cochrane Colloquium, Toronto 2020

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 17:03

4-7th October 2020, The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto

The Cochrane Colloquium is Cochrane's flagship annual event. It brings people together from around the world to discuss putting research into important global health questions and promoting evidence-informed health care.

This year’s theme is ‘Rapid-Learning Health Systems,’ an approach to improve people’s experiences and health outcomes while keeping costs manageable and health care stakeholders engaged. Abstract submissions should consider the relevance to this theme.

The deadline for abstract submissions is 23.59 UTC, 9 March 2020. The Committee encourages applications from abstracts from the 2019 Colloquium that could not be presented in Santiago.

All submissions will be notified of their outcome in May 2020.

REMINDER: When submitting an abstract, we would like to ask you for a self-evaluation regarding your eligibility for the Thomas C Chalmers Award.
An accepted poster or oral presentation is eligible for the Award if: it addresses a methodological issue related to systematic reviews; and it is presented by an early-career investigator

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Author Interview: Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs for alcohol use disorder

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 15:44

Dr John Kelly, Elizabeth R. Spallin Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Addiction Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Director, Massachusetts General hospital (MGH) Recovery Research Institute tells us about this updated Cochrane review.

What was the aim of this Cochrane review?
The aim of the review was to determine the clinical and public health benefits attributable to Alcoholics Anonymous and related 12-step Facilitation Treatments (TSF) designed to proactively link patients to AA, in helping people achieve remission from alcohol use disorder and improve their functioning and well-being.

Why is it important?
It is important because alcohol use disorder is a major cause of misery, premature death, and disease worldwide, killing ten times more people than all illicit drugs combined. AA is one of the most ubiquitous and popular sources of help for alcohol use disorder so it is important to determine the degree to which it may be helpful when evaluated against the most rigorous scientific standards available, as in the Cochrane Collaboration. 

There has been a great deal of confusion and misinformation about the state of the science on AA so we felt it was important to clarify the evidence using the highly structured and rigorous review criteria inherent in the Cochrane system.

Included in this review were more than twenty randomized controlled trials that compared AA/TSF interventions to other well-established active treatments like cognitive-behavioural interventions and motivational interviewing type treatments. Also, because AA is free and widely available, we wanted to examine the potential health care cost-benefits of implementing AA/TSF treatments relative to other more well-researched treatments to determine whether there may be savings to health care systems if they were to implement treatments that linked patients to AA.

This is an update of a review published in 2006. What has changed?
The prior review published in 2006 was based on only 8 studies and included just a few thousand participants. The quality of the evidence at that time was not strong. This updated review is based on 27 rigorous comparative investigations and included around 11,000 participants, as well as economic analyses. Thus, both the quantity and quality of the research has increased substantially in the intervening years prompting this new summary.

What are the conclusions the authors have been able to draw?
When compared to other well-established commonly delivered treatments for alcohol use disorder, AA/TSF generally performs as well as other interventions on most clinical outcomes, except for abstinence, where it does quite a bit better - particularly true for helping many more patients achieve sustained abstinence and remission. The review also found that AA/TSF reduced health care costs substantially while simultaneously improving patient’s abstinence relative to other treatments.

The quality of the evidence for the abstinence and economic outcomes was moderate to high indicating there is generally a high degree of confidence that can be placed in these new findings.

What can practitioners take from this review?
When treating patients with alcohol use disorder, AA/TSF interventions should be a frontline treatment option to be implemented in countries where AA is available. Implementing TSF interventions along the lines of those tested in this review is very likely to result in improved alcohol use disorder treatment outcomes and substantially lowered use of health care resources that saves money.

What can people seeking help for recovery from alcohol abuse learn from this Cochrane review?
Findings have important implications for people suffering from an alcohol use disorder in that there is a free, community-based, option in AA that can really help people to stop drinking and achieve lasting remission and recovery. One important finding from this review was that it does matter what type of TSF intervention people receive - better organized and well-articulated clinical linkage treatments resulted in the best outcomes. In other words, it is important for clinical programs and clinicians to utilize one of the proven manualized interventions to maximize the benefits attainable from AA participation. 

Research into freely available, community-based, recovery support resources, such as AA, was once considered nearly impossible, in recent years researchers have found creative methods of evaluating AA carefully and objectively. However what further research is needed?
The last 25 years has seen a rapid expansion in the growth of studies on AA and TSF clinical interventions designed to proactively link patients with AA. The culmination of this body of work has shown that AA can be studied and subjected to the same scientific standards as other interventions proving itself effective at helping people suffering from alcohol use disorder achieve sobriety and lasting remission all at a reduced health care cost.

These superior benefits makes sense when alcohol use disorder is viewed as a chronic illness, which for many is susceptible to relapse over months and years; one of the reasons why AA helps more people over the long-term is through its ability to keep people actively involved in its recovery-focused peer support social network over these long periods so that their brains and bodies can adjust to the absence of alcohol and the demands of recovery and help them adopt a new lifestyle that is more conducive and supportive to long-term stable remission and enhanced quality of life.

It is important to note, however, that some countries do not have AA as available as some other nations and some patients will not attend AA for various reasons despite being clinically facilitated to attend. Thus, while AA can be a valuable asset where it exists, it is important to remember that it is not suited to everyone and we need to have a variety of options available for people suffering from the range of alcohol problems and severities of alcohol use disorder. Such alternatives can take the form of medications like naltrexone and acamprosate, other ongoing professionally-delivered therapies like cognitive-behavioural counselling, and other recovery specific peer-support organizations like SMART Recovery, LifeRing, and Women for Sobriety. These other peer-based organizations await additional research to demonstrate their helpfulness but they look very promising as well.

For now, I think of AA as the closest thing in public health that we have to a free lunch - it is effective, cost-effective, and freely available. The findings are good news for sufferers and their families and, given the economic burden of alcohol use disorder in most middle and high-income countries, its availability is also good news for health care systems and national economies.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

University of London seeks Research Assistant - London, UK

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 14:56

Salary:  £26,715 to £27,511 plus London Allowance of £3,147 (pro rata) Fixed Term 9 months, Part Time 0.5 FTE
Closing Date: Friday 17 January 2020

St George's University of London is seeking a Research Assistant who is interested in conducting evidence based research examining the harms of violence and abuse on mental health. This is a stimulating 12 months research programme, funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network (VAMHN) investigating the relationship between the severity of mental health outcomes and specific characteristics of victimization including timing, duration, frequency, severity, and types of violence. These associations will be further analysed between women and men to assess the gendered nature of violence, and in relation to other social inequalities. They seek to unpack how these interacting factors are implicated in survivors’ mental health as an outcome of VA.

The post-holder will be a key member of the team from the Population Health Research Institute at St George’s University of London working alongside the prime investigator and the Research Team. The post-holder will draft data extraction templated, conduct data extraction, contribute to data analysis, assist with integration of study findings and help writing blog for the study’s findings. A survivor panel will be involved in the review which the postholder will help coordinate.

 For more information and to apply: https://jobs.sgul.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=541-19

Monday, January 6, 2020 Category: Jobs

Cochrane International Mobility - Franciszek Borys

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 19:18

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.

Getting involved in Cochrane’s work means becoming part of a global community. The Cochrane International Mobility programme connects successful applicants with a placement in a host Cochrane Group, learning more about the production, use, and knowledge translation of Cochrane reviews. The prgramme offers opportunities for learning and training not only for participants but also for host staff.

In this series, we profile those that have participated in the Cochrane International Mobility Program and learn more about their experiences.

Name: Franciszek Borys
Location: Poznan, Poland
Cochrane International Mobility location: Cochrane Sweden

How did you first learn about Cochrane?
I first heard about Cochrane systematic review in a lecture: 'Volume-targeted versus pressure-limited ventilation in neonates" during a neonatal scientific conference in Poznan. I was really impressed by this study. However I was not involved in Cochrane research before I joined the Cochrane International Mobility Programme (CIM).

What was your experience with Cochrane International Mobility?
At the beginning of my CIM exchange I had an opportunity to complete Cochrane Interactive Training which gave me basic knowledge about systematic reviews and taught me how to conduct it. It was also great experience in terms of learning about overall research methodology. This I find definitely valuable if you are involved in evidence-based medicine. Later I was working on a systematic review on harms in Cochrane reviews on screening, which was led by the Director of Cochrane Sustainable Health Care. Last but not least, CIM is also an amazing opportunity to meet open-minded, interesting and hardworking scientist from other countries.

What are you doing now in relation to your Cochrane International Mobility experience?
 When I came back to Poland I joined DTA review about Continuous Glucose Monitoring in preterm neonates, led by Cochrane Sweden and Cochrane Netherlands. I am also going to attend workshop about DTA methodology in Sweden. My future plan is to continue collaboration with Cochrane Sweden especially in the fields of neonatology and sustainable healthcare.

Do you have any words of advice to anyone conserving a Cochrane International Mobility experience?
Just do it ;)

 

 

Friday, January 3, 2020

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