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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 (dtovey@cochrane.org).  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

and

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

E josip.car@ntu.edu.sg

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Jo Anthony
Senior Media and Communications Officer, Cochrane
M
+44(0) 7582 726 634
janthony@cochrane.org or pressoffice@cochrane.org

Dawn Peters  
Sr. Specialist, External Communications and Media
T +1 781-388-8408
E
 sciencenewsroom@wiley.com

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 cochrane.org

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: pressoffice@cochrane.org

About Wiley
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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: http://www.lstmed.ac.uk/research-assistant-in-neglected-tropical-diseases

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

Cochrane in the news: December 2016

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 17:53

A round-up of selected recent coverage citing, discussing, and presenting health evidence - updated throughout the month.

 

 

Cochrane Review featured in MailOnline write-up about breastfeeding.

General practice publication The Pulse discusses Cochrane Review on non-medical prescribing versus medical prescribing for acute and chronic disease management.

The 1 December episode of the Freakonomics Radio podcast, entitled 'Bad Medicine, Part 1: The Story of 98.6' discusses the history of medicine and the emergence of the evidence-based movement (Lisa Bero and Iain Chalmers speaking about Cochrane from min 23).

NHS Choices cite Cochrane evidence in their discussion of costly add-in treatments offered by fertility clinics to increase the chance of a birth through IVF.

 

 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cochrane seeks Junior Systems Administrator - London, UK

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 14:28

Specifications: Full Time
Salary: £40,000
Location: London, UK
Application Closing Date: 06/01/2017

This is a challenging and interesting opportunity for an experienced Systems Administrator to contribute to a non-profit organisation with a social mission to improve heaIth care for everyone.

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: You will be based in Cochrane’s Informatics and Knowledge Management Team and your primary responsibility will be to support the smooth running of Cochrane’s systems and IT infrastructure. You will support and troubleshoot local and remote computers used by Cochrane Central Executive members (approx. 80 people).

Requirements: The ideal candidate should have experience maintaining Windows or Linux servers together with database management, with excellent analytical and problem-solving abilities to identify and fix problems. We are looking for a thorough, organised and collaborative team member who will contribute to good practice standards and strive for quality. More information here.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Junior Systems Administrator” 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.

Deadline for applications: 06/01/2017 (12 midnight GMT)

Thursday, December 1, 2016 Category: Jobs

2016 winner of the prestigious Aubrey Sheiham Leadership Award for Evidence-Based Healthcare in Africa announced

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 05:00
 Dr Mbah Patrick Okwen has been announced as the 2016 winner of the prestigious Aubrey Sheiham Leadership Award by Cochrane. The award is named after the dental epidemiologist who was inspired and encouraged by Archie Cochrane to question many of the practices in medicine and dentistry.

Prof. Sheiham’s commitment was to improving the health of populations in low- and middle-income countries by advancing evidence-based healthcare. He believed that supporting and training key health personnel in the concepts of Cochrane would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare. Unfortunately Dr Sheiham passed away in November 2015.

The award is managed by Cochrane South Africa (SA) and presented annually to an African researcher to support the conduct of a Cochrane Review focusing on a priority topic with impact on the health of people living in low- and middle-income countries. The winner is also expected to mentor a novice author from Africa during the review process and, in so doing, develop capacity in research synthesis on the continent.

The award includes attendance at an annual Cochrane Colloquium; costs of face-to-face meetings for the awardee and mentee; costs of travel for periods of dedicated work time; and a period of stay at Cochrane SA or another appropriate site to work on the review.

Dr Okwen is based at the District Hospital Bali and the Centre for Development of Best Practices in Health Yaoundé, Cameroon. He is a Cameroonian with the background of clinical practice as a medical doctor and Masters in Health Economics. He is also currently a member of the Cochrane African Network (CAN), a Learning Initiative for Experienced Authors (LIXA) member, guest author with the Cochrane iPad edition and lead of the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) African Community. Dr Okwen has been involved with Cochrane Systematic Reviews since 2007. He will use the award to complete his Cochrane Review entitled ‘Artesunate Plus Mefloquine for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum Malaria’ with the Cochrane Infectious Disease Group; an efficacy and safety review which has been commissioned for an update of current malaria treatment guidelines by the World Health Organization.

Dr Okwen’s mentee is Dr Aseh Promise (PhD Health Economics).

The judging panel included Cochrane leaders from Africa - Prof. Charles Shey Wiysonge, the pioneer Aubrey Sheiham scholar and recently appointed Cochrane SA Director; Prof. Jimmy Volmink, Founding Director of Cochrane SA and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University; Prof. Taryn Young, Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care, Stellenbosch University and Dr Tamara Kredo, Acting Director of Cochrane SA.

Prof. Wiysonge said the award is important for creating opportunities for local research development and showcasing local talent. “The Aubrey Sheiham Award creates opportunities for African Cochrane authors to be funded to conduct high-priority reviews that have the potential to impact on health on the continent in particular. It also allows the development of future Cochrane leadership.”                    

                                                                                                                                                              

Statement – Dr Mbau Patrick Okwen

“It is with great motivation, pride and humility that I receive the Aubrey Sheiham award for 2016. The award gives me a new resolve to promote evidence-based health care at district hospitals and primary care centres across Africa.

My experience with EBHC has been challenging but rewarding for my practice. It reassured my desire to always seek for evidence for practice both preventive and therapeutic. It has also highlighted the inequalities that exist in global healthcare practice, especially with respect to access to knowledge both for clinicians, policy makers and service users.

In the spirit of Aubrey Sheiham, I will like to draw attention to the need for evidence implementation for communicable disease like malaria, HIV and TB but also to non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes which are currently on the rise and with the heaviest burdens shifting to the African region.

It is an opportunity for me to reposition myself amongst my peers and seek ways to pull them on to the evidence-based health care platform or push evidence into their practice whenever they seek this evidence. My current work seeks to promote evidence-based practice in the use of artemisinin combined therapies in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria through developing and disseminating systematic review evidence; conducting clinical audits and feedback and mentoring clinicians and researchers on conducting systematic reviews. “

              

About the Aubrey Sheiham award

Aubrey Sheiham BDS, PhD, DHC is a dental epidemiologist who was inspired and encouraged by Archie Cochrane to question many of the practices in medicine and dentistry. His main commitment was to improving the health of populations in underdeveloped countries and challenging dental establishments to be far more critical. The misuse of healthcare resources has more serious ethical and health implications in underdeveloped countries because resources for health are generally inadequate. Prof. Sheiham believed that supporting and training key health personnel in the concepts of Cochrane would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health care. Since 2001, through Prof. Sheiham’s generosity, Cochrane researchers from low- and middle-income countries have been funded and supported each year to complete a Cochrane Review on a topic of relevance to their region, and to cascade relevant knowledge about Cochrane and evidence-based health care to their local networks.

About Cochrane and Cochrane SA

Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, health professionals and consumers of healthcare; carers, advocates and people interested in health. It responds to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health. Cochrane is a not-for profit organisation with collaborators from over 120 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest.

Cochrane SA is part of the global Cochrane network. It is one of 14 centres worldwide. Cochrane SA is a research unit of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).  It receives its core funding from the SAMRC and raises project-specific grants from external funders in collaboration with partners.

Follow Cochrane South Africa on twitter @SACochrane

Media enquiries:
Michelle Galloway, Cochrane SA Communication Officer
michelle.galloway@mrc.ac.za

084 604 4955 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cochrane Response seeks Editorial Assistant - London, UK

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 14:32

Specifications: Part Time- 30 hours pw
Salary: £25,000 - £27,000
Location: London
Application Closing Date: 22/12/2016

This is a new and exciting role for an individual interested in an early career editorial position with a leading provider of systematic review services. Reporting to the Executive Editor you will provide a range of editorial and administrative tasks to support the systematic review team; including copy editing, preparing reports for publication, monitoring production schedules, and organizing meetings and team travel. This role will be 30 hours per week.

The successful candidate will need to be extremely well organized to manage a high and varied workload. We are looking for a person with a proven collaborative approach to assist our busy team, ideally with experience in a similar role.

Cochrane Response is a new evidence consultancy service providing a broad range of literature review and evidence synthesis services to international policy makers, guideline developers and research groups to support evidence informed healthcare decision making. We work closely with Cochrane networks to increase Cochrane’s capacity to respond to requests for commissioned evidence reviews and tailored evidence services.

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. The primary results of this work are Cochrane Systematic Reviews.

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

Deadline for applications: 22/12/2016 (12.00pm midday GMT)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Executive Assistant to the CEO - London, UK

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 16:13

Specifications: Full Time
Salary:
£32,000
Location:
London
Application Closing Date:
07/12/2016

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.

This is an exciting role for an individual who would relish the challenge of providing efficient and responsive administrative, organisational, and logistical support service to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This role will be 37.5 hours per week.

We are looking for an experienced Executive Assistant to the CEO with a proven collaborative approach to assist CEO and support his department. The successful candidate will need to be extremely well organized to manage a high workload.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Executive Assistant to the CEO” 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.

Deadline for applications: 07/12/2016 (12 midnight GMT)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks post-doc research fellow - Exeter, UK

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 03:33

Post: Post-doc research fellow (Cochrane Heart Rehabilitation Research Fellow)

Location: University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK

Contract type:  Part-time (0.6FTE); fixed-term appointment for 30 months

Salary: £33,943 up to £38,183 (pro rata).

Closing date: 1 December 2016

For more information email Prof Rod Taylor or see the full job posting.

Monday, November 21, 2016 Category: Jobs

Featured Review: School-based interventions for preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy in adolescents

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 15:49

Do school-based interventions prevent HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy? This is the question asked by researchers from the University of York, South African Medical Research Council, and Stellenbosch University in a Cochrane review published this week.

Sexually active adolescents in some countries, particularly girls, are at high risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs); while early, unintended pregnancy can have a major impact on the lives of young people. School-based sexual and reproductive health programmes are widely accepted as an approach to reducing high risk behaviour, given that the school environment plays such an important role in the development of young people. Curriculum based sexuality programmes are popular in many countries and, while there is some evidence that they can improve knowledge and reduce self-reported risk-taking, this review evaluated the number of young people who contracted STIs including HIV, and on the number of adolescent pregnancies.

The group of independent authors included eight cluster randomised trials with a total of more than 55,000 participants, to assess the impact of school-based interventions. The authors included trials carried out in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Europe; six trials evaluated school-based interventions while two evaluated incentive-based programmes aimed at encouraging students to stay in school.

“As they are currently carried out, education programmes alone probably have no effect on the number of young people infected with HIV, other STIs or the number of pregnancies,” said Dr Amanda Mason-Jones from the University of York, the lead author of the review, “especially if condoms and contraceptives or other health service provision are also not freely available to young people.”

The review showed that in those studies which provided incentives, such as free school uniform or small cash payments to young people who stay in school, that while there was no definitive change in the number of HIV, one showed a reduction in other STI infections, and overall there was a significant reduction in adolescent pregnancies, although more high quality evidence is needed to confirm this.

“Previous studies have focussed on self-reported outcomes only.  Our’s is the first review and meta-analysis that has included only measurable biological outcomes.” Continued Dr Mason-Jones, “It is clear that there needs to be further high quality research undertaken in this area so that policy makers can be better informed as to the best way to keep young people, especially girls, in education for longer. Schools or further education and training facilities may provide a positive environment for information and guidance about healthy relationships, but this needs to be combined with the appropriate health services that meet the needs of young people and help improve their life chances.”

The Cochrane review was co-ordinated by the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG), based at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The CIDG has been in operation since 1994, led by Professor Paul Garner, and is supported by over 600 authors from 52 countries. 

Read the full review in full here.

Visit the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group website.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day 2016

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 19:05

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term that covers those long-term lung conditions which are characterized by shortness of breath, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic asthma, and which aren’t fully reversible. World COPD Day is observed each year in November to highlight and raises awareness about the symptoms, risk factors and, treatment for COPD – and is a good time to share some of our relevant Cochrane evidence.

Blogpost: 3 things to help people with COPD keep well and keep out of the hospital on Evidently Cochrane.

Antibiotics for exacerbations of COPD

 Nebulisers or inhalers to give bronchodilators for exacerbations of COPD

 

 Pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD

Help for sexual problems in people with COPD

Mucolytics for COPD or chronic bronchitis

Inhaled corticosteroids with LAMAs and LABAs for COPD

 

Long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs) for COPD

Indacaterol for COPD

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cochrane seeks two Research Assistants - Liverpool, UK

Tue, 11/08/2016 - 18:38

Research Assistant (Malaria Vector Control and Elimination) x2
Salary:
£27,629 to £32,004 per annum (pro rata)
Contract type: Full Time, Fixed Term appointment for 6 months (Part Time Hours considered minimum 0.6 FTE)
Closing date: 21 November 2016
Location: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

The World Health Organization intends to expand guideline development based on systematic reviews and GRADE to malaria vector control. The Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group has contributed to WHO guidelines in malaria chemotherapy and will now extend this to synthesis for vector control. We have an exciting opportunity for two research assistants to join the team of international academics to support the ongoing collaboration work.

The World Health Organization intend to expand guidelines development based on systematic reviews and GRADE to malaria vector control. The Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group has contributed to WHO guidelines in malaria chemotherapy and will now extend this to syntheses for vector control. This will include new Cochrane reviews in insecticide residual spraying combined with insecticide impregnated nets, space spraying; updating existing reviews; and developing methods in meta-analysis of entomological outcomes. To support this work we have an exciting opportunity for up to two research assistants to join an international team of dynamic and motivated academics, and build on the collaboration between the Centre for Evidence Synthesis in Global Health and the Department of Vector Biology at LSTM. On a daily basis the successful candidate will have the responsibility of completing Cochrane reviews and contributing to the review work of other author teams.

Ideal candidates will have a Master’s degree in epidemiology, public health, clinical tropical medicine, or vector biology. You will have experience in biomedical or social science research in low and middle income countries and have confidence in critically appraising medical literature at postgraduate level.

You need to have completed a substantive quantitative analysis, either a systematic review or an applied research project. You need clear evidence of critical insight into priority policy questions in international health relevant to infectious diseases.

Successful candidates will demonstrate initiative, commitment to organizing workloads, and be able to meet important deadlines. You will need to have a flexible approach to work with the ability to work as part of a diverse team as well as independently.

These posts are initially for six months with a variety of sources of potential funding currently being applied for to continue and develop this programme of work. The posts are available immediately.

For more infromation and to apply: http://www.lstmed.ac.uk/research-assistant-malaria-vector-control-and-elimination-x2

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 Category: Jobs

2016 Cochrane contributor prize and award winners

Tue, 11/08/2016 - 14:47

Each year at our annual Colloquium, Cochrane presents a number of awards and prizes to contributors to recognize contributions to our work and organization made in various ways.

The Thomas C Chalmers Award is awarded to the principal author of the best oral and the best poster presentation addressing methodological issues related to systematic reviews.

The 2016 best oral presentation winner winner is Daniël Korevaar
, for 'Time to publication among completed diagnostic accuracy studies: associated with reported accuracy estimates'.

The 2016 best poster presentation is Juan Victor Ariel Franco
for 'Error identification in search strategies of new Cochrane Systematic Reviews published in 2015'.

The Kenneth Warren Prize is awarded to the principal author of whichever Cochrane Review authored by a national living in a developing country is judged to be both of high methodological quality and relevant to health problems in developing countries.

The 2016 winner is Ravindra Prabhu
for 'Interventions for dialysis patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection'.

The Chris Silagy Prize is awarded to an individual who has made an "extraordinary" contribution to the work of Cochrane - one which would not be recognized outside the scope of this prize.

The 2016 winner is Anne Eisinga from Cochrane UK.

The Bill Silverman Prize is awarded to acknowledge explicitly the value of criticism of Cochrane, with a view to helping to improve its work, and thus achieve its aim of helping people make well-informed decisions about health care by providing the best possible evidence on the effects of healthcare interventions.

The Prize Committee was unable to award a prize for 2016, as there were no eligible submissions received.

The Anne Anderson Award is awarded to a female member of Cochrane who has made a significant contribution to the enhancement and visibility of women's participation within Cochrane.

The 2016 winner is Nicky Cullium, Co-ordinating Editor of Cochrane Wounds. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Effectiveness of paracetamol as a treatment for acute or chronic pain conditions

Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:49

Low back pain (LBP) is a common condition, widely reported as a major health and socioeconomic problem associated with work absenteeism, disability, and high costs for patients and society. Paracetamol is widely recommended for a variety of acute and chronic pain conditions, but a Cochrane Review published in June 2016 called its effectiveness into question.

Related resources and media coverage

Paracetamol for low back pain

"Paracetamol: widely used and largely ineffective", Evidently Cochrane

"What's the point of paracetemol?", The Conversation

"Paracetamol is often ‘NO better than placebo – only easing headaches for 1 in 10 of us’", The Sun

"Should YOU be taking paracetamol? Expert claims the common painkiller is 'often no better than a placebo'", Daily Mail

"What’s the point of paracetamol?", Sydney Morning Herald

"What should I take paracetamol for?", The Guardian Online Life and Style Blog

 

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Cochrane Community responds to Strategy to 2020

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 13:27

Cochrane's Strategy to 2020 aims to put Cochrane evidence at the heart of health decision-making all over the world. It defines how we intend to accomplish this and provides a framework for Cochrane’s future decision-making, helping us respond to the strategic opportunities and challenges that we face in the next decade and beyond. It is the result of a collaborative process undertaken by our global network of contributors; and represents the collective vision of the organization to 2020 that relies on those contributors to ensure its success.

Cochrane's 2016 Annual General Meeting, held in Seoul during our annual Colloquium, included a Special Session where the Cochrane Community had the opportunity to share their stories of responding to the challenges of Strategy to 2020. As well as live presentations from a selection of Cochrane Groups from around the world, the session included this video highlighting just a few stories among many of what Strategy to 2020 means to Cochrane Groups and their work within local contexts.

Monday, November 7, 2016 Category: Making a Difference

Cochrane seeks Financial Controller - London, UK

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 19:08

 Salary: Competitive (22.5-30 hours per week)
 Location: London, Greater London
 Job Type: Part-time
Application closing date:
25 November 2016
 
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.

The Role:
We are currently looking for a part-time Financial Controller to support the Head of Finance and Core Services in providing an efficient and effective finance function for Cochrane and Cochrane Innovations.

Required skills:
Essential

  • Qualified accountant
  • Good all round knowledge of current accounting practice, the charity SORP, VAT, the requirements of charity taxation and charity and company legislation.
  • Experience of using Xero
  • Experience of foreign currency transactions
  • Advanced Microsoft Excel skills
  • Ability to prioritise multiple tasks within a project using project management skills
  • Experience of working in cross functional teams
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to build relationships across the business
  • Have the proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to accomplish projects with little supervision
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines
  • Can demonstrate strong problem solving skills and think widely and deeply when faced with new problems
  • Relevant experience of preparing management accounts and budgets
  • Proven experience of funder reports and audit files
  • Experience of costing models and accurate budgets relating to bids for new funding
  • Proven experience of building productive working relationships, both internally and externally in an international environment
  • Ability to communicate clearly with non-finance employees about financial matters, and to deliver effective finance training where necessary
  • Awareness of agile/remote working
  • Commitment to Cochrane’s mission and values

Desirable

  • Experience of healthcare charity sector

For more information, please see the full job description.

Application:
If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV in English along with a letter of motivation to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Financial Controller” in the subject line. The letter of motivation 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.

Friday, November 4, 2016 Category: Jobs

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