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Featured Review: Electric fans during heatwaves

wo, 07/17/2019 - 11:06

The Cochrane Review 'Electric fans for reducing adverse health impacts in heatwaves' is being turned to for advice on dealing with recent heatwaves. We talked to lead author, Mike Clarke, to learn if the evidence says that the use of electric fans contribute to or impede heat loss during a heatwave.

Why is this Cochrane Review so important? Isn’t it obvious that electric fans are useful when the weather gets hot?
Although it‘s clear that fans make us feel cooler when the temperature is in the high 20s and 30s °C, and the speed with which they leave the shop shelves as temperatures rise shows this; what’s much less clear is what they do to health generally and, at the extreme, whether they increase or reduce the chances of people surviving a heatwave. We did the review to look into this and the studies we identified suggest a need for caution, especially as the temperature rises beyond 35°C.

 What did you find?
After searching through thousands of articles in multiple languages, we were disappointed that there were no high quality comparative trials that would allow us to reliably determine the effects of fans on major health outcomes or survival. However, we did find several other studies that had looked at this during heatwaves, such as the one that led to an additional 30,000 deaths in Europe in the summer of 2003. These studies had mixed results, and the important message is that some of them suggested that using an electric fan might increase the chances of dying during the heatwave.

 How could that be?
One of the main ways that fans make us feel better is that they cool us by speeding up the evaporation of our sweat. The downside of this is that our bodies are losing water more quickly. If we don’t replace this by drinking more, we will dehydrate, which is dangerous. Another issue is that a fan might actually heat us up. This is because it‘s blowing hot air on to us, especially when the temperatures gets above 35°C, and that’s like what happens when switching an electric oven from its regular setting to the fan setting in order to cook our food faster.

Who might this be most relevant to and what should people do?
If fans are harmful, it’s going to be a particular problem when they are used for people who aren’t able to let us know if they’re feeling particularly unwell or becoming dehydrated, such as the very young or old, and those who have difficulty communicating, such as people with dementia or other types of cognitive impairment. Everyone needs to be aware of the potential harms from using fans, especially those who are looking after these vulnerable groups.

People should heed the advice from Public Health England, which was released with their national heatwave plan for England. They recommend that electric fans be used if the temperature is below 35°C, but not aimed directly at the body and that those using them should stay hydrated with regular drinks.

How did this review come about?
The review was done in the run up to the London Olympics in 2012, when it was important to gather evidence that might be needed if a heatwave struck when thousands of athletes and tens of thousands of extra visitors arrived for the Games. We assembled an international team, with researchers from Canada, Hong Kong, India and the UK looking for and checking the existing research. We were from a variety of organisations, including the Climate Change and Health Office of Health Canada; Queen’s University Belfast in the UK; the Chinese University of Hong Kong-Oxford University Centre in Hong Kong; what is now Public Health England; and Evidence Aid, which is an international organisation dedicated to improving access to evidence relevant to disasters and humanitarian emergencies, such as heatwaves. The Centre for Public Health in Queen’s University Belfast provided methodological support for the team, and working with the Cochrane Gynaecological Cancer Group in Bath (UK), we were able to get the review done in about nine months.

If the review was done in 2012, are the findings still valid?
Yes. We’re not aware of any studies that would change our conclusions that the benefits and harms on major health outcomes of using electric fans during heatwaves are uncertain, and that there is a risk that using fans might increase the number of deaths.

What type of study would provide the information to clear this up?
What I'd really like to see is a large trial in which one group of people go without fans and another group use them during a heatwave. Given the uncertainty about benefits and harms, it would be reasonable to decide these groups using a random process and it might be particularly relevant for, for example, older people living in care homes whose health should be closely monitored during the heatwave. Ideally, a national or international funder of health research should arrange for such a study to be in place, ready to take “off the shelf” and activate the next time a heatwave strikes.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Featured Review: Incentives for smoking cessation

wo, 07/17/2019 - 10:38

Evidence published in the Cochrane Library provides strong evidence that financial incentives helped people to stop smoking and stay stopped long term.

The team investigated whether rewards such as cash payments, vouchers, or the return of money deposited by those taking part, worked. The review summarizes the results from 33 randomised controlled trials involving more than 21,600 people from eight countries. They included ten trials that focused on pregnant smokers who were rewarded with vouchers for quitting and staying smoke free.

The review was led by University of East Anglia (UK) and involved researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Stirling. Lead author Dr Caitlin Notley, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Smoking is the leading cause of disease and death worldwide. Most smokers want to quit, but stopping smoking can be really challenging.

We found that six months or more after the beginning of the trials, people receiving rewards were approximately 50 per cent more likely to have stopped smoking than those in the control groups.  In people not receiving incentives, approximately 7% had successfully quit for six months or longer, compared to approximately 10.5% of those receiving incentives. This is an important increase when we consider the enormous harms of smoking, and benefits of quitting, and suggests that incentives can be a useful part of a comprehensive approach to help people quit smoking. Another really important thing is that success rates continued beyond when the incentives had ended."

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Cochrane seeks new Co-ordinating Editor – flexible location

di, 07/16/2019 - 15:07

Specifications: Hours tbc
Location: Flexible
Application Closing Date: 1 September 2019 (12 Midnight GMT)

The Cochrane IBD Group is looking to appoint one or more new Co-ordinating Editors to provide leadership of the Group. The IBD Group is part of the Cochrane Abdomen & Endocrine Network. This is an important opportunity to lead and shape the future development of a strategically important area of Cochrane’s healthcare evidence coverage. The IBD Group portfolio of reviews includes 90 active reviews and 45 protocols.

We invite applications from individuals based anywhere in the world, from existing Cochrane Groups and from outside Cochrane, and also those interested in a job share arrangement. Applicants should be aware of the following requirements:

1.    The Co-ordinating Editor(s) must have:

  • Experience of authoring Cochrane or alternative high quality systematic reviews
  • Clinical expertise and standing in the field of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Methodology expertise in the field of evidence synthesis, including risk of bias and GRADE assessments


2.    The following attributes are highly desirable

  • Experience of editing Cochrane reviews or alternative high quality systematic reviews
  • Advanced methodological skills and knowledge

3.    The new Co-ordinating Editor(s) must work within the terms of the Collaboration Agreement that defines the responsibilities of Cochrane and the Cochrane Review Group. 

4.    The new Co-ordinating Editor(s) must actively engage with the Abdomen & Endocrine Network and adhere to the Network’s strategic plan.

For further information, please see the full role description, which sets out all of the responsibilities of the role.
Potential applicants should familiarise themselves with Cochrane’s commercial sponsorship and conflict of interest policy.

Individuals who are interested in exploring this opportunity are welcome to contact Karla Soares-Weiser, Editor-in-Chief (ksoares-weiser@cochrane.org) or Cindy Farquhar, Senior Editor, Abdomen & Endocrine Network (c.farquhar@auckland.ac.nz).

To apply, please send a cover letter detailing the responses to the numbered bullet points above, and a short Curriculum Vitae to recruitment@cochrane.org.

Deadline for applications: September 1, 2019 (12 midnight GMT)

Details of interviews will be provided in the due course

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Category: Jobs

Video: Cochrane Musculoskeletal, Oral, Skin and Sensory Network

ma, 07/15/2019 - 17:43

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

In this short film we focus on the Cochrane Musculoskeletal, Oral, Skin and Sensory Network. This film introduces the team, what has happened so far, and the ambition for what is to come.

 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Jenna Patterson

ma, 07/15/2019 - 15:21

Cochrane is made up of 11,000 members and over 67,000 supporters come from more than 130 countries, worldwide. Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.

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

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

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

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

The Cochrane 30 Under 30 series is now closed. However, we are keen to hear from early career professionals about their work with Cochrane for future series. If you would like to be added to our waitlist, please conact lparsonson@cochrane.org. Or if you want to know more about Cochrane's work contact membership@cochrane.org where our community support team will be happy to answer your questions.

Name: Jenna Patterson
Age: 26
Occupation: PhD Student
Program: Vaccines for Africa Initiative, University of Cape Town

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
I first came across Cochrane whilst writing an assignment for my nursing degree having been introduced to the organisation in the theory taught. My ‘evidence-based practice’ module also covered the principles behind Cochrane reviews and how they are the gold standard for systematic reviews.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
I am trained as an epidemiologist and am currently completing my PhD project considering evidence-informed vaccinology in South Africa. I decided to include a Cochrane review as one chapter of my PhD as it is the gold standard of synthesizing available evidence. I became involved with Cochrane on a consulting bases through connections made and the African Evidence Network Conference in 2018 conference and African Cochrane Indaba in 2019.

What do you do in Cochrane?
I am the first author of an ongoing Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group review entitled “Hepatitis A immunisation in persons not previously exposed to hepatitis A” and also consult as a research assistant for the Cochrane Center South Africa.

What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
I really enjoy working under the Cochrane method. Completing reviews using Covidence and RevMan greatly empowers global collaboration and has allowed me to make many professional connections around the world.

What are your future plans?
I would like to continue working in the evidence-based health care space. My professional goal is to contribute to work that attempts to close the “know-do” gap in public health policy and to increase the uptake of evidence in health care decision-making.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
In order to improve its global profile, I believe that Cochrane should invest in training policy and/or decision makers in the art of conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
My hope is that Cochrane continues to foster relationships with stakeholders in public health to increase the translation of findings into policy.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane?
It is incredibly important that young people get involved with Cochrane and learn systematic review and meta-analyses methodologies.

Why is this, do you think?
In the future where “Big Data” rules, it will become more and more important for us to synthesize research findings in order to create evidence-based health policies.

What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
My best piece of advice would be for young professionals to consult the Cochrane interactive learning resources and to join in on Cochrane Webinars. These are incredibly helpful resources and can enable researchers to learn about the Cochrane method.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Podcast: Constraint-induced movement therapy in the treatment of the upper limb in children with unilateral cerebral palsy

ma, 07/15/2019 - 14:33

Cerebral palsy is the most common form of childhood disability, and there are several Cochrane Reviews of therapies that might help the children and their families. These include a review on constraint-induced movement therapy, which was updated in April 2019. We asked lead author Brian Hoare from Monash Children’s Hospital in Australia to tell us about this treatment, and the evidence on its effects.

A large proportion of children with cerebral palsy, or CP, have unilateral CP, which is also known as hemiplegic CP. This affects muscle control and function on one side of the body and is the focus of our review. Children with unilateral CP find it difficult to use their hands together and will often disregard the more affected arm. Constraint-induced movement therapy, or CIMT, aims to increase use of this arm and improve how children with unilateral CP use their two hands together to perform daily tasks. It’s based on two principles: restraining the use of the less affected arm (for example, using a splint, mitt or sling) and intensive therapeutic practice of the more affected arm.

In our Cochrane review, we look at direct comparisons of CIMT and comparisons against other interventions, which we analyzed in groups depending on the relative dosage of those other interventions. Among a range of outcomes, we were particularly interested in evaluating the effect of CIMT on how children with unilateral CP use their two hands together, which goes by the technical term: bimanual performance.

We found 36 randomised trials from 19 countries, making CIMT the most highly studied intervention in children with CP. There was enormous diversity among the trials including a broad range of constraint devices, models and dosage of therapy; outcome measures; settings; and comparison interventions. The average age of children in the studies was 6 years, with the youngest being just 3 months old and the oldest, 19. While the average duration of the CIMT provided was about 130 hours, there was significant variation; ranging from 20 hours to just over 500 hours; and the duration of daily intervention sessions also varied widely, from 30 minutes to 8 hours. The average length of programs was 5 weeks.



When assessments were done immediately following intervention, we found low-quality evidence that CIMT is more effective than a low dose comparison for improving bimanual performance. However, it was not more effective for improving bimanual performance when compared with a high dose or dose-matched intervention. A small number of children were unable to tolerate CIMT due to frustration and lack of acceptance of the constraint device, with nine children out of nearly 500 in the trials being unable to continue CIMT. However, overall, CIMT appears to be a safe intervention for children with unilateral CP.

In summary, CIMT may work better than other arm therapy carried out at low intensity for improving children’s ability to use both hands together, but it appears no more effective than other therapies carried out at a high dose or equal dose. The specific mode of CIMT is a lesser issue than implementation of a carefully-targeted and well-supported therapy program. Families should feel confident that, on average, active engagement in a well-defined, intensive program of CIMT or bimanual therapy at an intensity greater than "usual care" can lead to improvements in their child’s hand performance. The challenge now is for clinicians to identify potential barriers and enablers for implementation of these approaches and to bring them into their clinical practice.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Cochrane seeks Managing Editor / Researcher for Cochrane Work - Amsterdam

do, 07/11/2019 - 18:52

Job type: Fixed Term Contract
Working hours: Part-time
Application deadline: 9 Aug 2019
Location: Amsterdam

A Managing Editor is required to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the Amsterdam Satellite of Cochrane Work in collaboration with the editorial base in Kuopio (https://work.cochrane.org/). The candidate will be responsible for managing the editorial processes for systematic review preparation and publication. This involves providing specialized editorial and methodological support to systematic review authors, managing the process of peer review, maintaining communication between the editorial team members, submitting reviews and protocols to the publisher, maintaining the website, and representing Cochrane Work to all relevant individuals and agencies.

The satellite’s editorial base location will be at the Coronel Institute of Occupational Health at Amsterdam UMC, Academic Medical Center (AMC), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Coronel Institute of Occupational Health is the Netherlands’ largest university department in the field of Occupational Health. Subjects of research include the prevention, etiology, assessment and treatment or supervision of diseases that are related to work and work ability. The Coronel Institute collaborates with various university departments in and outside the Netherlands that conduct research in the field of Occupational Health and Insurance Medicine.

The position is for 14.4 hours a week (2 days a week).

Thursday, July 11, 2019 Category: Jobs

Cochrane 2018 Annual Review now available

wo, 07/10/2019 - 19:25

Find out more about Cochrane’s key achievements during 2018 and the strides being made on our major Strategy to 2020 initiatives.

"We’re a knowledge organization built on the capabilities and passion of our collaborators; and the good news is that people from around the world are flocking to contribute and support our work."
Mark Wilson
Cochrane Chief Executive Officer

View or download the 2018 Annual Review

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Cochrane supports European regulators as they urge clinical trial sponsors to share their results

wo, 07/10/2019 - 14:32

Cochrane’s Editor in Chief supports an open letter recently co-authored by the European Commission (EC), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Heads of Medicines Agencies (HMA), reminding clinical trial sponsors of their obligation to make their results public.

Cochrane has long recognised that clinical trials are key to improvements in patient care and disease prevention and that access to information from these trials is essential for patients, practitioners, policy makers and other stakeholders to be able to make well-informed decisions about healthcare and medical research. Yet an unacceptable number of sponsors allow their trials to go unreported, despite their legal obligations.

Karla Soares-Weiser, Cochrane’s Editor in Chief, responded to the EC-EMA-HMA letter, saying: “Cochrane strongly supports the reporting of results from all clinical trials. Failure to report findings and the selective sharing of results stop us from getting a full view of the evidence for our systematic reviews – so the benefits of an intervention could be exaggerated, or the harms underestimated. This severely undermines the ability to make truly evidence-informed decisions about healthcare.

We welcome this effort from these key European stakeholders to push trial sponsors to meet their ethical obligations by submitting their protocols and results in a timely manner. While regulations already exist in this area, action needs to be taken to ensure compliance. We urge the sponsors of these studies – the pharmaceutical companies and particularly the academic institutions – to do better.”

The EC-EMA-HMA letter reminds sponsors to follow legislation by submitting trial protocols and results to the EU Clinical Trials Database (EudraCT).

Under EU rules, which came into force in July 2014, trial sponsors must post summary results within one year of a study ending, or six months for paediatric trials. However, the letter reports that, as of April 2019, 31.8% (5,855) of studies due for results are missing findings.

Non-commercial sponsors, such as academic institutions, have drastically lower rates of reporting than the pharmaceutical industry. According to the letter, just 23.6% of studies from non-commercial sponsors had posted results, compared to 77.2% of those with commercial sponsors.

Cochrane’s support of trial transparency
Cochrane has supported the AllTrials initiative since it started in 2013. AllTrials calls for all past and present clinical trials to be registered and their full methods and summary results reported.

In 2017, Cochrane co-published a report with Transparimed, Transparency International and the Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency, Clinical Trial Transparency – A Guide for Policy Makers, highlighting the dangers of inadequate reporting of clinical trials and making recommendations to improve the situation. These include ensuring that publicly-funded trials are transparent; effectively enforcing existing rules; and strengthening laws and regulation.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Cochrane seeks Interim Human Resources Manager - London, UK

di, 07/09/2019 - 18:14

Specifications: Full Time 4 Months Fixed term contract
Salary: Competitive
Location: London Office based
Application Closing Date: Immediate start required

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

The Human Resources Manager will lead and manage a high quality, responsive, efficient and effective Human Resources function for Cochrane and its subsidiaries.

Key areas

  • Recruitment and on-boarding
  • Talent attraction and management
  • Employee Relations
  • People Relations for secondment and consultancy contracts
  • Learning and Development
  • Monitoring and managing HR data
  • Reviewing and implementing policies across the organisation
  • Reviewing and overseeing the HR appraisals process
  • Maintain effective and supportive relationships throughout the organisation
  • Promote equality and diversity as part of the culture of the organisation

Stakeholder Management and Support - External

  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with business advisers including overseas HR/payroll support in Denmark and Germany; UK payroll bureau; out-sourced training providers
  • Maintain and manage relationships with pension provider Royal London; childcare voucher and cycle to work scheme providers
  • Build and manage relationships with host institutions for secondment contracts

Stakeholder Management and Support – Internal

  • Ensure high levels of service to staff, consultants and other Cochrane employees are maintained across the Central Executive Team
  • Provide and review monthly HR dashboard with Heads of Department
  • Ensure people-related contracts are regularly monitored and reviewed
  • Provide proactive HR guidance and support across the organisation, (including Cochrane Groups) as required.
  • Undertake any other duties considered appropriate.                                                                                                                                                                                 

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:

Essential

  • CIPD qualification equivalent to Level 7
  • Demonstrable experience of leading a fully operational HR service comprising generalist advice, payroll, benefits, learning & development and change management
  • Experience of scoping and implementing HRIS systems (PeopleHR)
  • Ability to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, adapting quickly to rapidly changing situations
  • Up to date working knowledge of employment legislation
  • Experience of coaching and supporting managers
  • Experience of designing and managing training and development programmes
  • Self-confidence, personal credibility and the ability to support and challenge others appropriately
  • Good understanding of and the ability to apply the principles of confidentiality
  • Intermediate level IT skills, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook
  • Ability to prioritise and manage own workload
  • Proven ability to work both independently and productively as part of a team
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Good understanding and application of the principles of Equal Opportunities in a HR context
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Pragmatism and problem-solving skills and the ability to think creatively when faced with new problems
  • Commitment to Cochrane’s mission and values

Desirable

  • Up to date working knowledge of employment legislation in Denmark and/or GermanyOverseas payroll /contract experience
  • Experience of HR support in an International context supporting remote working
  • Experience of healthcare charity sector

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 “Human Resources 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.

Interviews to be held on: (TBC)

 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 Category: Jobs

Vivli seeks Clinical Research Data Coordinator - remote

di, 07/09/2019 - 14:52

Location: Ability to work remotely, US East Coast or Europe preferred

The Clinical Research Data Coordinator manages processes and procedures on behalf of the Vivli platform – a mechanism for sharing participant-level clinical research data.

About Vivli:

Vivli is an independent, non-profit organization that has developed a global data-sharing and analytics platform. Our focus is on sharing individual participant-level data from completed clinical trials to serve the international research community.

Overall Duties and Responsibilities include the following:

  • Manage the day-to-day data request review process for research proposals
  • Support users on the platform following approved processes and templates
  • Assist with the orientation/training of new data contributors who join Vivli
  • Perform demos of the platform for stakeholders, as needed
  • Participate in platform and process improvements
  • Perform other duties when requested

Qualification Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in health profession, science, IT or nursing degree
  • Previous experience coordinating projects in a health or IT related field required
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Computer proficiency in MS Office, Excel, PowerPoint, Sharepoint, Dropbox etc.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to manage projects and resources as well as work independently

Additional Preferred Requirements for a successful candidate:

  • 3-5 years of experience in clinical trial disclosure or clinical data management, preferred
  • Understanding of global regulatory requirements for clinical trial disclosure, preferred
  • Working knowledge and familiarity with ClinicalTrials.gov and EudraCT, preferred
  • 1-2 years of experience in statistics training particularly metanalysis a plus
  • 1-2 years of experience managing contracts or trial agreements a plus
  • 1-2 years in writing marketing and communications materials, technical or medical writing a plus

More information and apply

 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 Category: Jobs

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Jess Rees

di, 07/09/2019 - 11:13

Cochrane is made up of 11,000 members and over 67,000 supporters come from more than 130 countries, worldwide. Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.

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

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

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

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

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

Name: Jess Rees
Age: 21
Occupation: Student;  Adult Nursing
Program: University of Birmingham

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
I first came across Cochrane whilst writing an assignment for my nursing degree having been introduced to the organisation in the theory taught. My ‘evidence-based practice’ module also covered the principles behind Cochrane reviews and how they are the gold standard for systematic reviews.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
I became actively involved with Cochrane through their Colloquium in Edinburgh last year. I attended the Colloquium as a recipient of the Rosamund Snow Prize. Rosamund is remembered by many for her role in championing patients’ involvement in healthcare through various channels including as Patient Editor at the BMJ. Rosamund’s mother, Mary Snow, generously established the prize to allow two young people with an interest in evidence-based medical research and with experience as health service users to attend the Colloquium. Through attending the conference, I learnt so much about Cochrane’s work globally and met many inspirational peers. I had the opportunity to co-chair a session and have our own stand to facilitate a space for all delegates to share their views about public and patient involvement in Cochrane.

Currently I’m studying adult nursing at the University of Birmingham. My background in research is limited as I’m at the beginning of my undergraduate training but research is a topic I’m very passionate about. In clinical practice, I’ve had the opportunity to take part in delivering research alongside nurses through evidence-based practice and undertaking clinical trials, but also be a patient in a trial. I can appreciate the many practical aspects to medical research and Cochrane allows me the opportunity to improve my academic knowledge alongside this.

What do you do in Cochrane?
I am a Citizen Scientist for Cochrane Crowd, helping identify and categorise clinical trials. After the Colloquium, Emma Cartwright and I reflected on our experience as delegates and gave constructive feedback to Cochrane to improve future events that are ‘Patients Included’. However, I would describe myself currently as a user of Cochrane rather than an active contributor as I make the most use of their educational resources like Learning Live webinars and their e-learning modules.

What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
The one aspect that I found most significant from my work with Cochrane is the sense of community. My first experience of an international conference was the Colloquium and I found everyone to be very approachable and willing to discuss and hear other’s opinions. The respect for the speakers and presenters was apparent and I felt comfortable to ask questions and meet new people. I have learnt about how Cochrane functions internationally and the organisation of its networks. I was unaware of the online resources and they have given me more knowledge about trusting and interpreting evidence. I feel my confidence in this area has vastly improved.

What are your future plans?
My degree is my priority currently and within that I have an elective placement and a dissertation to complete. I am considering my options at the moment, but I am sure that Cochrane will be involved in some way. Once I qualify, I am interested in assisting with clinical research and audits as part of my job role.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
I know Cochrane has many opportunities for undergraduate students like Students for Best Evidence. I think student involvement is the key to building the global profile of Cochrane because the result of student becoming involved with Cochrane from the early stages of their career means they move onto new jobs and areas but take Cochrane with them and can share it with their networks.

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
My hope for Cochrane in the future is to continue to develop their work to include patients in all aspects of the organisation. I feel that as a future clinical nurse I want be able to signpost my patients to Cochrane for information. I see Cochrane as a key resource for empowering patients and building transparency and trust in the decisions made related to their care.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane?
Young people are the future of Cochrane in every sense; researchers, reviewers, consumers, patients. Therefore, the future of Cochrane lies in the contribution and engagement of young people across the world.

Why is this, do you think?
To ensure Cochrane keeps growing and improving, young people’s involvement is crucial. Our input, vision and contribution have the power to steer Cochrane’s direction in the future. We can learn so much from the entire community, we just need to ensure that young people feel welcome and motivated to become an active part of it.

What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
I would say that the least daunting place to explore Cochrane’s work is to become a member online. There is a wealth of information and educational resources to use independently to find your feet. Secondly, Cochrane and its individual networks, groups and countries use Twitter very effectively. It is a good source of current updates and events that may interest you.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Video: Cochrane Children and Families Network

ma, 07/08/2019 - 15:02

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

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

Monday, July 8, 2019

Cochrane seeks Software Test Engineer - Copenhagen, Denmark

vr, 07/05/2019 - 11:06

Specifications: Full time 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark (work permit required)
Application Closing Date: 27th July 2019

This is a challenging and interesting opportunity for a software test engineer to contribute to a non-profit organisation with a social mission to improve health care for everyone.

Job description: You will be based in Cochrane’s Informatics and Technology Services, and you will work in the team responsible for web applications and web services for Cochrane systematic review production. These tools are central to Cochrane’s new review production ecosystem, linking several applications from Cochrane and partners. You will be key to our ongoing efforts to reduce our reliance on manual testing.

Requirements: The candidate should have demonstrable experience in software testing and particularly automated testing. We are looking for a thorough, organised and collaborative team member who will contribute to good practice standards and strive for quality. We expect you to contribute to quality assurance, solution design, and triage of support cases.

About Cochrane: 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. 

Applying: If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Software Test Engineer” 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.

Friday, July 5, 2019 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Software Developer - Copenhagen, Denmark

vr, 07/05/2019 - 10:51

 Specifications: Full time 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark (work permit required)
Application Closing Date: 27th July 2019

This is a challenging and interesting opportunity for a software developer to contribute to a non-profit organisation with a social mission to improve health care for everyone.

Job description: You will be based in Cochrane’s Informatics and Technology Services, and you will work in the team responsible for web applications and web services for Cochrane systematic review production. These tools are central to Cochrane’s new review production ecosystem, linking several applications from Cochrane and partners.

Requirements: The candidate should have demonstrable software development experience and knowledge, and is expected to quickly master new languages, frameworks, and tools. We are looking for a thorough, organised and collaborative team member who will contribute to good practice standards and strive for quality. We expect you to contribute to software development, solution design, and quality assurance, especially automated testing.

About Cochrane: 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. 

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

Friday, July 5, 2019 Category: Jobs

Cochrane in the Workplace - Quality Improvement

wo, 07/03/2019 - 19:56

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

This collection will look specially at how people working on quality improvements are using Cochrane evidence.

Stephanie's story:

Name: Stephanie Hylmar @stephylmar
Position: Project Lead, Health System Performance, Health Quality Ontario (Ontario Health)
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada

My name is Stephanie Hylmar, and I lead the conceptualization, development and implementation of digital and print public reporting products for Health Quality Ontario (HQO). HQO is an Agency of the Government of Ontario and serve as the Province’s advisor on the quality of health care in Ontario, Canada. In my role I manage a portfolio of reporting projects and special projects that aim to publicly report on and benchmark Ontario’s performance for a range of emergent health care issues and indicators. Our public reporting uses data from various local government and agency providers and in turn uses evidence to draw comparisons nationally and internationally on best practices and compare our performance to other Commonwealth and OECD countries. This public reporting is then used as a lever for funding quality improvement, policy initiatives and programs in the province.

I initially I started using Cochrane evidence reviews during my time in the academic sector and continued to refer to Cochrane evidence while working for a Provincial Think Tank. The rigor and quality of the evidence supplied by Cochrane for my research and policy work has me turning to them as a trusted source for much of the work I currently do and have done throughout my career. Were it not for Cochrane reviews, precious government resources would be spent doing the legwork on these reviews instead of acting on the evidence for vital policy and programming decisions.

Measuring and publicly reporting on how Ontario's health system is performing, and on health outcomes for people living in Ontario requires monitoring and benchmarking performance and drawing comparisons to other jurisdictions. In my work I need to understand the standards of care and performance and what constitutes best evidence. The use of best evidence in my, and my HQO colleagues’ work is critical to making comparisons and understanding performance in the Province in order to issue recommendations to our government that are grounded in sound research and best evidence.

Cochrane does not make clinical recommendations. ‘Cochrane Evidence in the Workplace' series collects stories about how professionals are  using Cochrane evidence in non-clinical settings. Would you  like to add your story of using Cochrane evidence? Please contact mumoquit@cochrane.org to share your story.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 Category: The difference we make

Podcast: Home use of devices for cleaning between the teeth (in addition to toothbrushing) to prevent and control gum diseases and tooth decay

wo, 07/03/2019 - 12:34

Many people use toothbrushes to remove the plaque that builds up on the surface of teeth, but what about getting to the plaque between the teeth? Should we be using dental floss or interdental brushes to help? The relevant Cochrane Review was published in April 2019 and we asked the lead author, Helen Worthington from Cochrane Oral Health at the University of Manchester in England to let us know the answer.

"To keep our mouths and teeth in good health depends a lot on removing the dental plaque that builds up every day and, as Monaz said, most people use toothbrushes to do this. But toothbrushes can’t reach in-between teeth, which is where periodontal (or gum) diseases start and develop, and that’s where dental floss and interdental brushes might help. We’ve examined whether using these interdental aids helps prevent or reduce gum disease, plaque and tooth decay, and have found some, albeit low quality, evidence that they do.

There were quite a lot of studies. We identified 35 randomised trials, with nearly 4000 adult patients, and these found no severe adverse events caused by the devices. Floss was tested most. Its use alongside toothbrushing was compared to toothbrushing alone in 15 trials, to interdental brushes in 9 trials, and to oral irrigators in 5 trials. Floss was also compared to interdental brushes and cleaning sticks, which were made of wood or rubber or elastomer. These devices were also compared with toothbrushing alone and another comparison was between rubber or elastomeric cleaning sticks and interdental brushes.



None of the trials looked at decay on the surfaces between the teeth, and most did not assess periodontitis, a form of severe gum disease. Gingivitis (which includes redness, swelling and bleeding of the gums) and plaque were widely measured but often using different scales. This makes the results difficult to interpret, especially because it’s not known how much difference on these scales actually matters.

Taking all this together, we can conclude that there is low-quality evidence that flossing, interdental brushes, and oral irrigators may reduce gingivitis. There is also very low-quality evidence that interdental brushes, and cleaning sticks made of rubber or elastomer may reduce plaque. When we compared different interdental devices against each other, interdental brushes and oral irrigators seemed to come out better than floss for reducing gingivitis, but this is once again based on low to very low-quality evidence.

In summary, using floss or interdental brushes as well as a toothbrush may reduce gingivitis, plaque or both, more than toothbrushing alone, and interdental brushes may be more effective than floss. But we only have low or even very low certainty in the evidence that underpins these findings, and we don’t know if the effects are large enough to be clinically important. If these shortcomings are to be overcome, future studies need to address some of the problems in the existing studies. Outcomes need to be measured over a longer time period, and studies should include participants with a broader range of levels of baseline gingival inflammation.

The take home message is that, unfortunately, the current evidence can’t really tell us if it is worth using these devices to prevent or control periodontal diseases or tooth decay. However, with their relatively low cost and no evidence of important side effects, you may have little to lose by giving them a try. If nothing else, they might help you to take more care over brushing your teeth – and we do know for sure that that will improve your oral health."

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Video: Cochrane Circulation and Breathing

di, 07/02/2019 - 19:26

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

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

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Cochrane's 30 under 30: Camila Escobar Liquitay

di, 07/02/2019 - 15:26

Cochrane is made up of 11,000 members and over 67,000 supporters come from more than 130 countries, worldwide. Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.

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

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

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

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

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

Name: Camila Escobar Liquitay
Age: 30
Occupation: Information specialist of Cochrane Argentina - the Cochrane Centre of the University Institute at the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires
Program: Cochrane Information Specialists' Executive

How did you first hear about Cochrane?
My first approach was by a university colleague who worked in providing information to a group of professionals who developed a Cochrane review. However, the formation of our Cochrane centre in 2015 allowed us to more fully understand all the scope and implications of the organization.

How did you become involved with Cochrane? What is your background?
I started to get involved with Cochrane in 2015, the year in which our centre was formed. I was summoned to join the working group as an information specialist.

I have a degree in Information Management and I have specialized in the biomedical area since I started working in the central library of the university. Recently, we assumed as a Cochrane centre, teaching activities in undergraduate and postgraduate courses that seek the development of informational competencies to generate good practices in the use and management of health information for decision making.

What do you do in Cochrane?
I am currently an Information specialist (IS) of our centre, participating in the development of systematic reviews and methodological work in the area of information.

Since 2018, I have been a member of the Cochrane Information Specialists' (CIS) Executive, whose purpose is to be a facilitator in the communication of the IS community with other Cochrane organizational structures.

What specifically do you enjoy about working for Cochrane and what have you learnt?
What I like the most and what I have learnt the most from Cochrane is working with multidisciplinary groups in the construction of information systems in Evidence-based medicine (EBM).

It is stimulating to feel that with our work we can contribute to the generation of information that helps to improve people’s quality of life; also, I enjoy constantly rethinking where we see an opportunity for improvement, both in the communication of medical evidence to the community, mechanics of information retrieval and analysis of results, in the teaching of EBM, etc.

What are your future plans?
My future plans are to continue working as an IS to deepen knowledge in certain methodological aspects of Cochrane and in EBM in general, so that I can get more involved in the development of research related to the search, recovery and analysis of information.

In your personal experience, what one thing could Cochrane do better to improve its global profile?
I think that Cochrane should work on strengthening the translation of evidence for non-English speaking countries. I think that this point is fundamental to achieve greater dissemination and use of the evidence produced.

What do you hope for Cochrane for the future?
What I hope from Cochrane is that it can strengthen its networks worldwide and raise awareness of evidence-based medicine in the general public.

I think it is important to gain space, in universities, hospitals, patients, training and research centres, media, etc., to bring the evidence produced by Cochrane into people’s everyday life.

How important is it that young people get involved in Cochrane? Why is this, do you think?
Generational integration is essential for an organization like Cochrane. I think of young people, rather than in terms of age, as a way of confronting ourselves, rethinking and challenging ourselves with models that we have integrated as assumptions.

The integration of younger perspectives allows the strengthening and vitality of any human organization.

Why is this, do you think?
Societies change and evolve, and I believe that young people are the ones who show us these new ways of relating, both in private life and at work. It is impossible to look at the society we are in, without the look of youth.

What would your message be to other young people who want to get involved with Cochrane’s work but not sure where to start….?
I think a good way is that we who are already part of the organization can motivate and encourage the work of other young colleagues who have an interest in getting involved in Cochrane. I am convinced that part of our role also implies this.

The ways can be many, for example invite them to meetings or activities organized by our centres, disseminate evidence to people who have an interest in a particular area, contact collaborators to generate new projects, organize dissemination activities for students, promote training activities organized by Cochrane, etc.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Cochrane Library Special Collection: Reducing pain in infants, children, and adolescents

wo, 06/26/2019 - 13:37

Experiencing pain is common throughout a child’s development, from birth through to adolescence and beyond. This Cochrane Special Collection focuses on reducing pain in infants, children, and adolescents. The Collection highlights the latest evidence for paediatric treatments for acute and chronic pain, to guide practice, policy, and funding. It is important to note that pain research in the paediatric populations is often under-researched and under-funded. To highlight this deficit of evidence for the effectiveness (and any associated adverse events) of an intervention for children, some of the reviews in this Special Collection are ‘empty’ – indicating that there were no studies of children eligible for inclusion.

The Cochrane Reviews in this Special Collection have been published by Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care. The reviews included in the section on pharmacological treatments for chronic pain in children and adolescents have also been included in an overview published in Pain. For further discussion on this topic there is also a related Cochrane Editorial – ‘Clinical management in an evidence vacuum: pharmacological management of children with persistent pain’ and an Evidently Cochrane blog.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Pagina's