Cochrane News

Subscribe to Cochrane News feed
Updated: 7 hours 23 min ago

Learning about Cochrane in 6 South Asian languages

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 18:41

South Asia is home for over 1.6 billion people, speaking hundreds of languages among them. At least 12 of these languages are each spoken by 30 million or more people. All the countries in this region are categorized as either low or lower-middle income economies. Though English remains the official medium of instruction and communication among healthcare professionals in this region, large proportions of the general population do not speak or read English. Impactful dissemination of health information among the people in a language they understand is therefore a huge challenge.

As part of an initiative to reach out to people speaking native languages, Cochrane South Asia has created webpages explaining the role of Cochrane in six major South Asian languages - Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu targeting a potential reader base of over 700 million people.

These webpages in vernacular languages have been drafted with the aim of helping South Asian people understand, in their own social and linguistic contexts, the work of Cochrane and systematic reviews in improving healthcare. User-testing of the content in each language was done to try and avoid redundant literal translations of technical terms, with the emphasis placed on readability as much as on conveying the right information.

“The impact of Cochrane in the countries in South Asia will be enhanced if more people who do not read English in the region understand the importance of the rigorous, and independent, approach used by Cochrane. This is likely to improve their trust in Cochrane evidence, “ says Dr Prathap Tharyan, Director of Cochrane South Asia.

In due course, Cochrane South Asia hopes to work with the Central Executive Team and other stakeholders to start translating Cochrane evidence in regional South Asian languages to benefit larger sections of the population.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cochrane Switzerland seeks Scientific Collaborator (0.6 FTE)

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 16:19

Cochrane Switzerland, based at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUMSP), Lausanne University Hospital, seeks immediately or by agreement aScientific Collaborator (0.6 FTE).

Cochrane ( is an international independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research accessible for those who need to make decisions about health. Cochrane is a not-for-profit organisation with contributors from over 120 countries working together to produce credible and accessible health information (in particular, systematic reviews) that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Cochrane Switzerland is an Associated Cochrane Centre and active in all three language regions (

Roles: Contribute to the development of Cochrane Public Health Europe (i.e. the European satellite of the Cochrane Group for public health reviews, and Cochrane Switzerland in general. Contribute to dissemination and knowledge transfer projects, in particular in German language. Contribute to training and review projects as mandated by third parties.   

Profile: Training in medicine or health sciences (Master degree or equivalent); training in public health desirable. Relevant working experience of 2 years or more. Knowledge of methods of epidemiology and concepts of evidence-based health care. Excellent proficiency and writing skills in German; at least intermediate proficiency in French and English. Fluent use of electronic communication tools. Team player but able to work with partners in an international network.

Place of work: IUMSP Lausanne (with possibility to work remotely)

Information: Prof. Bernard Burnand ( / +41 21 314 7255),
Dr. Erik von Elm ( / +41 21 314 6723)

Please submit your application including a motivational letter and CV (with copies of diploma) between 1st and 22 January 2017 using the link that will be provided with the official job announcement at

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks CIS Support Team Member

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 11:00

Specifications: Part Time, 0.2 FTE, Fixed Term
Salary: Competitive
Location: Flexible
Application Closing Date: 23/01/2017

Cochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by identifying, appraising and synthesizing individual 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. We want to be the leading advocate for evidence-informed health care across the world.

Job Description: The successful candidate will join the existing Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team, which provides introductory and ongoing support and training related to Cochrane editorial processes, information technology, and study identification methods to the Cochrane Information Specialist (CIS) community. Support and training is guided by the needs of practicing CISs and current Cochrane policies and technology developments. The post is available for a fixed term of one year.

Requirements: The ideal candidate should have appropriate library or information science qualifications, current or recent experience of working as a CIS in a Cochrane Review Group, Field or Centre, an understanding of information, retrieval methodologies, particularly as they apply to the production of systematic reviews, experience in biomedical database searching, e.g., The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Embase, trial registries, etc.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to with "CIS Support Team Member" 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: CIS Support Team Member JD.docx

Deadline for applications: 23rd January 2017 (12 midnight GMT)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 Category: Jobs

Yoga may have health benefits for people with chronic non-specific lower back pain

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 10:43

A new Cochrane Review, published in the Cochrane Library today, suggests that yoga may lead to a small reduction in pain in people with chronic non-specific lower back pain over the short term. However, researchers advise that more studies are needed to provide information on long-term effects.

Lower back pain is a common health problem, and is usually treated with self-care and over-the-counter medication. For some people it may last for three months or more, and at this point it is considered “chronic”. Back pain is sometimes associated with a disease or condition, but the vast majority of lower back pain cases have an unknown cause, and as a result are described as non-specific. Current guidelines state that exercise therapy may be beneficial, and in particular yoga is sometimes used as a treatment.

Yoga has gained global popularity as a form of mind-body exercise, with general lifestyle benefits, and recent studies have investigated the potential of yoga to relieve the symptoms of lower back related problems.

A new Cochrane Review summarizes the results of 12 randomized trials from 1,080 men and women with an average age between 34 and 48 years old. The trials were conducted in India, the UK, and the US. All participants had chronic non-specific lower back pain.

The Cochrane researchers compared practicing yoga in a class to not doing any back-focused exercise. Five studies compared yoga with back-focused exercise, or added yoga for a back-focused exercise programme. All yoga interventions used were specifically designed for treatment of lower back pain, and were provided by experienced and qualified teachers.

They found that compared to no exercise, practicing yoga might be able to improve back-related function and reduce symptoms of lower back pain by a small amount. However, larger and more robust studies are needed to draw any firm conclusions about the long-term health benefits of yoga.

The research team also found limited evidence that, compared with not doing any physical exercise, yoga can lead to some improvement in back function after six months and a small reduction in pain after three months. The longer term effects of yoga on lower back pain are less certain, because there were few studies that looked at follow-up after 12 months. However, yoga is associated with more side effects than not doing any exercise. About 5% more yoga participants experienced increased back pain, although this appears similar to the risk of having side effects from other back-focused exercise.

Lead Cochrane author Susan Wieland from Cochrane Complementary Medicine at the Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Maryland, commented, “Our findings suggest that yoga exercise may lead to reducing the symptoms of lower back pain by a small amount, but the results have come from studies with a short follow-up. At the moment we only have very low-quality evidence for the effects of yoga before six months as a type of exercise for helping people with chronic lower back pain. The yoga exercises practised in the studies were developed for low back pain, but people should also remember that in each of the studies we reviewed, the yoga classes were led by experienced practitioners. The findings of this Cochrane Review will help people make more informed choices about their future treatment options.”

Editor’s notes
Full citation:  Wieland LS, Skoetz N, Pilkington K, Vempati R, D'Adamo CR, Berman BM. Yoga treatment for chronic non-specific low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 7 . Art. No.: CD010671. DOI: 10.1002/14651858. CD010671.

For further information, please contact
Jo Anthony
Senior Media and Communications Manager, Cochrane
+44(0) 7582 726 634 or

Media spokesperson
Susan Wieland
Coordinator, Cochrane Complementary Medicine
Center for Integrative Medicine
University of Maryland School of Medicine
520 W. Lombard Street
Baltimore, Maryland, 21201 USA

About Cochrane
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health.

Cochrane produces reviews which study all of the best available evidence generated through research and make it easier to inform decisions about health. These are called systematic reviews.

Cochrane is a not-for profit organization with collaborators from more than 130 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Our work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

Find out more at

Follow us on twitter @cochranecollab

If you are a journalist or member of the press and wish to receive news alerts before their online publication or if you wish to arrange an interview with an author, please contact the Cochrane press office:

About Wiley
Wiley, a global company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Voting open for Cochrane Governing Board elections

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 22:21

 Entire Cochrane membership welcomed to vote

Voting is  open for  2016/2017 election for four (4) internal members of the Cochrane Board.  Voting will be done by the entire Cochrane membership - membership of Cochrane is defined as all contributors to a registered Cochrane Group with an Active role in Archie, excluding those whose only roles are Other, Mailing list, Possible Contributor, Super User, Web Contributor and Web Publisher.  Eligible voters (see our Board Policy and Electoral Procedure) Eligible voters can now access the voting form. Voting closes on Wednesday, 25 January 2017.

To access the voting form, you will need to use your Cochrane (or Archie) login. If you are an eligible voter but do not have a Cochrane login, when asked to enter your details, click the link, and follow the instructions to create a new account. Use the name and email address usually used in your communications with Cochrane to ensure your access is granted. If you have any trouble logging in, please contact your Cochrane Group, or

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

BMJ partners with Cochrane ​Clinical Answers​ to boost knowledge at the point of care

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 05:00

Evidence reviews now incorporated into BMJ Best Practice to better inform decision making.

BMJ, one of the world’s leading medical knowledge providers, has teamed up with Cochrane Clinical Answers, a new resource from the Cochrane Library, to better deliver evidence and inform decision making at the point of care.  

The collaboration means that Cochrane Clinical Answers are now incorporated into BMJ Best Practice topics to give health professionals instant access to the highest-quality evidence for use in their daily practice.  

Cochrane Clinical Answers, an evidence tool produced and published by Wiley, are based on the results of Cochrane systematic reviews. They provide evidence-based answers to clinical questions to inform decision making at the point of care, focusing on outcomes that matter most to patients.  

BMJ Best Practice gives doctors fast and easy access to the latest information when making diagnosis and treatment decisions. Updated daily, it draws on the latest evidence-based research, guidelines and expert opinion to offer step-by-step guidance on diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention.  

Systematic reviews are the cornerstones of evidence based medicine. They bring together evidence from existing research to help answer important clinical questions, identify harms, and inform clinical guidelines, practice and policies worldwide.  

Without them, decision makers, students and researchers would be at the mercy of often conflicting studies or expert opinion.  

BMJ Best Practice already has a strong evidence base, but by incorporating Cochrane Clinical Answers, it will give health professionals the confidence to make the best decisions in partnership with patients, even in areas of clinical uncertainty. 

In fact, a recent independent review of clinical decision support tools published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research ranked BMJ Best Practice equal first for breadth of disease coverage, editorial quality, and evidence-based methodology.  

Sharon Cooper, Chief Digital Officer, BMJ said: “Both BMJ and Cochrane have been at the forefront of the evidence based medicine movement since it began, and the goals of our two organisations are closely aligned. We look forward to working together to help busy health professionals make decisions that are linked as firmly as possible to the highest quality evidence available for the benefit of patients.”

 Cochrane Editor in Chief, David Tovey said, “I am delighted Cochrane will be working together with BMJ and health professionals globally to make better, more informed health decisions. Cochrane Clinical Answers is an important evidence-based tool that provides decision-makers with the best available evidence so that they can make informed decisions at the point of care.”

About BMJ
BMJ is a healthcare knowledge provider that aims to advance healthcare worldwide by sharing knowledge and expertise to improve experiences, outcomes and value. For a full list of BMJ products and services, please visit

 About Cochrane
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health. Cochrane produces reviews which study all of the best available evidence generated through research and make it easier to inform decisions about health. These are called systematic reviews.  Cochrane is a not-for profit organisation with collaborators from more than 130 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Our work is recognised as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.
Find out more at
Follow us on twitter @cochranecollab  

About Wiley
Wiley is a global provider of knowledge and knowledge-enabled services that improve outcomes in areas of research, professional practice, and education.  Through the Research segment, the Company provides digital and print scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising. The Professional Development segment provides digital and print books, online assessment and training services, and test prep and certification. In Education, Wiley provides education solutions including online program management services for higher education institutions and course management tools for instructors and students, as well as print and digital content.  The Company's website can be accessed at

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Global Evidence Summit 2017: Call for abstracts open

Fri, 01/06/2017 - 00:43
Your chance to be part of the first ever Global Evidence Summit begins now…Call for abstracts opens on 5 January 2017

Opportunities to present special sessions, workshops, oral presentations, and poster abstracts open on 5 January 2017. This is your chance to be part of the Global Evidence Summit (GES) and we look forward to receiving abstracts around the theme: Using evidence, Improving lives.

This year, Cochrane, a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health, is joining with four other leading organizations – the Guidelines International Network, The Campbell Collaboration, the International Society for Evidence-based Health Care, and the Joanna Briggs Institute - to hold the first ‘Global Evidence Summit’ (GES) in Cape Town, South Africa from 13-16 September 2017.

The theme of the GES, ‘Using Evidence. Improving Lives’, will highlight and promote evidence-informed approaches to health and social research, policy and development.

The summit will focus on the opportunities and challenges facing low- and middle-income countries - a key reason why the GES will be hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. The event is expected to attract up to 2000 delegates and will bring together many parts of the evidence community to promote evidence-informed decision-making worldwide.

Details on all the key dates are available on the Global Evidence Summit website.

Find out more at
Twitter: @GESummit, #GESummit17

Partner organizations:

Press contacts:

Michelle Galloway
Cochrane South Africa 

Jo Anthony
Senior Media and Communications Manager, Cochrane 
M +44(0) 7582 726 634 or

Friday, January 6, 2017

Cochrane South Africa announces appointment of new Director

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 22:53

We are very pleased to announce that Cochrane South Africa has appointed Charles Shey Wiysonge as its new Director, effective December 2016.

Originally trained as a physician, Professor Wiysonge has also completed extensive postgraduate training in epidemiology, evidence-based health care, and vaccinology. His previous roles have included serving as Senior Research Officer with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in Geneva, Senior Scientist with the South African Medical Research Council, Senior Researcher and Programme Manager for the University of Cape Town’s Vaccines for Africa Initiative, and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care at Stellenbosch University. His association with Cochrane dates back to 2001, when he became the inaugural recipient of the Aubrey Sheiham Public Health and Primary Care Scholarship (from 2014 The Aubrey Sheiham Evidence-based Health Care in Africa Leadership Award). In addition to authoring multiple Cochrane Reviews, since 2014 Professor Wiysonge has been on the staff of Cochrane South Africa as Chief Specialist Scientist.

The Founding Director of Cochrane South Africa, Jimmy Volmink, will be stepping down from managing day-to-day operations at the Centre, but will continue to serve as Chair of the Global Organizing Committee for the 2017 Global Evidence Summit.

Cochrane CEO Mark Wilson said, ‘I congratulate and warmly welcome Professor Charles Wiysonge to his new role. This opens a new chapter for the South African Cochrane Centre following the outstanding leadership of Professor Jimmy Volmink over two decades; and I look forward immensely to working with Charles and the great team at Cochrane South Africa in the coming years as it leads efforts to build Cochrane’s impact on health and healthcare decision making across the whole continent.’

Professor Wiysonge, on taking over the Directorship, said, 'Jimmy has done an outstanding job, and filling his shoes is next to impossible. I am thus indebted to Cochrane South Africa for the trust bestowed on me to draft the next chapter in its history. At the same time, I am humbled by the task before us; the huge task of ensuring that healthcare decision making in Africa is informed by relevant, timely, and high-certainty synthesized research evidence.  However, I have no doubt in my mind that with an engaged team at Cochrane South Africa, we shall deliver.'

Please join us in congratulating Professor Wiysonge and Cochrane South Africa as they begin this new era, and wishing them every success for the future.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Featured Review: Caregiver-mediated exercises for improving outcomes after stroke

Thu, 12/29/2016 - 16:12

Caregiver-mediated exercises may be a promising form of therapy to add to usual care.

Stroke is a major cause of acquired adult disability. Research has shown that more time spent on exercise therapy in the first weeks to months after stroke leads to better functioning and allowing early supported discharge. Due to lack of personnel and resources, in practice it is difficult to spend more time on exercise therapy in this period. One method to increase this exercise time is to involve caregivers in performing exercise training together with stroke patients. During this exercise training, a therapist coaches patient and caregiver and an evaluation is planned on a regular basis.

A team of Cochrane authors based in the Netherlands worked with Cochrane Stroke to determine if caregiver-mediated exercises improved ability and health-related quality of life in people with stroke, and to determine the effect on caregiver burden. This meta-analysis included nine trials with a total of 333 patient-caregiver teams. The quality of included randomized controlled trials was low, resulting in low to moderate evidence.

The Cochrane Review found evidence that caregiver-mediated exercises could have a positive effect on patients' standing balance, quality of life directly after the intervention, and on basic activities of daily living. In the long term, they found evidence for a positive effect on walking distance. No significant side effects or beneficial effects on caregiver strain were identified.

“Having caregivers help stroke patients with exercising is a low-cost and simple intervention. Our Cochrane Review shows that caregiver-mediated exercises may be a promising form of therapy to add to the usual care,” said Judith DM Vloothuis from the Amsterdam Rehabilitation Research Centre, and lead author of the Cochrane Review. “Overall the quality of included trials was low to moderate, which requires replication. Our findings suggest that higher quality studies are needed, including analysis of the costs of this promising intervention. Currently, our research group is studying the cost-effectiveness of a caregiver-mediated exercises program combined with e-health facilities, initiated within the first weeks post stroke.”

Read the full Cochrane Review

Visit the Cochrane Stroke website

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Stay connected! Sign up for the Cochrane newsletter.

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 17:28

Cochrane Connect brings you a monthly dose of news, events, and noteworthy Cochrane Reviews - right to your inbox.

Get the latest Cochrane news with our monthly newsletter, Cochrane Connect. It rounds up the month's most important Cochrane Reviews and biggest news stories, so you can stay up to date with the latest Cochrane information.  

Each newsletter contains:

  • Feature stories from the Cochrane community
  • Cochrane Review news that includes links to free access collections, editorials, featured reviews, and press releases.
  • Organizational news which covers what Cochrane is up to and how you can get involved.

Stay connected with Cochrane by signing up for Cochrane Connect today!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The impact of Cochrane evidence on how often to change peripheral venous catheters

Fri, 12/23/2016 - 09:17

The Cochrane Review Clinically-indicated replacement versus routine replacement of peripheral venous catheters is an update of a review previously published in April 2013, and first published in 2010 from the Cochrane Vascular Group.

The review found significant evidence that routinely changing or replacing peripheral venous catheters is no better than replacing when clinically indicated. The Group has reported that this evidence has a potential cost saving to the NHS of £40 million over a five-year period.

Here’s its story from publication to informing policy.

How it began
Most hospital patients receive fluids or medications via an intravenous catheter at some time during their hospital stay. An intravenous catheter (also called an IV drip or intravenous cannula) is a short, hollow tube placed in the vein to allow administration of medications, fluids, or nutrients directly into the bloodstream.

The US Centers for Disease Control guidelines recommend replacement of peripheral intravenous (IV) catheters no more frequently than every 72-96 hours - ie every 3-4 days. Routine replacement is thought to reduce the risk of phlebitis and bloodstream infection. Catheter insertion is an unpleasant experience for patients, and replacement may be unnecessary if the catheter remains functional and there are no signs of inflammation.

The Cochrane researchers wanted to assess the effects of removing peripheral IV catheters when clinically indicated, compared with removing and re-siting the catheter routinely.

The Cochrane Review found no evidence of benefit to support the widespread current practice of changing catheters routinely.

What’s been the Impact of this Cochrane evidence?
Upon assessment of these findings, healthcare organizations may consider changing to a policy whereby catheters are changed only if clinically indicated. This would provide significant cost savings, and would also spare patients the unnecessary pain of routine re-sites in the absence of clinical indications. To minimize peripheral catheter-related complications in the context this revised procedure, insertions site should be inspected at each shift change and catheters removed if signs of inflammation, infiltration, or blockage are present.

This Cochrane Review directly informed two recommendations (IVAD29 and IVAD28) in the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) accredited national guideline for preventing healthcare-associated infections in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in England (Epic3).  These recommended implementing a clinically indicated strategy rather than routine replacement.

A recent cost analysis to asses how much adopting this evidence-based practice would save the NHS came to the following conclusions:

“To implement clinically indicated replacement of peripheral catheters, hospitals that currently undertake routine catheter replacement practice will need to update their policy… . [I]f only one-third of the 11.5 million hospital admissions to NHS England hospitals every year required peripheral venous catheterization for more than three days, the expected population for the proposed strategy implementation over five years would be around 20 million patients.  Accordingly, we calculate that if the clinically indicated strategy was fully implemented in all NHS hospitals in England, then the cost savings to the system would be around ₤40 million over five years.”

Supporting resources
Webster J, Osborne S, Rickard CM, New K. Clinically-indicated replacement versus routine replacement of peripheral venous catheters. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD007798. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007798.pub4
Tuffaha HW, Rickard CM, Inwood S, Gordon L, Scuffham P. The epic3 recommendation that clinically indicated replacement of peripheral venous catheters is safe and cost-saving: how much would the NHS save? J Hosp Infect 2014;87(3):183-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2014.04.004.

Loveday HP, Wilson JA, Pratt RJ, Golsorkhi M, Tingle A, Browne J, Prieto J, Wilcox M. epic3: National Evidence-Based Guidelines for Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections in NHS Hospitals in England. London: Richard Wells Research Centre, University of West London; 2013. Journal of Hospital Infection 2014; 86S1: S1-70.

Evidence impact first identified as a NICE Cochrane Quality & Productivity case study recommendation (31 October 2011) (Cochrane Review 2010 version)


Wednesday, December 21, 2016 Category: Making a Difference

New Campbell review confirms little or no effect of community deworming

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 17:36

Reposted with permission from Cochrane Infectious Diseases.

The results of a Campbell review of deworming programmes, published in this month’s edition of Lancet Global Health, reaffirms the findings of an earlier Cochrane review concerning soil-transmitted intestinal worms that was conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM).

One of the authors of the original Cochrane review, Dr David Taylor-RobinsonDepartment of Public Health and Policy, University of Liverpool, said: “The Campbell review strongly corroborates our findings. This is important since not all systematic reviews on the same topic reach the same conclusion.

“The Cochrane review stimulated heated debate and has been criticized by deworming advocates. In this case the Campbell replication – which included other study designs alongside randomized control trials – reaffirmed our findings which found no evidence of mass treatment having an impact on weight, height, haemoglobin, exam performance or mortality.

“Given the areas in which worms are most prevalent are often very poor there are usually other factors affecting the health of these children. Furthermore, living conditions are improving in many parts of the world and so the prevalence of worms and the number of serious infections is decreasing.”

Professor Paul GarnerLSTM, said: “Donors and philanthropists want magic bullets to eradicate poverty. The Cochrane review has shown clearly that deworming advocates have exaggerated the benefits of these programmes.

“With Cochrane and Campbell having such similar findings, the World Health Organization, policy makers and philanthropists need to take heed of the evidence and adjust their policies and investments”

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Cochrane and MAGIC announce partnership

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 14:23

Cochrane and MAGIC are delighted to announce the launch of an official partnership, aimed at supporting and further strengthening the use of health evidence within the context of a digital and trustworthy evidence ecosystem for health care.

MAGIC (formally known as the MAking GRADE the Irresistible Choice (MAGIC) organization) is a non-profit research and innovation programme set up to make evidence summaries and recommendations that work for clinicians at the point of care and to facilitate shared decision-making with patients. Established in 2010, the MAGIC project has, among a number of other initiatives, developed the MAGICapp, a web-based platform for preparing guidelines using structured data systems and validated methods.

Cochrane and MAGIC wish to continue a history of working together by establishing a formal partnership to harmonize the flow of data from systematic reviews to guidelines development and decision support systems. To this end, the organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to structure and focus our collaborative work for the next three years.

Mark Wilson, Cochrane CEO, said: ‘We are delighted to be deepening our relationship with MAGIC through this new partnership. Cochrane and MAGIC share a passion for innovation, collaboration and commitment to making health and healthcare evidence more accessible and usable. I’m excited that by working more closely with MAGIC over the coming years we can extend the reach and influence of Cochrane evidence from individual patients to international health policy makers.’

Per Olav Vandvik, MAGIC Project Leader, concurred: ‘This partnership agreement recognizes the many areas of current and potential collaboration that MAGIC and Cochrane share.  We look forward to working more closely together to help shape the future of the evidence ecosystem.’

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cochrane Priority Reviews List: December 2016 Update

Wed, 12/14/2016 - 16:01

Cochrane-wide prioritisation remains an important project, with over 140 priority reviews or updates have been published since it began in January 2015.

The December 2016 revision of the Cochrane Priority Reviews List includes new titles from the Cochrane Airways, Anaesthesia, Dementia & Cognitive Improvement, ENT, Epilepsy, Gynaecological, Neuro-oncology and Orphan Cancers, Gynaecology & Fertility, Haematological Malignancies, Heart, Incontinence, Kidney & Transplant, Lung Cancer, Neuromuscular Disease, Oral Health, Skin, Stroke, and Urology Groups.

The following titles on the list are open to new authors:

  • Long-acting beta2-agonists and long-acting muscarinic antagonists in a combined inhaler versus either agent alone or placebo for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Prostacyclin for pulmonary hypertension in adults
  • Weight loss intervention through lifestyle modification or pharmacotherapy for obstructive sleep apnoea in adults
  • Outpatient treatment of diverticulitis
  • Prevention of recurrent diverticulitis
  • Prophylactic antibiotics for preventing recurrent symptomatic episodes of acute diverticulitis
  • Antibiotics for trachoma
  • Biomarkers for predicting outcomes in endometrial cancer
  • Diagnostic test accuracy of sentinel LN node sampling in endometrial cancer
  • Interventions to improve insulin resistance for the prevention of endometrial cancer
  • Interventions to promote early referral for women with symptoms of endometrial cancer
  • Immunomodulatory treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis /motor neuron disease (ALS/MND)
  • Effectiveness and safety of skin testing before providing penicillin treatment for syphilis

If you would like to contribute in any way to our goal of delivering the reviews through to publication, please contact the Editor in Chief, David Tovey (  Please be aware that all titles in the priority list have author teams in place, except for those mentioned above.

Download the Cochrane Priority Review list for 2016 (December reivsion).

Ruth Foxlee, Information Specialist, Cochrane Editorial Unit
David Tovey, Editor in Chief, The Cochrane Library, and Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Thursday, December 15, 2016

New evidence shows how technology is actively supporting patients in managing their own health

Wed, 12/14/2016 - 11:43

A new Cochrane Review, summarizing data from 132 trials of automated telephone systems in preventing and managing long-term health conditions, concludes that they probably have the potential to play an important role in the delivery of health care.  However, further research is needed to understand more about their acceptability and costs.

Automated telephone communication systems (ATCS) send voice messages to patients and may collect health information from people using their telephones' touch-tone keypad or voice-recognition software.  Some ATCS also use SMS or email messaging and allow patients to ask for advice or support (‘ATCS Plus’). Their use in health care is intended to support patients in actively managing their own health.

A team of Cochrane researchers assessed the effects of ATCS compared with usual care for improving patient care in a variety of ways. These ranged from helping people take their medication as prescribed and reminding them about appointments to using ACTS to increase the uptake of preventive healthcare measures such as immunization and cancer screening, and to improve the management of long-term conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, and mental illness.

The researchers included 132 trials, most of which were conducted in high-income countries across Europe and North America. The studies compared ATCS against standard forms of usual care (i.e. no ATCS intervention).

Forty-one studies evaluated ATCS as a way of delivering preventative health care, by using reminders about attending appointments to receive immunizations or to get screened for different types of disease. Five studies involving more than 15,000 children and adolescents showed that providing reminders via ACTS probably increases immunization uptake compared with no reminder.  When automated phone communication was used alongside other prompts such as mailed reminders, the researchers found high-quality evidence that this approach increases breast screening attendance by 20% in two studies in 462 women, and colorectal cancer screening by 30% based on three studies in 1013 people compared with usual care.

The Cochrane Review found low-quality evidence that when compared with no reminders, simple automated systems may improve appointment attendance, which can play a key role in preventing disease.

Eighty-four studies evaluated ATCS in people with long-term conditions and whilst there was an indication that different types of ATCS helped to improve adherence with medicines, the effects on clinical outcomes were often mixed. The review found low-quality evidence in 1246 people with diabetes that blood glucose levels were slightly lower in treatment groups who received ATCS that had an interactive component, and moderate-quality evidence that this approach helped people to monitor the health of their feet. ATCS with an interactive component probably reduces pain and depression in cancer patients when compared with ATCS alone. The effects on smoking cessation were uncertain, and there appeared to be little or no benefit in reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension.    

The studies did not report adverse effects of the interventions and the researchers recommend that future research addresses issues of harms, feasibility, and cost.

The review’s lead author, Josip Car, Director of Centre for Population Health Sciences, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, said these findings are promising and help to identify areas worth pursuing. “Our results show that ATCS may improve health-related outcomes in some long-term health conditions. These systems may also be a useful component in interventions for targeting adherence to medications, physical activity, weight management, and some outcomes in people with diabetes. However, the effects of ATCS are more uncertain in other areas such as HIV/ AIDS, hypertension, mental health, obstructive sleep apnoea, or helping people to stop smoking.”

He added, “Our review shows that automated telephone communication systems may help change patients’ health behaviours when compared with routine care. This is a positive step forward in eHealth for global health research. We need more information about the costs and harms to supplement the evidence that shows potential benefits of using these systems. Further research will help us to understand the patient experience with using these telecommunications systems, and how they could replace or supplement telephone contact between health professionals and patients in the future.”

Editor’s notes
Full Citation: Posadzki P, Mastellos N, Ryan R, Gunn LH, Felix LM, Pappas Y, Gagnon M-P, Julious SA, Xiang L,Oldenburg B, Car J. Automated telephone communication systems for preventive healthcare and management of long-term conditions. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD009921. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD009921

Lead Author:
Associate Professor Josip Car, MD PhD DIC MSc FFPH FRCP (Edin)
Director of Centre for Population Health Sciences
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Nanyang Technological University
3 Fusionopolis Link, #03-08, Nexus@one-north
Singapore 138543, Singapore


Director, Global eHealth Unit
Department of Primary Care and Public Health
Imperial College London
Charing Cross Campus
The Reynolds Building
St Dunstan's Road
London, W6 8RP


For all media enquiries, please contact:

Jo Anthony
Senior Media and Communications Officer, Cochrane
+44(0) 7582 726 634 or

Dawn Peters  
Sr. Specialist, External Communications and Media
T +1 781-388-8408

About Cochrane
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health.

Cochrane produces reviews which study all of the best available evidence generated through research and make it easier to inform decisions about health. These are called systematic reviews.

Cochrane is a not-for-profit organization with collaborators from more than 130 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Our work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

Find out more at

Follow us on twitter @cochranecollab

If you are a journalist or member of the press and wish to receive news alerts before their online publication or if you wish to arrange an interview with an author, please contact the Cochrane press office:

About Wiley
Wiley, a global company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cochrane Infectious Diseases seeks Research Assistant in Neglected Tropical Diseases - Liverpool, UK

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 17:16

Excellent research in tropical diseases is the hallmark of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), with a wide portfolio of research in diseases common in the tropics and sub-tropics. LSTM have contributed to developing the methods and application of evidence synthesis to tropical medicine and public health: they contributed to the development of Cochrane, set up the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG), produce important reviews that have influenced global policies, and train and support many a large network of researchers carrying out systematic reviews.

They have an exciting opportunity to further develop the application of evidence synthesis in neglected tropical diseases. This new opportunity has been developed to work with a global in priority Cochrane reviews in neglected tropical diseases. You will work with an experienced team in Liverpool within a global evidence Consortium.

Further details are available here:

The closing date for applications is 9th January 2017

Monday, December 12, 2016 Category: Jobs

The Cochrane Review on portion sizes - from publication to informing policy

Fri, 12/09/2016 - 09:11

The Cochrane Review, 'Portion, package or tableware size for changing selection and consumption of food, alcohol and tobacco published in September 2015 from the Cochrane Public Health Group found significant evidence that people consume more food or non-alcoholic drinks when offered larger sized portions or when they use larger items of tableware.

Since then, for over a year now, the evidence from this Cochrane Review has been one of the most important and most cited public health stories of 2015 worldwide.

The review has received extremely high levels of media and public interest, and during the last 12 months has informed Public Health England’s report on sugar reduction continuing to influence the public and policy debate on tackling obesity.

Here’s its story from publication to informing policy.

How it began
The Behaviour and Health Research Unit (BHRU) is based in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, within the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge, UK. It is funded by the UK Department of Health Policy Research Programme. BHRU contributes evidence to national and international efforts to achieve sustained behaviour change to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities. The unit focuses on the excessive consumption of food and alcohol, inactivity and smoking, as changing these behaviours positively would help to prevent the majority of the preventable non-communicable diseases, including many cancers, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

After conducting scoping exercises, the BHRU realized that there was a large body of evidence around portion, package and tableware sizes, which was of significant policy relevance, yet hadn’t been brought together. Over the course of over two years, they carried out a complex Cochrane Review on portion, package and tableware sizes, which was published in the Cochrane Library in September 2015.

The review evidence, comprising data from 72 studies and over 6,700 participants, showed that people consume more food and non-alcoholic drink when offered bigger portions, bigger packaging, or bigger tableware rather than smaller sizes, regardless of factors such as gender, BMI, or self-control. The review’s findings suggest that cutting the size of portions, packages, and tableware may present a potential path for helping to tackle obesity, which impacts a quarter of British adults, costing lives, quality of life, and the NHS.

Immediately following publication, the review received extremely high levels of media and public interest globally.

Coverage of the review included BBC News, national and regional BBC radio, ABC News (Canada), Channel 9 News (Australia), as well as international and UK publications such as The New York Times, Times, Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Atlantic, Vice, The Spectator, and NHS Choices.

The publication of the Cochrane Review was shortly followed by a BMJ Analysis article entitled ‘Downsizing: policy options to reduce portion sizes to help tackle obesity’, designed to draw attention to the policy implications within the review.

Impact since publication
This Cochrane Review immediately sparked fresh impetus to a policy discussion on tackling the global healthcare issue of obesity. It attracted extremely high levels of media and online attention, the extent of which was reflected in its inclusion in Altmetric’s Top 100 of 2015, which measures the attention received by academic articles. Within three months of publication, the Altmetric score (measuring online news coverage and Twitter attention) for this review placed it #1 for all Cochrane Reviews ever (#1 of 7496) and in the top 500 (top 0.01%) of all articles ever published (#436 of 4,632,100).

Since publication, the Cochrane Review has been cited in Public Health England’s (PHE) October 2015 publication Sugar reduction: The evidence for action report, which had been commissioned by the Department of Health to help feed into the Government’s childhood obesity strategy.  PHE’s report highlighted BHRU’s review to argue for the benefits of reducing portion sizes.

In addition, Professor Susan Jebb OBE, who was part of the review team, provided oral evidence to the Health Committee’s childhood obesity inquiry, during which she echoed Dr Alison Tedstone, Director of Diet & Obesity at PHE, on the important impact of portion size and mentioned the Cochrane evidence.

Finally, in Australia, the findings of the review were shared with the Victorian Health Promotion Agency (VicHealth). Their subsequent citizen jury, aiming to develop actions to promote healthier eating and tackle rising rates of obesity, recommended that beverage sizes should be regulated and a maximum size that can be sold through restaurants and retail outlets (soft drinks and other calorie-dense beverages) should be imposed (Jury’s report).

Cochrane author Ian Shemilt from the University of Cambridge talks about his experiences disseminating this review

Additional Information:

Read the Cochrane Review and summary

You may also be interested in:


Friday, December 9, 2016 Category: Making a Difference

Join the Cochrane Crowd 48-hour Citation Screening Challenge!

Tue, 12/06/2016 - 01:37
 Cochrane Crowd, Cochrane’s new citizen science platform, is a global community of almost 4,000 volunteers who are helping to classify the research needed to support informed decision-making about healthcare treatments.

Cochrane Crowd would like your help to achieve one million classifications by the end of the year. Help Cochrane Crowd get over the line by joining the 48-hour Citation Screening Challenge on 19-21 December.

The job of the Cochrane Crowd community is to review descriptions of research studies to identify and classify randomized controlled trials (RCTs), a type of study that is considered the gold standard for clinical trials. Reports of RCTs are then fed into Cochrane’s Central Register of Controlled Trials, helping Cochrane authors and other systematic reviewers around the world quickly find the evidence they need to help answer important questions about treatments.

Cochrane Crowd has now reached 933,500 research study classifications and would like your help in a final push to reach one million.

By joining the 48-hour Citation Screening Challenge you’ll be working with a supportive international community from the comfort of your own home. If Cochrane Crowd is new to you, you’ll be provided with some brief (and fun!) online training so you’ll feel confident right from the start. Any contribution towards the challenge is welcome, whether it be a few five-minute grabs or a more focussed effort over the 48 hours.

We’re also going to make this event a fundraiser, with all proceeds raised going to both UNICEF’s campaign to help children in Syria this winter, and to the medical humanitarian organization, Médecins Sans Frontières.

Want to find out more? Head over to Cochrane Crowd to hear about the challenge and how you can get involved! And don’t forget to tell your colleagues, friends and families – the more the merrier!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

230 collaborators from 49 countries join to announce the official launch of Cochrane Rehabilitation

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 19:47

Cochrane is delighted to announce the official launch of Cochrane Rehabilitation.

Cochrane Rehabilitation is a global network of individuals, involved in the production, dissemination, and implementation of evidence-informed clinical practice in rehabilitation.

The new Cochrane Field will promote and advocate for using the best evidence within the rehabilitation world, including physical therapy, speech and occupational therapy, prosthetics and orthotics, psychology, and physical medicine to inform clinical decision-making.

With more than 230 collaborators from 49 countries expressing their willingness to join, Cochrane Rehabilitation members can contribute individually or work in teams with other colleagues to review and strengthen methodology relevant to evidence-informed clinical practice within the field of rehabilitation, combining the best available evidence as gathered by high-quality Cochrane systematic reviews, with their own clinical expertise and the values of patients. 

The Cochrane Rehabilitation headquarters will be located at the "E. Spalenza” Don Gnocchi Centre, Largo Paolo VI, Rovato (Brescia), Italy in collaboration with the University of Brescia and Don Gnocchi Foundation.

Cochrane Rehabilitation will promote evidence-based decision making in rehabilitation by supporting and training new authors of Cochrane Reviews, as well as working with clinicians, professional associations, policy-makers, patients, and the media to encourage the dissemination and use of evidence in rehabilitation.

Cochrane Rehabilitation 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 130 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.

Cochrane Rehabilitation will be led by Director Stefano Negrini, MD (Italy) and co-ordinated by Carlotte Kiekens, MD (Belgium). They will be directly responsible for the knowledge translation strategy and assisted by an executive committee, composed of William Levack, PT (New Zealand), Frane Grubisic, MD (Croatia), Elena Ilieva, MD (Bulgaria), Francesca Gimigliano, MD (Italy), Thorsten Meyer, Psy (Germany), Julia Patrick Engkasan, MD (Malaysia) and Antti Malmivaara, MD (Finland).

An advisory Board will also work alongside the operational team, and include key individuals recognized as opinion leaders in rehabilitation.

The Director of Cochrane Rehabilitation, Stefano Negrini, says this is a hugely exciting opportunity: “The launch of Cochrane Rehabilitation is very important. Producing and increasing the dissemination of the best available information on health care is critical for clinicians and patients everywhere in the world, especially in rehabilitation. Cochrane Rehabilitation will drive, on one side, evidence and methods developed by Cochrane to the world of rehabilitation and, on the other, convey priorities, needs and specificities of rehabilitation to Cochrane.”

Cochrane’s CEO, Mark Wilson, warmly welcomed today’s news: “I am delighted we are announcing the launch of Cochrane Rehabilitation which will deepen and expand the scope, reach, and impact of Cochrane activities on health and healthcare decision making across the world. This is also an important announcement for global health research. Cochrane Rehabilitation will promote recognition of studies conducted and published in rehabilitation and this will not only simply increase the access of evidence, but also promote the sharing of clinical experiences globally.”

Dr Carlotte Kiekens, Coordinator of Cochrane Rehabilitation, added, “This is an excellent opportunity for scientific growth, and gives us the chance to train students and a future generation of clinicians and researchers to develop high-quality research. Our chance to support health professionals in improving their decision making based on the best available evidence will support patient care.” Dr Kiekens concluded, “This is an innovation for rehabilitation and we intend to collaborate for the dissemination of Cochrane Reviews and to support Cochrane in reaching its 2020 strategic objectives.”

Visit the Cochrane Rehabilitation website

Watch a series of congratulatory messages from members of the rehabilitation community

Friday, December 16, 2016