Cochrane News

Interventions for preventing and reducing the use of physical restraints in all long-term care settings

10 months ago

Cochrane Review reveals vital role of supportive managers to minimise physical restraint use in care homes

A new Cochrane review finds that the use of physical restraints on care home residents can be reduced without increasing the risk of falls, when frontline care staff are empowered by supportive managers.

Physical restraints are devices that restrict freedom of movement and are frequently used in residential care homes, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Examples are bed rails or belts that prevent residents from getting out of bed unassisted. These restraints are ethically problematic as they are mostly used in people with dementia who are often unable to consent to their use.

Physical restraints are often intended to prevent falls and fall-related injuries. However, the benefits are often small and come with important negative consequences. For example, the restriction of movement can have negative implications on physical functioning and mobility, actually increasing the risk of falls and care dependency. The measures can also trigger or increase fear or aggressive behaviour. For this reason, guidelines and experts recommend avoiding physical restraints in residential care settings.



But how can this be implemented in practice? A Cochrane Review, first published in 2011 and recently updated to reflect the latest research, analyses the scientific evidence on interventions and strategies to reduce the use of restraints. The team of authors, led by Ralph Möhler of the University Hospital Düsseldorf, identified 11 studies with a total of 19,003 participants, evaluating different intervention approaches.

In their evaluation, the authors found the best evidence for organizational interventions, which were investigated in 4 studies with a total of 17,954 participants. Organizational interventions to reduce the use of restraints consist of different components to function as a package. They aim to improve knowledge, skills, and strategies to prevent restraint use among both frontline care staff and managers. In three studies, employees designated as ‘champions’, were trained to develop and implement individual strategies to prevent the use of restraints within their facilities.  Managers supported this, including by relieving them of other activities and provide them with sufficient time for their tasks.

Such interventions probably reduce the number of residents with physical restraints in nursing homes by 14%. There was no overall change in the number of residents with falls or fall-related injuries and there was no increase in the prescription of psychotropic medication. In addition, there was no evidence of adverse effects of the interventions. Based on the study data, the authors calculated that the number of residents with physical restraints could be reduced from 274 to 236 per 1000 individuals, if such interventions were implemented. Focusing on changes on the organisational level seems to be important for achieving long-term effects.

Six studies examined educational interventions addressing staff knowledge and attitudes regarding the use of restraints. The results of these studies were inconsistent and some of the studies had methodological limitations. Therefore, no clear conclusion on the effects of educational interventions can be drawn.

"The results of this review show that physical restraints in nursing homes can be reduced without increasing falls or fall-related injuries,” Ralph Möhler, lead author of the review.

“There is no evidence in the reviewed studies that psychotropic medications were prescribed more often. However, education for frontline staff alone doesn’t seem to be enough; the support of care home managers plays a decisive role."

Friday, July 28, 2023
Lydia Parsonson

Blue-light filtering spectacles probably make no difference to eye strain, eye health or sleep quality

10 months ago

Spectacles that are marketed to filter out blue light probably make no difference to eye strain caused by computer use or to sleep quality, according to a Cochrane review of 17 randomised controlled trials of the best available evidence so far. 

Nor did the review, led by authors from the University of Melbourne and published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, find any evidence that blue-light filtering lenses protect against damage to the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.

Blue-light filtering lenses, also known as blue-light blocking spectacles, have been increasingly prescribed or recommended, often by opticians, since the early 2000s. An Australian survey-based study in 2018 found that, of the 372 optometrists who responded, 75% prescribed these lenses despite acknowledging limitations in the evidence to support their use.  

The Cochrane Eyes and Vision team set out to assess the effects of blue-light filtering lenses compared with non-blue-light filtering lenses for improving visual performance, providing protection to the retina and improving sleep quality. They analysed data from all the randomised controlled trials they could find on the topic and found 17 trials from six countries. Of the 17 trials, 12 were conducted in Australia, the Czech Republic, Japan, Norway, the USA and the UK. Five studies did not report the country in which the trial was conducted. Most of the studies were published after 2010, suggesting a growing research interest in blue-light filtering lenses over the past decade. The numbers of participants in individual studies ranged from five to 156, and the period of time over which the lenses were assessed ranged from less than one day to five weeks.

The senior author of the review is Associate Professor Laura Downie, Dame Kate Campbell Fellow and Head of the Downie Laboratory: Anterior Eye, Clinical Trials and Research Translation Unit, at the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

She said: “We found there may be no short-term advantages with using blue-light filtering spectacle lenses to reduce visual fatigue associated with computer use, compared to non-blue-light filtering lenses. It is also currently unclear whether these lenses affect vision quality or sleep-related outcomes, and no conclusions could be drawn about any potential effects on retinal health in the longer term. People should be aware of these findings when deciding whether to purchase these spectacles.”

However, the quality and duration of the studies also needs to be considered, she said. 

“We performed the systematic review to Cochrane methodological standards to ensure the findings are robust. However, our certainty in the reported findings is limited by the quality of the available evidence. The short follow-up period restricted our ability to consider potential longer-term outcomes.”

The first author of the review, Dr Sumeer Singh, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Downie Laboratory, said: “High-quality, large clinical research studies with longer follow-up in more diverse populations are still required to ascertain more clearly the potential effects of blue-light filtering spectacle lenses on visual performance, sleep and eye health. They should examine whether efficacy and safety outcomes vary between different groups of people and using different types of lenses.”

The review did not find any consistent reports of adverse side effects from using blue-light filtering lenses. Any effects tended to be mild, infrequent and temporary. They included discomfort wearing the spectacles, headaches and lower mood. These were likely to be related to the wearing of spectacles generally, as similar effects were reported with non-blue-light filtering lenses.

Prof. Downie said: “Over the past few years, there has been significant debate about whether blue-light filtering spectacle lenses have merit in ophthalmic practice. Research has shown that these lenses are frequently prescribed to patients in many parts of the world, and a range of marketing claims exist about their potential benefits, including that they may reduce eye strain associated with digital device use, improve sleep quality and protect the retina from light-induced damage. The outcomes of our review, based on relatively limited data, show that the evidence is inconclusive and uncertain for these claims. Our findings do not support the prescription of blue-light filtering lenses to the general population, and these results are relevant to a broad range of people, including eye care professionals, patients, researchers and the broader community.”

The potential mechanisms by which blue-light filtering lenses might be able to help with eye strain, sleep and protecting the retina are not known. One rationale for claims about the benefits of these lenses is that modern digital devices such as computers and smart phones emit more blue light than traditional lighting sources, and are being used for longer, and closer to bedtime. 

Dr Singh said: “The amount of blue light our eyes receive from artificial sources, such as computer screens, is about a thousandth of what we get from natural daylight. It’s also worth bearing in mind that blue-light filtering lenses typically filter out about 10-25% of blue light, depending on the specific product. Filtering out higher levels of blue light would require the lenses to have an obvious amber tint, which would have a substantial effect on colour perception.”

Monday, August 21, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

#CochraneLondon: A trailblazing conference prioritizing sustainability and environmental considerations

10 months ago

Cochrane UK is proud to host Cochrane’s Colloquium at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre (QEII) in London, UK from 4-6 September 2023. The countdown has begun, but there is still time to register and be part of this enriching experience! 

We spoke with Sabrina Khamissa, Cochrane's Event Support Officer, who shares the measures taken to create an environmentally responsible Colloquium. 

A central location with many transportation options
Hi Sabrina, we're thrilled about Cochrane's upcoming in-person event in London, UK, and the central location you've chosen is truly exciting. Can you share some insights into how the location was selected and its significance in terms of environmental considerations?

"Certainly! When deciding on the location for #CochraneLondon, we took several factors into account, including our community's geographical distribution. Since a substantial portion of our attendees are based in Europe, hosting the conference in the UK made sense as it encourages participants to opt for more sustainable travel options, particularly trains, which can significantly reduce the event's overall carbon footprint.

London was an ideal choice for its vibrant atmosphere and outstanding public transportation links. By placing the conference at the heart of the city, we aimed to minimize the need for private vehicles and promote the use of eco-friendly transportation alternatives. The venue's close proximity to multiple tube stations and pedestrian-friendly surroundings provides attendees with ample opportunities to choose greener commuting options. We invite all attendees to participate in the Anne Anderson Walk and see the many spots of medical history and London landmarks that are just steps away from the venue."

Sustainability at the heart of the venue choice
The Queen Elizabeth II Centre, where the Colloquium is set to take place, indeed appears to be a fantastic location. Can you elaborate on what specifically drew you to this venue and how its commitment to sustainability aligns with Cochrane's environmental goals?

"When looking at venues we had a checklist of specific requirements, placing a strong emphasis on environmental stewardship and a formal sustainability policy. The Queen Elizabeth II Centre stood out as an exceptional choice, impressing us with its diverse green initiatives aimed at ensuring minimal ecological impact. These initiatives encompass responsible waste management, energy-efficient systems, water conservation efforts, and even hosting 10,000 bees on the fourth-floor area—an inspiring commitment to urban biodiversity.

 

Attendees will see our venue choice play out in very practical ways. The Centre's strategic location allows easy accessibility, with the majority able to walk or use public transportation from their hotels. Moreover, we are dedicated to reducing single-use plastic, eliminating items like cups and straws during the event. By incorporating LED motion-sensitive lighting and maximizing natural light, energy conservation is prioritized. In our efforts to minimize paper usage, we will be using lots of digital signage ver printed signs, contributing to a more sustainable and eco-conscious conference experience for everyone at #CochraneLondon."

Delicious and environmentally friendly food choices
No matter the event, food selection and taste is always something attendees comment on afterwards. Is this something that was considered?

"It was! We understand that the dining experience is a significant aspect of any in-person event, and we wanted to ensure that attendees not only enjoyed delicious meals but also made environmentally conscious choices. The venue has a British-first policy for sourcing ingredients, to support local farms and growers but also to make sure they are using seasonal produce and are reducing carbon footprints.  Only fair-trade coffee and teas are served. And we have taken a step further by selecting a menu that emphasises plant-based meals and are going with 'bowl food' which helps reduce waste.

Rest assured, the taste and quality of the meals served at #CochraneLondon are of paramount importance to us, and we have thoughtfully selected food options that not only delight the taste buds but also align with our commitment to environmental responsibility."



A shift from traditional swag bags and branded items
It's really reassuring that a lot of thought has gone into many aspects of the venue and experience that are environmentally conscious. One typical aspect of an academic conference is swag or branded items that they get at the start of the conference. What can attendees expect?

"Rather than traditional swag bags, we've taken an eco-conscious route by introducing a print-on-demand store. This innovative approach allows attendees to curate their own experience by selecting and purchasing limited-edition Cochrane items beforehand. This not only reduces unnecessary waste but also ensures that participants receive merchandise they truly value and intend to use. The print-on-demand store offers an exciting range of items, including tote bags, t-shirts, and mugs, which attendees can choose to purchase for their convenience during the conference or as cherished souvenirs of the event.

Even the smallest details have been thoughtfully considered from an environmental perspective. When attendees arrive at the registration desk, they will receive a lanyard and name badge. Here, too, we have opted for a sustainable approach, providing recyclable name badges that will be printed on location. This decision further minimizes our ecological footprint while ensuring that attendees can proudly display their identification throughout the conference in an eco-friendly manner."


We hope you enjoyed this insightful glimpse into #CochraneLondon's integration of sustainability. By showcasing how even the simplest choices can culminate in a profound impact, the Cochrane Colloquium sets a noteworthy example for fostering greener and more responsible event experiences worldwide. 

Join us at #CochraneLondon as we unite to propel our shared vision and build a more sustainable world, advancing together for trusted evidence. See you there!

Monday, July 31, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Get ready for the 2023 Cochrane Colloquium: view the full programme and build your schedule

10 months 1 week ago

Cochrane UK is proud to be hosting Cochrane’s Colloquium at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre (QEII) in London, UK from 4-6 September 2023. The countdown has begun, but there is still time to register and be part of this enriching experience! 

You can now explore the full programme and curate your own Colloquium experience. Take advantage of this opportunity to select the sessions you're most eager to attend and tailor your schedule to your needs and interests. Though it won't guarantee you a seat, it will help us allocate the bigger rooms for the most popular sessions. Once you have picked your sessions, you can add your chosen session to your Apple, Google, or Outlook calendar.

With the theme “Forward together for trusted evidence”, the 2023 Cochrane Colloquium is set to be a groundbreaking event, uniting individuals from diverse backgrounds in a journey of learning, networking, and unforgettable experiences. Immerse yourself in a captivating lineup of plenary talks, workshops, posters, oral presentations, and meetings that encompass a vast spectrum of topics and issues in evidence-based health care.

The colloquium isn't just about the academic content – it's about building connections and creating unforgettable memories. Engage in enriching networking events, ‘take a break’  with some fun social activities, and discover the wisdom of human 'books' at our thought-provoking Library of People. You'll also have the chance to join your colleagues and new Colloquium friends at an unforgettable social gathering at the iconic Natural History Museum. This event truly has something remarkable for everyone!



"Cochrane Colloquiums are more than just an academic gathering; they are a celebration of progress, collaboration, and camaraderie," says Sabrina Khamissa, Cochrane's Event Support Officer.  "The #CochraneLondon program is a testament to this spirit, offering a diverse and engaging lineup of sessions led by some of the most prestigious experts globally. From groundbreaking methodology in evidence synthesis to insightful discussions on knowledge translation, there's something for everyone. We are thrilled to welcome you all to this transformative experience that will shape the future of Cochrane and evidence-based healthcare on a global scale. Together, let's forge ahead for trusted evidence and make a lasting impact on the world of healthcare!"

As anticipation builds, we can't wait to welcome you to London and unite the community once again! Don't miss out on this transformative event, where trusted evidence takes center stage and lasting connections flourish.

Find out more:

Get in touch: colloquium@cochrane.org

Tuesday, July 25, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Connect, learn, and thrive: Students and early career professionals set for an inspirational experience at #CochraneLondon

10 months 1 week ago

Cochrane UK is hosting Cochrane’s Colloquium at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre (QEII) in London, UK from 4-6 September 2023. With the theme “Forward together for trusted evidence”, the 2023 Cochrane Colloquium is set to be a groundbreaking event with a mix of learning, networking, plenary speakers; a unique and memorable experience at one of London's most renowned venues.

At Cochrane, nurturing aspiring minds and supporting professionals embarking on their career journey is part of the work we do. Our commitment is evident through initiatives like the Cochrane Early Career Professionals Network, Cochrane US Mentorship,  Cochrane International Mobility, and the student pathway to Cochrane Membership. Among these opportunities, the Cochrane Colloquium stands out as an inspirational experience not to be missed. This three-day event provides an enriching platform to learn, connect, and grow. Delve into a diverse range of sessions and engaging activities, fueling your knowledge and expanding your professional network in the world of evidence-based healthcare.

Exciting sessions relevant to students and early career professionals: 

  • Putting evidence into practice - A satellite event for students and healthcare professionals: A half-day event on the Sunday ahead of the Colloquium. Learn about Cochrane Reviews, evidence-based practice, fraudulent research and trustworthy evidence. This interactive event is for students and healthcare professionals from any healthcare discipline that feels there is a gap in their current skill set. You may register just for this event or add this event to your colloquium experience. 
  • Meet the Cochrane CEO and Editor-in-Chief - Networking doesn't get any more exciting than this! Meet some of the top people in Cochrane, ask questions, and interact in a casual environment. 
  • Meet the Author Journey Lead - Find out more about how to propose a new or updated review, and what the topic experts that consider proposals are looking for.
  • Forward Together: new ways to participate in Cochrane - Learn about all the many ways you get in involved in Cochrane's ecosystem!
  • Cochrane-Wikipedia Initiative - Join this hands-on workshop to help improve the health content that people are accessing online.
  • Interpreting systematic review findings - Join this small-group workshop to learn about how to translate research and support decision-making in health care. 
  • Library of People - Just like a regular library where you check out books, come along to speak to someone you wouldn’t normally meet and listen to their story.

This is just a small section of the diverse programming offered at Cochrane London. There are plenty of short oral sessions, longer plenary sessions, posters, social events, and workshops. Over three days you will be able to immerse yourself in the latest advancements in systematic review methodology and network with the leading experts in evidence-based medicine. 

Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to be part of Cochrane's Colloquium and contribute to the pursuit of trusted evidence. Register today and let's move forward together towards a healthier future! 

Cochrane Colloquium
4-6 September 2023
London, UK
Registration fees with information about student discount and one-day registration
Full programme

 

Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

#CochraneLondon brings ‘posh bash’ to iconic Natural History Museum

10 months 1 week ago

Cochrane UK is hosting Cochrane’s Colloquium at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre (QEII) in London, UK from 4-6 September 2023. With the theme “Forward together for trusted evidence”, the 2023 Cochrane Colloquium is set to be a groundbreaking event with a mix of learning, networking, plenary speakers; a unique and memorable experience at one of London's most renowned venues. On the evening of Tuesday, September 5th, delegates will gather at the iconic Natural History Museum in South Kensington, for an extraordinary social event.

After the museum closes its doors to the public, Cochrane Colloquium attendees will be granted exclusive access to the main entrance area, Hintze Hall. This hall has dramatic Romanesque arches and a majestic staircase. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the surrounding museum specimens in the Hall and dance beneath the suspended 25-meter blue whale skeleton named ‘Hope’.

In the spirit of giving back, Cochrane Colloquium organizers have requested a £15 donation during registration, to be given to St. Mungo's, a national charity based in London that works to prevent homelessness and aid individuals in their journey to recover from it. By encouraging donations, we hope to minimize non-attendance and food waste, while positively impacting the community.

"One of the most anticipated aspects of every Cochrane Colloquium is the opportunity to gather with colleagues, share laughter, and dance the night away,” says Martin Burton, Director of Cochrane UK. “We are excited to host this year's social event at the Natural History Museum, which sets the stage for an unforgettable evening. Prepare to be captivated by the perfect blend of British charm, vibrant UK music, and the sheer delight of coming together with colleagues. We are confident that this year’s social event will create cherished memories for all who join us!"

The dress code is slightly ‘posher’ than the conference – so deerstalker hats and fascinators are welcome! Attendees will enjoy some delicious bowl food and canapés while the dance floor beckons. Embracing the tradition of previous Colloquiums, participants will sway to music representative of the host country. UK is rich in music tradition, from regency ballroom Contra Dancing to British punk rock. No prior dance experience is necessary; simply join in the fun on the dance floor!

Attendees can look forward to immersing themselves in the rich history and grandeur of the venue, enjoying the vibrant atmosphere, and creating lasting memories alongside colleagues from around the world. To get attendees excited and ready to dance the night away, an exclusive Spotify playlist has been created for #CochraneLondon. You can also contribute your favourite UK songs on social media using the event's official hashtag, #CochraneLondon. 

Cochrane Colloquium Social Event 
Tuesday 5 September 2023
7:30 pm
Natural History Museum
Address: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD, UK
Provided: Bowl food, canapés, desserts, drinks
Dress Code: posh/spiffy casual
Guests: If you would like to bring guests, you’re welcome to buy additional tickets at £75 each (including VAT). To do so, please email registration@cochrane.org and let them know how many extra tickets you would like.

•       Visit the Colloquium website

Friday, July 28, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

News from Cochrane UK

10 months 1 week ago

Founded 30 years ago in Oxford, Cochrane UK was Cochrane’s first geographic group. Cochrane now has over 130 such groups across the world, working in-country to support the production, dissemination and use of evidence to guide decision-making in health and care.

In March 2024, Cochrane UK’s current contract with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), hosted by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will come to an end. As a result, Cochrane UK will shortly be seeking a new funder and host institution.

Catherine Spencer, Chief Executive of Cochrane, said: “Cochrane UK has been at the forefront of Cochrane throughout its 30 year history and was our first geographic group. Cochrane UK has made an extraordinary contribution to evidence-based health and care, I extend my heartfelt thanks to the incredible team in Oxford – past and present – for all they have done.

“As we look to the future, there is an exciting opportunity for a new institution to host Cochrane UK and help more people to benefit from health and care evidence. We will be reviewing what is needed in the UK before we begin a selection process. But I would encourage anyone interested in hosting Cochrane UK at their institution to get in touch with me in the meantime.”

Last November it was announced that in September 2023, Cochrane UK’s Director, Martin Burton, will be moving to Cambridge to become Master of Sidney Sussex College. This summer, Therese Docherty will take on the role of Acting Director, having managed Cochrane UK’s operations for nine years.

Catherine Spencer said: “Martin’s exceptional leadership at Cochrane UK has been truly inspiring. His dedication to advancing evidence-based healthcare and improving patient outcomes has left an indelible mark on our organization and the broader medical community. He has shown a peerless talent for fostering collaboration, supporting people and driving impactful work. As he embarks on the next chapter, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for his invaluable contributions and wish him all the best with his new role.”

Martin Burton said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Director of Cochrane UK, in particular for the opportunity it has given me to work with an excellent team here, and with so many wonderful Cochrane contributors in the UK and around the world. Cochrane UK is in safe hands and I look forward to hearing more about Cochrane’s future plans. The world needs high-quality evidence in general, and synthesised evidence in particular, now more than ever before. These are exciting times as Cochrane adapts and flexes to meet the new challenges ahead.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Harry Dayantis

Introducing the new Cochrane Handbook for Diagnostic Test Accuracy

10 months 2 weeks ago

Cochrane is delighted to unveil the fully comprehensive edition of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy. Designed for authors, editors, and researchers involved in Cochrane Reviews and systematic evaluations of test accuracy, this invaluable resource provides an extensive guide encompassing the most advanced methodologies and best practices. Whether you're a novice researcher or a seasoned expert, this groundbreaking Handbook equips you with the latest methodologies and expert tips, serving as an invaluable resource for conducting diagnostic test systematic reviews. This Handbook paves the way for better-informed healthcare choices, propelling us towards a future where the impact of medical tests is fully optimized.



This is Cochrane's second Handbook, following the success of the acclaimed Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Cochrane’s Editor in Chief, Karla Soares-Weiser warmly welcomed today’s launch, "This Handbook is an excellent addition to the Cochrane Handbook collection and represents a hugely collaborative effort from numerous methodologists, authors, and editors across Cochrane. Cochrane systematic reviewers and the evidence-based community now have access to well-respected guidance that will strengthen the skills, knowledge and standards of systematic reviewers of test accuracy across the world."

Under the guidance of the experts in the Cochrane Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group, this Handbook is thoughtfully divided into three comprehensive parts. The first section provides insights into the intricacies of Cochrane Reviews, specifically focusing on diagnostic test accuracy. In the second section, readers are introduced to test accuracy studies, exploring the circumstances in which it may be appropriate to conduct them. The third and final section delves into the methodologies employed in systematic reviews of test accuracy, offering expert guidance on data collection, risk of bias assessment for included studies, and conducting impactful meta-analyses. This holistic approach ensures that readers are equipped with the necessary tools to conduct the systematic review and then confidently present their findings.

The first edition Handbook includes:

  • An introduction to planning a Cochrane Review of diagnostic test accuracy, along with a supplementary protocol template that can be used by Cochrane or non-Cochrane authors.
  • Core guidance on understanding the primary research included in systematic reviews of test accuracy to enable authors to make informed decisions in their review’s design, including the evaluation of medical tests, the design of test accuracy studies and understanding test accuracy measures.
  • New guidance on defining the review question, covering how the review’s objective relates to the population, index tests and target condition and review’s eligibility criteria.
  • Substantial developments on searching for and selecting studies, extracting data and assessing the risk of bias and applicability in included studies, which takes readers step-by-step through what they need to consider and at what point during the review.
  • Brand new guidance on undertaking meta-analysis complements the updated understanding meta-analysis chapter, and includes supplementary code and datasets that you’ll need to complete the analyses in different software.
  • Updated guidance on presenting findings and drawing conclusions.
  • New guidance on writing a plain language summary, including a template that can be used by Cochrane or non-Cochrane authors.

The Handbook has been written by a team of authors and editors, led by Senior Editors Professor Jon Deeks and Professor Patrick M Bossuyt, alongside Associate Editors Mariska Leeflang and Yemisi Takwoingi. Professor Patrick  Bossuyt, Senior Editor of the Handbook, also said, “The new Handbook reflects current best practice based on the latest methods research, and provides the only such comprehensive guide to conducting systematic reviews of test accuracy. We are immensely proud of the collective contributions from the authors, peer reviewers and methodologists who have informed its gestation over the years; we would like to thank them all as we would not have been able to create this Handbook without them.”

Professor Jon Deeks, Senior Editor of the Handbook, said, “Cochrane Reviews of diagnostic test accuracy have a huge impact globally. Cochrane Reviews underpin many clinical guidelines, including World Health Organization ones. Cochrane evidence also informs the WHO Essential Diagnostics List, which covers many areas of infectious disease and addresses the need for countries to make essential diagnostics more accessible and affordable. This new guidance for both new and experienced authors will strengthen our ability to develop highly impactful reviews that make a real difference in people’s lives.”

Don't miss out on this game-changing resource! The online version of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy is available for free, offering immediate access to its wealth of knowledge as a PDF. But for those seeking convenience and a cherished addition to their collection, the physical edition of the Handbook and the E-book is also available.

 

Thursday, July 20, 2023 Category: The difference we make
Muriah Umoquit

Breaking language barriers: Cochrane adds Bahasa Indonesia to translation efforts

10 months 2 weeks ago

With over 198 million speakers globally, Bahasa Indonesia is the official language of Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country. Recently Bahasa Indonesia has been added along with four other new languages to Cochrane.org and the Cochrane Library. Adding Bahasa Indonesia to the list of 21 languages that plain language summaries are translated in, marks a significant stride in addressing the healthcare information needs of this extensive and diverse population. This inclusion not only breaks linguistic barriers but also empowers individuals to make evidence-informed health decisions globally.

From left to right: Datu Respatika, Lukman Ade Chandra, Kristia Hermawan, Anggraeni Ayu Rengganis (Translation Manager), Afrilia Intan Pratiwi, Alfia Fatma Zaharo, Mawaddah Ar Rochmah, Detty Siti Nurdiati (Director of Cochrane Indonesia), Ajeng Viska Icanervilia.

The addition of the new language addition is due to the strong collaboration between Cochrane Malaysia and Cochrane Indonesia. They have shared a longstanding history of mutual support since their inception and this new Indonesian translation project has deepened that bond between the teams. Cochrane Malaysia has graciously extended their assistance and expertise to support Cochrane Indonesia in establishing their translation project.

“I am particularly happy about it because I feel a part of the project. Malaysia and Indonesia are like siblings, and we try to support each other where we can."

- Prof. Jacqueline Ho, Cochrane Malaysia Co-Director

 

At the outset, Teguh Haryo Sasongko, Cochrane's Malaysia Translation Project Manager, arranged an online meeting with Cochrane Indonesia to outline the management of the Malaysian project and discuss how the team encourages its volunteers. In May of this year, during the Indonesian team's visit to Malaysia, they connected with Nila Pillai (as shown in the above photo; seen in the bottom right sharing with the Indonesian team). Nila has been serving as the Cochrane Malaysia Support Officer and coordinator of Cochrane Malaysia's Malay Translation Project since its inception in 2015. Nila shared insights on how she manages the translation project, highlighting both challenges and successes. The two teams recently collaborated in organizing joint Cochrane training workshops in both countries, with plans for further collaboration in various domains.

“Indonesia has the 4th largest population in the world and even though Malay and Indonesian have some similarities, being able to offer Cochrane evidence in Bahasa Indonesia, Indonesia’s main and official language, marks an important milestone for us."

- Dr. Detty Nurdiati, Cochrane Indonesia Director

Thursday, August 17, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane seeks Assistant Editor - remote

10 months 2 weeks ago

Specifications: Permanent – Full Time
Salary:  £ 30,000 per Annum  
Location: Remote - Ideally based in the UK, Germany or Denmark. Candidates from the rest of the world will be considered; however, Cochrane’s Central Executive Team is only able to offer consultancy contracts outside these countries.
Closing date: 29 July 2023
 
Cochrane is an international charity. For 30 years we have responded to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesising research findings and our work has been recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.
Cochrane's strength is in its collaborative, global community. We have 110,000+ members and supporters around the world. Though we are spread out across the globe, our shared passion for health evidence unites us. Our Central Executive Team supports this work and is divided into four directorates: Evidence Production and Methods, Publishing and Technology, Development, and Finance and Corporate Services.
Cochrane's Evidence Production & Methods Directorate (EPMD) ensures that the Cochrane Library maintains its reputation as the international source of trustworthy, independent, and relevant information to guide healthcare decisions. The EPMD houses the Central Editorial Service, the Central Production Service and also supports review development to ensure that the Cochrane Library continues to produce high quality evidence syntheses that meet the needs of users.   
    
Don’t have every single qualification? We know that some people are less likely to apply for a job unless they are a perfect match. At Cochrane, we’re not looking for “perfect matches.” We’re looking to welcome people to our diverse, inclusive, and passionate workplace. So, if you’re excited about this role but don’t have every single qualification, we encourage you to apply anyway. Whether it’s this role or another one, you may be just the right candidate.

Our organization is built on four core values: Collaboration: Underpins everting we do, locally and globally. Relevant: The right evidence at the right time in the right format. Integrity: Independent and transparent. Quality: Reviewing and improving what we do, maintaining rigour and trust.  

You can expect:  

  • An opportunity to truly impact health globally  
  • A flexible work environment  
  • A comprehensive onboarding experiences
  • An environment where people feel welcome, heard, and included, regardless of their differences

Cochrane welcomes applications from a wide range of perspectives, experiences, locations and backgrounds; diversity, equity and inclusion are key to our values.

How to apply

  • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here.
  • The deadline to receive your application is 29th July, 2023.
  • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples.
  • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
Tuesday, July 11, 2023 Category: Jobs
Lydia Parsonson

From complexity to clarity: Cochrane unveils #BetterPresentations templates for accessible and engaging talks at the Cochrane London Colloquium

10 months 3 weeks ago

The Cochrane Colloquium is a premier event for those interested in evidence-based healthcare decision-making. It brings together individuals involved in evidence production, dissemination, implementation, and policy-making, as well as those making individual healthcare decisions. The 2023 Cochrane Colloquium will take place in London, UK from 4th to 6th of September 2023, with satellite events on 3rd of September. Registration is still open!

Presentations form a cornerstone of the Cochrane London Colloquium, providing a platform for in-depth exploration of topics and fostering future collaborations. With approximately 46 long oral presentations and 180 short oral presentations scheduled this year, the importance of accessibility in these sessions cannot be overstated. By embracing accessible presentations, the colloquium aims to enhance knowledge transfer, particularly for individuals whose native language is not English or who may face challenges related to disabilities or neurodivergence.

To address this challenge, we have collaborated with a team of researchers who are investigating the accessibility of presentations at academic conferences. As part of their work, they have created Cochrane Colloquium poster templates based on the latest evidence. In their ongoing efforts to drive innovation, the team has now developed Cochrane Colloquium PowerPoint presentation templates. Eager to delve into their evidence-based work, we sat down with the team to gain deeper insights into their latest contributions.

Can you tell us a bit about your elite research team so we have an understanding of how you are approaching academic posters and presentations?
Sure! We’ve built a diverse team of people from across IPG Health (Emily Messina, James Wells, Noofa Hannan, and Anja Petersen), and our team includes Zen Faulkes, author of the book “Better Posters” and founder of the Better Posters blog, Mike Morrison, the psychologist who created a redesign for scientific posters that went viral and started the #BetterPoster movement. We’ve all been to conferences where and crowded poster halls with posters just packed with information and gotten lost in talks with either too few slides or way too many slides. So we wanted to gather some data, specifically from those with accessibility needs or disabilities, on how we can make conference presentations a better, more accessible experience, for everyone.   

Similar to academic posters, the presentation’s role is to communicate the top research insights very quickly and engagingly. What do you see as the unique challenges that presentations give over posters?
Presentations are given more physical time to play out in front of a captive audience; you have the opportunity to fit in more information and provide both audio and visual communication. But it is still important to keep to your key message. There is a tendency sometimes to want to cram as much information into a talk as possible. However, this leads to a talk where the audience is overloaded and doesn’t remember half of what was presented. So in oral presentations, its also important to keep to your core message and keep in mind how much time you have.

Additionally, the extended platform of oral presentations also presents challenges —balancing the inclusion of ample information while ensuring accessibility for individuals with low vision, processing disorders, or other environmental conditions of the room such as dim lighting or sound distortion. You also need to ensure that anyone who may be hard of hearing or D/deaf, or perhaps neurodivergent, or folks who may struggle with the speakers accent or language can still follow along. A clear, concise, and decluttered presentation can help navigate through these challenges! 

Could you elaborate on the recommendations included about reducing clutter in presentations?
Sure! Our data show that conference attendees really want large, readable figures along with clear and concise text. Research indicates this greatly improves information retention. It's crucial to include only the necessary content to tell your story, as clutter can distract and confuse the audience. We encourage presenters to triage any additional content and ask themselves, "Does this enhance the clarity of my message?" If not, it's best to leave it out.

The idea is to have just enough information on the slide to reinforce your message and so that if the audience misses something you said, they can still follow along. Everything else should be left off the slide.

How important is plain language in creating accessible presentations?
The significance of plain language cannot be overstated! The Cochrane Community has already recognized its importance through the inclusion of plain language summaries with each Cochrane Review. However, the need for plain language extends to presentations as well. By employing clear, concise, and jargon-free language, researchers can successfully convey their findings to a wider audience. Prioritizing clarity and avoiding unnecessary complexity is crucial in ensuring effective communication. This holds particular relevance at Cochrane London, where the audience comprises individuals ranging from patients to advanced researchers.

Cochrane is adopting the #BetterPreseration design as the official presentation template for the Cochrane Colloquium. What can presenters expect?
Our aim is to empower researchers to effectively communicate their work to a diverse audience while ensuring accessibility and clarity. By adopting the #BetterPresentations templates, researchers can elevate the impact of their findings, facilitate knowledge transfer, and foster inclusivity within academic conferences. The #BetterPresentations templates are fully editable, allowing researchers to include their institution's logo and adapt the templates to suit the requirements of various academic conferences. This flexibility ensures that the templates can be used for the Cochrane London Colloquium or any other academic event.

And please get creative in how you make your presentations ‘feel’! Communicating study-relevant emotion is part of good science communication. We're excited to see what you come up with; please tag your social media posts about your presentations with #BetterPreserntations so we can see them!

And what can attendees of the Colloquium expect?
With the implementation of more engaging presentations, the Cochrane London Colloquium aims to delve into the fascinating and captivating aspects of research, enabling attendees to swiftly identify the presentations that align with their interests. This will pave the way for meaningful follow-up discussions with presenters, providing a valuable opportunity to delve deeper into the subject matter. We are looking forward to getting attendees' feedback, which will be collected through the official post-Colloquium survey. Your insights will play a crucial role in shaping future iterations of templates and ensuring an even more enriching experience for all.

Friday, July 7, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane expands global reach: Pilot project introduces new language translations

10 months 3 weeks ago

Cochrane evidence is now accessible in 21 languages, breaking linguistic barriers and empowering global evidence-informed health decisions.

Many people do not have access to high-quality health information, because it is not available in a language they understand. Only about 6% of the world’s population are native English speakers and 75% don’t speak English. 

The focus of our translation activities at Cochrane is on plain language summaries. Plain language summaries are created using standard content and structure and are written in accessible language. Looking to expand past the 16 languages we currently offer these summaries in, we have added five additional languages as part of a 2023 pilot project. The following groups will now be translating them into these languages: 

Although the pilot project is currently unfunded, the participating teams receive access to Cochrane's technical translation infrastructure, training, and support. Their responsibilities include translating a limited number of plain language summaries per month and conducting knowledge translation activities in their respective languages. The success of the pilot project may lead to future expansions.

"I am thrilled by the expansion of Cochrane's language offerings and the remarkable dedication of our volunteers. Their contributions have made Cochrane evidence available in 21 languages, enabling us to reach a wider audience and facilitate evidence-informed health decisions across the globe. I extend my deepest gratitude to all the volunteers who have played a pivotal role in this exciting endeavor."

- Judith Deppe, Cochrane Multi-language Programme Manager

 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023 Category: The difference we make
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane Lifetime and Emeritus Members List

11 months ago

Cochrane is proud to announce new lifetime and emeritus memberships, recognizing the extraordinary contributions of individuals who have made an exceptional, long-standing contribution to Cochrane’s work and leadership. 

Cochrane's strength is in its collaborative, global community. Over the last 30 years, our members and supporters from more than 130 countries have worked together to produce credible, accessible health information and help inform health decision-making. Though we are spread out across the globe, our shared passion for health evidence unites us. 

Cochrane’s Membership scheme helps reward everyone who helps provide produce and disseminate Cochrane evidence, as well as provide leadership for our strategic goals. Membership is a valuable addition to résumés, gives you voting rights, and opens opportunities for getting involved in governance and learning opportunities. 

We are proud to recognise extraordinary contributions to Cochrane with Emeritus and Lifetime Memberships. These are awarded to those who have contributed to Cochrane’s success over many years and are now reducing or ending their active time with Cochrane.

Emeritus members: 
Individuals who made a significant long-standing contribution to the leadership of the organization.

  • Gerd Antes
  • Sally Bell-Syer
  • Xavier Bonfill
  • Iain Chalmers
  • Kay Dickersin
  • Muir Gray
  • Jini Hetherington
  • Sophie Hill
  • Anne Lydiatt
  • Nandi Siegfried
  • Prathap Tharyan
  • Hywel Williams

Lifetime members:
Individuals at all levels of the organization who have made an exceptional, long-standing commitment to Cochrane's work.

  • Peter Herbison
  • Anne Lethaby

Congratulations to all the inductees and a warm thank you for your contributions! 

Wednesday, July 5, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane seeks Research Integrity Editor - Remote, flexible

11 months ago

Specifications: Permanent
Salary:  £40,000 per Annum  
Location: Flexible. Cochrane's Central Executive Team is able to offer employment contracts in the UK, Germany or Denmark, and consultancy contracts outside these countries
Closing date: 11 July 2023

Cochrane is an international charity. For 30 years we have responded to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesising research findings and our work has been recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

Cochrane's strength is in its collaborative, global community. We have 110,000+ members and supporters around the world. Though we are spread out across the globe, our shared passion for health evidence unites us. Our Central Executive Team supports this work and is divided into four directorates: Evidence Production and Methods, Publishing and Technology, Development, and Finance and Corporate Services.

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

Don’t have every single qualification? We know that some people are less likely to apply for a job unless they are a perfect match. At Cochrane, we’re not looking for “perfect matches.” We’re looking to welcome people to our diverse, inclusive, and passionate workplace. So, if you’re excited about this role but don’t have every single qualification, we encourage you to apply anyway. Whether it’s this role or another one, you may be just the right candidate.

Our organization is built on four core values: Collaboration: Underpins everting we do, locally and globally. Relevant: The right evidence at the right time in the right format. Integrity: Independent and transparent. Quality: Reviewing and improving what we do, maintaining rigour and trust.

You can expect: 

  • An opportunity to truly impact health globally
  • A flexible work environment
  • A comprehensive onboarding experiences
  • An environment where people feel welcome, heard, and included, regardless of their differences

Cochrane welcomes applications from a wide range of perspectives, experiences, locations and backgrounds; diversity, equity and inclusion are key to our values. 

How to apply

    Tuesday, June 27, 2023 Category: Jobs
Harry Dayantis

Cochrane seeks Executive Editor - Remote, flexible

11 months ago

Specifications: Permanent – Full Time
Salary:  £55,000 per Annum  
Location: Remote - Ideally based in the UK, Germany or Denmark. Candidates from the rest of the world will be considered; however, Cochrane’s Central Executive Team is only able to offer consultancy contracts outside these countries.
Closing date: 11 July 2023
 
Cochrane is an international charity. For 30 years we have responded to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesising research findings and our work has been recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

Cochrane's strength is in its collaborative, global community. We have 110,000+ members and supporters around the world. Though we are spread out across the globe, our shared passion for health evidence unites us. Our Central Executive Team supports this work and is divided into four directorates: Evidence Production and Methods, Publishing and Technology, Development, and Finance and Corporate Services.

The Executive Editor will be expected to prioritise and delegate editorial tasks as appropriate. The role holder will need to be an advocate for the Editorial Service internally and externally to Cochrane and remain alert to immediate demands of delivering high-quality review content for publication in a timely fashion.        

Don’t have every single qualification? We know that some people are less likely to apply for a job unless they are a perfect match. At Cochrane, we’re not looking for “perfect matches.” We’re looking to welcome people to our diverse, inclusive, and passionate workplace. So, if you’re excited about this role but don’t have every single qualification, we encourage you to apply anyway. Whether it’s this role or another one, you may be just the right candidate.

Our organization is built on four core values: Collaboration: Underpins everting we do, locally and globally. Relevant: The right evidence at the right time in the right format. Integrity: Independent and transparent. Quality: Reviewing and improving what we do, maintaining rigour and trust.  

You can expect: 

  • An opportunity to truly impact health globally  
  • A flexible work environment  
  • A comprehensive onboarding experiences
  • An environment where people feel welcome, heard, and included, regardless of their differences

Cochrane welcomes applications from a wide range of perspectives, experiences, locations and backgrounds; diversity, equity and inclusion are key to our values.

How to apply

  Tuesday, June 27, 2023 Category: Jobs
Harry Dayantis

Explore the Anne Anderson Walk at the Cochrane Colloquium - A Self-Guided Experience

11 months ago

Cochrane UK is hosting Cochrane’s Colloquium an eagerly anticipated event taking place in the vibrant city of London, UK from 4-6 September 2023. Under the theme "Forward together for trusted evidence," the 2023 Cochrane Colloquium promises to be a groundbreaking experience, featuring a dynamic blend of learning opportunities, networking sessions, inspiring plenary speakers, and engaging events.

Among the exciting highlights of the Colloquium, we are thrilled to unveil the captivating route for 2023 Anne Anderson Walk, an accessible self-guided journey that guides participants through the rich health history surrounding the conference centre and notable landmarks of London. With three eventful days of Colloquium content, we encourage you to indulge in this self-guided tour, granting yourself the opportunity to relax and proceed at your own tempo. Whether you choose to meet colleagues before, during, or after the Colloquium or simply take an evening stroll, this experience is designed to accommodate your personal preferences.

In an exclusive interview, we had the pleasure of speaking with Anna Doherty, the person behind the map artwork of the Anne Anderson Walk. Anna shared her inspiration for the art and provided insights into what participants can expect along the route.

Hi Anna! Our Cochrane Community always finds it interesting to learn the backstory of things and learn more about people. Could you tell us a bit more about yourself?
“Hi! I’m an illustrator and author from Edinburgh, Scotland and now based in Cambridge, UK. Ever since I was very small, I’ve always enjoyed drawing, so when I finished school I went to study illustration at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. After graduating, I wasn’t quite done with education! My favourite part of my undergrad had been narrative-based illustration, so I decided to study a masters in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. Since graduating there, I’ve been working on a mixture of illustrating picture books, science illustration, and other little projects. I now have fourteen illustrated picture books published, some of which I wrote too! I am especially excited about working in non-fiction, which is why I think I enjoy science illustration so much because I love learning new facts and finding fun new things to share with people. The idea that something I have illustrated might teach someone something new excites me! I have a mini-series called Fantastically Feminist which focuses on celebrating stories of amazing women. I wanted to make space for kids to read in, that not only showed that everyone should be equal and that anyone can do anything regardless of their gender but also celebrated women who struggled to try and make things more equal for the rest of us in brilliant ways.”



You've illustrated the 2023 map of the Anne Anderson walk. But you're not new to Anne Anderson! - You've worked on Anne Anderson artwork that is included in Lifeology's Historic STEAM Heros card deck. Anne Anderson is a beloved person in the Cochrane Community. Can you tell us a bit about working on that artwork? 
 “Absolutely! It was a joy to learn more about this remarkable Scottish scientist and weave her story into the STEAM hero illustration. I thoroughly enjoyed delving into Anne Anderson's life, work and contributions, and understanding her role in the stream of thinking that gave birth to evidence-based healthcare - and ultimately led to the development of Cochrane. I was honoured to be a part of introducing Anne to a wider audience and celebrating her as a STEAM Hero.”

The Anne Anderson Walk is a cherished annual social event for Cochrane, where attendees explore the Colloquium host city and make a donation to next year’s Anne Anderson Award. Normally this walk is done as a group with a tour guide but this year to increase accessibility we are using a map to let people go at their own pace. What do you think of the route?
"After the organisers had mapped out the route, tested it several times, and then passed it on to me to illustrate, I was truly amazed at how many fascinating health history locations were close to the conference centre! Living in Cambridge, I’m so close to London myself, and yet I had no idea there were so many health history spots to visit all in a relatively small area! Attendees of the conference are in for a real treat as they self-guide and explore so much history right on their doorstep. There are iconic landmarks like Big Ben and the Florence Nightingale Museum along the route, however what excited me the most were the hidden gems that might be easily overlooked without the guidance of the route directions and details. Some I had never heard of before – so I was extra excited to be able to share them with more people through this map! I was captivated by the fascinating women and hidden tales of health history that unveil themselves along the Anne Anderson Walk, making it exciting even for those who may have already explored London before. Plus, the map is easy to navigate for people new to the city!"

What was your favourite aspect of the map to draw?
"That's a tough question! There were so many captivating elements to bring to life on the map. While I enjoyed drawing iconic London landmarks like Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, if I had to choose, my favourite feature would be the Mary Seacole Statue. The statue itself is an amazing piece of art, but what makes it even more significant is that many people might unknowingly pass by it without venturing into the garden to explore further. I will always have a special space in my heart for any Woman in STEAM, but Mary Seacole in particular has been a fascinating historical figure to me for a while – and yet I had no idea she had a statue! I hope this map can be a step in bringing a wider audience to her. A Scottish-Jamaican nurse, Mary overcame racism and injustice to provide care for soldiers during the Crimean War. Her story is a one of resilience and the power of nursing in the face of adversity. We didn’t have space to include an icon from every location you can visit on the map, so including the Mary Seacole Statue was a deliberate choice to shed light on her remarkable contributions. And I think that Anne Anderson would approve of this addition, as it reflects her passion for highlighting unsung heroes in the field of healthcare!”



Your style is super cute - such a charming aesthetic! How do you do your artwork?
“Thank you so much! I would describe my art style as digital mixed media. My creative process typically involves drawing on a Wacom tablet, which is connected to my computer. As I draw on the tablet, the marks I make appear on my screen in Photoshop. I use a variety of brushes and layered textures to achieve different effects. To add more depth and visual interest, I incorporate scanned textures that I've created using things like ink and paint. This blending of digital and traditional elements allows me to bring a unique aesthetic to my artwork.”

Well, Anna, your map artwork has truly captured our hearts. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us and share your insights. We are confident that everyone will love the map and route you've created!

Don't miss the opportunity to explore the captivating Anne Anderson Walk during the Cochrane Colloquium. Get ready to embark on a remarkable journey through London's health history and significant landmarks - all steps away from #CochraneLondon!  

Thursday, June 29, 2023
Muriah Umoquit
Checked
17 hours 43 minutes ago
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