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Cochrane Interactive Learning

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 17:52

Cochrane Interactive Learning is a series of high quality, online learning modules for conducting intervention reviews following Cochrane review methodology. Useful for both introductory-level and more experienced learners, the modules are designed for both individual distance learners and for trainers looking to create blended online and face-to-face learning.  We have created this video to promote how Cochrane Interactive Learning is being used as a fantastic addition to courses for students as part of a blended learning approach.

Cochrane Interactive Learning is available to purchase as part of an institutional license, and you can contact Richard Hollis on to discuss your requirements.

If you are a Cochrane Author (or hold an eligible Cochrane role) you have free access to Cochrane Interactive Learning and can register to use it at  The course is also made freely available to registered users who are resident in HINARI countries. If you need any further help with accessing Cochrane Interactive Learning, please contact

Monday, October 22, 2018

Cochrane Crowd webinar - 30 Oct 2018

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 16:47

Help Cochrane curate and deliver health evidence

Cochrane Crowd is an online citizen science platform that enables anyone with an interest in health to contribute to health evidence. Our volunteers make it easier for health researchers to find the latest, high-quality evidence on what treatments work and don’t work. This means health practitioners can more easily access current evidence to inform the treatments they provide. Just a few minutes each day makes a huge difference.

This webinar introduces Cochrane Crowd and how you can get involved. This webinar is scheduled for an Australasian audience. If you can’t make it at the scheduled time, feel free to register and you will be sent a copy of the recording.


Tuesday October 30th 12.30-1.30pm AEDT

Support for Project Transform was provided by Cochrane and the National Health and Medical Research Counc12/12/1996il of Australia (APP1114605). The contents of the published material are solely the responsibility of the Administering Institution, a Participating Institution or individual authors and do not reflect the views of the NHMRC.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Cochrane seeks Advocacy & Partnership Officer -Flexible location

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 17:51

Specifications: Full Time
Salary: £35,000 - £40,000 DOE
Location: Flexible
Application Closing Date: 16 November 2018

This role is an exciting opportunity to use your experience as an Advocacy & Partnership Officer to make a difference in the field of health care research. 

The Advocacy & Partnership Officer will support Cochrane, the Editor in Chief, the Head of Knowledge Translation, and the Senior Advisor (Centres, Partnerships and Fundraising) in developing and managing strategic partnerships and in preparing advocacy positions. This new role will support the organization’s growth through the proactive management of strategic partnerships, the development and delivery of advocacy positions and will thus help build the profile of Cochrane as global advocate for evidence informed health care and decision making.

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

  • Master degree in communications; journalism; health sciences or a related discipline relevant to this position.
  • Experience of presenting complex information clearly and simply.
  • Experience in preparing advocacy campaigns and statements.
  • Demonstrable experience in working with various partner organizations.
  •  Cultural sensitivity and the ability to work with diverse groups
  • Ability to work independently under general direction, willing and able to work in a self-directed way, and able to provide sound advice to contributors and staff members of Cochrane.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with a natural flair for networking, including the ability to produce written material appropriate to policy-makers and partners.
  • Experience with using influencing strategies to gain genuine engagement with Cochrane’s mission to achieve organisational goals.
  • Time management skills and ability to work flexible hours as needed.
  • Experience related to all aspects of the planning and organising of meetings, workshops and conferences.
  • Experience of working in an international context.
  • Willingness to travel internationally when required.

Cochrane is a global, independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesizing research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm and where more research is needed. Our work is recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to with Advocacy & Partnership Officer in the subject line.  The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements for the post outlined in the job description using specific examples.  List your experience, achievements, knowledge, personal qualities, and skills which you feel are relevant to the post.

For further information, please download the full job description.

Deadline for applications: 16 November 2018 (12 midnight GMT)
Interviews to be held on: (TBC)

Friday, October 19, 2018 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Events and Brand Support Officer - flexible, London, UK preferred

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 16:59

Salary: Competitive
Location: Flexible, London preferred
Position: Permanent, full time

This role will lead on supporting, developing and implementing Cochrane’s annual events calendar, to help co-ordinate our Colloquium and Governance Meetings, along with supporting event activities of Cochrane Groups.

The role also supports the work of our Knowledge Translation Department including marketing, brand communications and graphic design on behalf of the Central Executive Team (CET).

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

  • A degree or equivalent experience working within events support and co-ordination; project management experience would be highly advantageous, and/or in a similar role
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and work assignment
  • Ability to work alongside varied teams in different cultural and linguistic settings
  • Exceptional IT skills, including: styles and formating in Word, PowerPoint and Excel with the ability to understand Drupal web editing and registration systems
  • Exceptional Adobe Creative Suite (especially Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat) skills
  • Impressive interpersonal skills both in person and by teleconference/Skype
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Willingness to work flexibly including outside normal working hours and international travel
  • Proven experience of budget planning
  • Commitment to Cochrane’s mission and values

Cochrane is a global, independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesizing research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm and where more research is needed. Our work is recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to with “Events and Brand Support Officer” in the subject line.  The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements for the post outlined in the job description using specific examples.  List your experience, achievements, knowledge, personal qualities, and skills which you feel are relevant to the post.

For further information, please see the full job description.

Deadline for applications: Monday 5 November 2018 (12 midnight GMT)

Interviews to be held on: week of 12 November


Thursday, October 18, 2018 Category: Jobs

World Menopause Day

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 15:28

18 October 2018  is World Menopause Day and October is World Menopause Month. Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group has published multiple reviews assessing the effectiveness and safety of interventions in menopausal women, including peri and postmenopausal women. To celebrate World Menopause Day we have collated a special selection of reviews investigating various treatments for menopausal symptoms such as hormone therapy, tibolone, relaxation, exercise, and alternative therapy.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Cochrane Library Special Collection: Preventing falls and fall-related injuries in older people

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 15:18

Free access to all included Cochrane Reviews for 30 days

Falling is a common problem and is an often-overlooked cause of injury in the elderly. Falls increase in frequency with advancing age and increasing frailty. Falls should not be considered an inevitable consequence of ageing. The Cochrane Reviews in this Special Collection focus on the prevention of falls and fall-related injuries in older people, and they provide evidence of effective interventions. The collection includes reviews on the prevention of falls caused by visual impairment, prevention of falls in the community and falls in care settings, and the prevention of falls following major illness. All reviews included in the Special Collection are free to access for the next 30 days (until 17 November), afterwards reviews over 1 year are free to access.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cochrane Taiwan is expanding its reach through a new Cochrane Affiliate

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 19:08

Cochrane Taiwan aims to promote evidence informed health care in Taiwan, and develops partnerships with institutions in the country to achieve this aim. One of these institutions is the Chang Gung University of Science and Technology (CGUST). CGUST has now been given Cochrane Affiliate status.

CGUST is committed to training healthcare personnel, and promotes evidence informed health care actively. This is the first affiliate of Cochrane Taiwan. Cochrane Taiwan and President Ying-Tung Lau of CGUST signed a memorandum of cooperation in the presence of Taipei Medical University (TMU) President Chien-Huang Lin. It is expected that the Cochrane Taiwan and CGUST will collaborate in teaching, research, promoting evidence informed health care and enhancing knowledge translation to raise awareness of synthesized health evidence in Taiwan.

Cochrane Taiwan, hosted by TMU, was established in 2015 as a Cochrane Associate Centre. Cochrane Taiwan is striving to promote Cochrane’s mission to “promote evidence-informed health decision-making by producing high-quality, relevant, accessible systematic reviews and other synthesized research evidence”. Cochrane Taiwan focuses on establishing a domestic cooperation network to encourage domestic communication and promotion of evidence informed health care.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

2018 winner of the prestigious Aubrey Sheiham Leadership Award for Evidence-Based Healthcare in Africa announced

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 17:42

Dr Chikwendu J. Ede has been announced as the 2018 winner of the prestigious Aubrey Sheiham Leadership Award by Cochrane.

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 Ede is a specialist surgeon and a lecturer at University of the Witwatersrand. The award will be used to undertake a review already registered with the Cochrane Hepato-biliary, titled: Nonselective shunts versus selective shunts for preventing and treating variceal rebleeding in people with portal hypertension.

“Variceal bleeding is a lethal complication of portal hypertension. A third of people living in Africa will bleed from oesophagogastric varices and mortality from this bleed is estimated at 30%,” said Dr Ede. “It’s important to stop such bleeding to reduce morbidity and mortality. This new review will address a gap in knowledge identified by my previous review.”

“As variceal bleeding is a significant health and economic burden in developing countries, there is need for an in-depth study of measures to prevent and treat this condition,” he continued. “This review will provide evidence to show which type of shunt works best for preventing and treating oesophagogastric variceal rebleeding.”

Dr Roseline Ede, a registrar at University of the Witwatersrand, has been included as an author in this review as a mentee.

About the Aubrey Sheiham award

Aubrey Sheiham was a dental epidemiologist who was inspired and encouraged by Archie Cochrane to question many of the practices in medicine and dentistry. His 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 to complete a Cochrane Review on a topic of relevance to their region, and to cascade knowledge about Cochrane and evidence-based health care to their local networks.

The evaluation panel for the award consists of the Senior Management Team of Cochrane South Africa.

Unfortunately Dr Sheiham passed away in November 2015.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Patients and consumers at Cochrane's Edinburgh Colloquium

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 15:19

Our Colloquium is Cochrane's annual flagship event, bringing people together from around the world to discuss putting research into important global health questions and promoting evidence-informed health care.  This year, almost 1300 people from 57 countries attended our Colloquium in Edinburgh, UK. The theme was ‘Cochrane for all - better evidence for better health decisions.’  It was a Patients Included event, co-designed, co-produced and co-presented by healthcare consumers, where everyone’s input is valued equally. It focused on key goals of Cochrane’s Strategy to 2020: producing evidence, making evidence accessible, and advocating for evidence.

We spoke to several consumers and patients attending the Cochrane Colloquium in Edinburgh – here are some of their highlights from the event:


Friday, October 12, 2018 Category: The difference we make

Cochrane Library Editorial - Implementing systematic reviews of prognosis studies in Cochrane

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 16:12

Over the last 30 years Cochrane has strived to advance the importance of conducting systematic reviews of therapeutic strategies, diagnostic tests, and risk factors. Now, the Cochrane community embarks on systematic reviews of prognosis studies in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Prognosis research has escalated in the last two decades. Today, frequently echoed terms are ‘personalized medicine’, ‘precision medicine’, or ‘risk‐based medicine’, often used as synonyms.

Read a new Cochrane Library Editorial on the work Cochrane Prognosis Methods is doing produce systematic reviews that summarize the huge amount of data and evidence emerging from primary prognosis studies, to enable stakeholders to make appropriate healthcare decisions.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Featured Review: Progestogen for preventing miscarriage

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 11:02

Can progestogen help prevent miscarriage?

 Early pregnancy loss, also known as miscarriage, generally occurs in the first trimester. For some women and their partners, miscarriages can happen several times, also known as recurrent miscarriages. While there are sometimes causes for miscarriages that are found, often no clear reasons can be discovered. The hormone called progesterone prepares the womb (uterus) to receive and support the newly fertilized egg during the early part of pregnancy. It has been suggested that some women who miscarry may not make enough progesterone in the early part of pregnancy. Supplementing these women with medications that act like progesterone (these are called progestogens) has been suggested as a possible way to prevent recurrent miscarriage.

This updated Cochrane Review identified a total of 13 trials that enrolled a total of 2556 women with a history of recurrent miscarriages. 

David Haas, Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group Editor said, 

“We found evidence from randomized controlled trials that giving progestogen medication can probably prevent miscarriage for many women with recurrent previous miscarriages. The trials included in this study found that giving progestogen medication to women with recurrent miscarriages early in their pregnancy may help lower the rates of miscarriage in that pregnancy from 26.3% to 19.4%. We believe that these findings are based on evidence of only moderate quality, so we cannot be certain about the results – but can confidently say giving progestogen medication can probably prevent miscarriage. 

“Having miscarriages can be both physically and emotionally difficult for women and their partners. Finding a therapy to help reduce recurrent miscarriages could help women and their partners avoid this and go on to successfully have a baby.”

Monday, October 15, 2018

Featured Review: Pelvic floor muscle training versus no treatment, or inactive control treatments, for urinary incontinence in women

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 18:09

Chantal Dumoulin and Licia P Cacciari from Cochrane Incontinence  wanted to find out if pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) helps women with urinary incontinence problems. They did this by comparing the effects of this training with no treatment, or with any inactive treatment (for example, advice on management with pads). We asked Chantal and Lucia questions about this recent Cochrane Review.

1. Please can you describe yourself and your Cochrane Group?

Since 2012 I have held a Canada Research Chair in Urogyneacoogical health and Aging. Our research program's overarching goal is to Improve continence care in older Canadian women. With this goal in mind, I partnered with a New Zealand expert in pelvic floor rehabilitation reviews; Dr. J. Hay Smith and a post-doctoral fellow and physiotherapist from Brazil, Dr Licia Carciari, to update our knowledge of the effectiveness of pelvic floor rehabilitation for urinary incontinence, in women. Conducting this review update will help inform my research program but most importantly will transfer the evidence to patients, clinicians and researchers with the overall goal to improve continence care, in women.

2. What was the background to the Review? 

Stress incontinence is leaking of urine which cannot be easily controlled (if at all) when performing a physical activity. Physical activities could include coughing, sneezing, sporting activities or suddenly changing position. Urgency incontinence happens with a sudden, strong need to urinate. This can often lead to not making it to the toilet in time to urinate, resulting in leakage. Mixed incontinence is where someone has both stress and urgency incontinence.

A wide range of treatments have been used in the management of urinary incontinence, including conservative interventions (such as physical therapy, lifestyle intervention, behavioural training and anti-incontinence devices), pharmaceutical intervention and surgery. This review focus on one of the physical therapies, specifically pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT). 

Pelvic floor muscle training is a program of exercises to improve pelvic floor muscle strength, endurance, power, relaxation or a combination of these. It is a widely used treatment for women with stress, urgency and mixed incontinence.

We wanted to find out if PFMT helps women with urinary incontinence problems. We did this by comparing the effects of this training with no treatment, or with any inactive treatment (for example, advice on management with pads). We also summarized findings on costs and cost-effectiveness.

3. What has changed in this update? 

In this update we included ten new trials, which did not change the essential findings of the prior review. However, the wider range of populations, countries and secondary outcomes within these new trials emphasized the strength of recommendation of PFMT for women with urinary incontinence. There is now one report of reduction of urinary leakage episodes for women with urgency urinary incontinence treated with PFMT and one report of better quality of life for women with mixed urinary incontinence treated with PFMT.

Of note, in almost all new included trials, the PFMT protocols were described in more details, with progressive training based on exercise physiology. Grade A patient reported symptoms and quality of life outcomes were used more often, in line with recent international guidelines recommendations. Finally, we are starting to gather data supporting PFMT cost-effectiveness and the results look promising.

4.  Why was it important to conduct this Review?

Earlier Cochrane Reviews of PFMT are outdated as new trials have been published. There is sufficient uncertainty about the effects of PFMT to suggest that continuing to update earlier Cochrane reviews is warranted.

5. What are the main implications of this research?

This review is important for clinicians and consumers.  Based on the data available, we can be confident that PFMT can cure or improve symptoms of stress urinary and all other types of UI. It’s also important to note that negative side effects of performing PFMT were rare and, in the two trials that did report them, the side effects were minor.

This review is also important for researches, since it highlights the need for more pragmatic, well-conducted and explicitly reported trials comparing PFMT with control to investigate the longer-term clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of PFMT for women with symptoms of stress, urgency and mixed urinary incontinence.

6.  What would you like to see happen as a result of publishing this review?  

The findings of the review suggest that PFMT could be included in first-line conservative management programs for women with urinary incontinence. Clinicians and health care providers should be aware of these evidences.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Cochrane July - September 2019: Highlights from Q3

Sun, 10/07/2018 - 20:53

Cochrane is for anyone interested in using high-quality information to make health decisions. Whether you are a doctor or nurse, patient or carer, researcher or funder, Cochrane evidence provides a powerful tool to enhance your healthcare knowledge and decision making. Our mission is to promote evidence-informed health decision-making by producing high-quality, relevant, accessible systematic reviews and other synthesized research evidence.


July to September 2019, was a busy quarter for Cochrane! Here we provide some highlights of the third quarter of the year.

Cochrane produces high-quality, relevant, up-to-date systematic reviews, and other synthesized research evidence to inform health decision making. This quarter we were deleted to hear that Professor Julian Higgins  received the 2019 Extraordinary Service Award at the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology 2019 Annual Meeting. Julian also has a long-standing history in Cochrane, contributing to the development of methods that are integral to the Reviews Cochrane produces.

An article was published in Nature, 'Out of date before it's published' which looked at how Cochrane is keeping pace with fast-moving research fields. It featured the work of Cochrane to increase the speed and efficiency of Cochrane systematic review production. Another article in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy comparing low back pain systematic review abstracts to their full text. It found that  "Cochrane review abstracts had substantial to almost perfect agreement with the full text"

Cochrane strives to produce evidence that is accessible and useful to everybody, everywhere in the world. We create Plain Language Summaries,  provide podcasts from Cochrane Review Authors, translate our work into 15 languages, and provide  Cochrane Clinical Answers.

The British Medical Journal 'Talk Medicine' podcast featured the work of Cochrane Austria in the Podcast "Fighting bad science in Austria". Gerald Gartlehner, Director of Cochrane Austria, explained how they are testing the truth of medical statements made in the media in order to support readers, patients, doctors, and decision-makers to critically analyze the information they encounter. The Skeptics' Guide to EM podcast talked to the Cochrane Acute and Emergency Care Network about their work and Cochrane. An article highlighting an innovative approach developed by WHO and Cochrane to ensure that global recommendations on maternal and perinatal health are up to date was recently published in BMJ Global Health.

 Cochrane is the ‘home of evidence' to inform health decision making. We are building greater recognition of our work and becoming the leading advocate for evidence-informed health care.

During Q3,  Cochrane started work on a series of advocacy priorities for 2020 and 2021. Cochrane’s Editor in Chief , Karla Soares-Weiser supported an open letter co-authored by the European Commission (EC), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Heads of Medicines Agencies (HMA), reminding clinical trial sponsors of their obligation to make their results public.  Cochrane  co-signed a letter to Norman Lamb MP, asking him to call on the UK Health Research Authority to add sanctions for noncompliance to their new research transparency policy, in line with UK Parliament recommendations. Within a few days, he responded in support of the letter and agreed to write to the HRA. Karla and members of the Cochrane Clinical Study Report Working Group also published an open letter in response to the FDA consultation on its Clinical Data Summary Report Pilot.

In addition, Cochrane will participate in an event at the EU Parliament on transparency and clinical trials in the EU alongside representatives of EMA, the EC and several research integrity and transparency organizations – presenting the importance of trial transparency for systematic reviewers.

A big achievement this quarter was launching 'Evidence Essentials: An introduction to evidence-based medicine and systematic reviews'. This online learning is freely available to anyone who is interested in an introduction to Evidence Based Medicine, Cochrane evidence and how to use it.

 Cochrane UK highlighted their work going into UK schools in an outreach programme to teach children about Evidence-Based Medicine and Cochrane. Cochrane also launched #BetterPoster templates for conference posters that have less text and a decluttered design with the main finding in plain English as the highlighted feature. And to help people understand what Evidence Syntheses is and why we need it, Cochrane Ireland and Evidence Synthesis Ireland produced this great video:

Cochrane strives to a be a diverse, inclusive, and transparent international organization that effectively harnesses the enthusiasm and skills of our contributors, is guided by our principles, governed accountably, managed efficiently, and makes optimal use of its resources.

In July, we made our 2018 Annual Review available. It highlighted Cochrane’s key achievements during 2018 and the strides being made on our major Strategy to 2020 initiatives.

In Q4, we will be gathering for the Cochrane Santiago 2019 Colloquium, with an excellent Scientific Programme being announced. This year’s scientific program is highly focused on the over-arching Colloquium theme, ‘Embracing Diversity’, which will be carried out through plenaries from global speakers, special sessions, oral presentations, and workshops. Cochrane also announced that in 2021 we will join with JBI, Campbell Collaboration and Guidelines International Network to host of the Global Evidence Summit (GES) in the Czech Republic, Prague.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Featured Review: Individual, family, and school-level interventions targeting multiple risk behaviours in young people

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 15:55

Findings suggest that school-based interventions may have a role to play in preventing risk behaviours

Health risk behaviours, such as smoking and drug use, can group together during the teenage years, and engagement in these multiple risk behaviours can lead to health problems such as injury and substance abuse during childhood and adolescence, as well as non-communicable diseases later in life. 

The Cochrane Public Health review team carried out thorough searches of multiple scientific databases and identified 70 studies that looked at ways of preventing or decreasing engagement in two or more risk behaviours, among young people aged eight to 25 years. The studies were divided into groups of individual-level, family-level, and school-level studies and most were conducted in the USA or in high-income countries.

Risk behaviours include:

  • tobacco use 
  • alcohol use 
  • illicit drug use 
  • gambling
  • self-harm 
  • sexual risk behaviour
  • antisocial behaviour 
  • vehicle-risk behaviour 
  • physical inactivity
  • poor nutrition

Lead author Georgie MacArthur from the Cochrane Public Health Group summarises, “The findings suggest that school-based interventions offered to children may have a role to play in preventing tobacco use, alcohol use, illicit drug use, and antisocial behaviour. We did not find strong evidence of benefit of interventions for families or individuals, although fewer such interventions were identified. 

Nevertheless, concerns around reporting of studies and study quality highlight the need for additional robust, high-quality studies to further strengthen the evidence base in this field.”

Friday, October 5, 2018

Featured Review: Non-clinical interventions for reducing unnecessary caesarean section

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 14:35

With numbers of caesarean sections increasing world wide this review looks at non-clinical interventions for reducing caesarean sections.

Caesarean section is an operation used to prevent and reduce complications of childbirth. While it can be a life‐saving procedure for both the mother and baby, caesarean section is not without harm and should only be carried out when necessary. The number of caesarean sections performed has been increasing worldwide. The aim of this updated Cochrane Review was to find out whether non-clinical interventions, which aim to reduce unnecessary caesarean sections, such as providing education to healthcare workers and mothers, are safe and effective. 

The review team from Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care  studied a wide range of non-clinical interventions drawn from 29 studies, mostly in high-income countries. 

Based on high‐quality evidence, they found the following interventions reduce caesarean section rates without adverse effects on maternal or neonatal outcomes. These interventions are mainly aimed at healthcare professionals (nurses, midwives, physicians) and involve using: clinical guidelines combined with mandatory second opinion for caesarean section indication; clinical guidelines combined with audit and feedback about caesarean section practices; and opinion leaders (obstetrician/gynaecologist) to provide education to healthcare professionals.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Recommended Dose podcast: long-time Cochrane luminary Jeremy Grimshaw

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 09:42

President, Campbell Collaboration & long-time Cochrane luminary

Named by Reuters as one of the most influential scientific minds of our time, this week’s guest wears many hats and pursues all kinds of surprising interests. Jeremy Grimshaw has earned a global reputation for translating evidence into genuine changes that improve human health. He’s a Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, President of the global Campbell Collaboration and a long-time Cochrane luminary. And as Ray discovers, he can make complex behavioural science, obscure music festivals and Formula 1 racing the most comfortable of companions in the course of just one lively conversation. Here, Jeremy closes out series 2 of the Recommended Dose with his original insights into health and social sciences research, and throws in some top musical tips for good measure.

Listen to Recommended Dose podcasts on SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher  or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. 

Find more details and our show notes the podcast page or follow on twitter  or facebook.

The Recommended Dose is produced by Cochrane Australia and co-published with The BMJ.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

World Mental Health Day

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 17:41

World Mental Health Day (WMHDAY) is being held on October 10th 2018. The World Federation for Mental Health is focusing the 2018 WMHDAY campaign on ‘Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World’. They want to bring attention to the issues our youth and young adults are facing and begin the conversation around what they need in order to grow up healthy, happy, and resilient.

Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Group works with authors from around the world to produce and disseminate systematic reviews of healthcare interventions for treating and preventing a range of mental health problems. Some of the conditions they cover include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, somatoform disorders and suicide.

One recent Cochrane Review of interest is ‘E‐Health interventions for anxiety and depression in children and adolescents with long‐term physical conditions’. Long‐term physical conditions affect 10% to 12% of children and adolescents worldwide; these individuals are at greater risk of developing psychological problems, particularly anxiety and depression. This Cochrane Review found that at present, the field of e‐health interventions for the treatment of anxiety or depression in children and adolescents with long‐term physical conditions is limited to five low quality trials. The very low‐quality of the evidence means the effects of e‐health interventions are uncertain at this time, especially in children aged under 10 years. Although it is too early to recommend e‐health interventions for this clinical population, given their growing number, and the global improvement in access to technology, there appears to be room for the development and evaluation of acceptable and effective technologically‐based treatments to suit children and adolescents with long‐term physical conditions.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Cochrane Russia for the first time in history publishes in PLOS ONE the results of the quality assessment of Russian clinical practice guidelines using the AGREE tool

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 16:08

Recently PLOS ONE published a paper from Cochrane Russia, a Research and Education Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, housed at the Kazan Federal University, which presents the first experience of scientific assessment of the quality of Russian clinical practice guidelines on the international criteria of the AGREE instrument.

The authors from Kazan, Kaliningrad (Russian Federation) and Phoenix (Arizona, USA) for the first time applied the AGREE II instrument to clinical practice guidelines for surgical treatment of diseases of the hepatopancreatobiliary system and showed their generally poor quality, highlighting as the best CPG that for chronic pancreatitis.

The AGREE Tool (Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation) has become the international gold standard for the evaluation and development of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). However, it has never been used in Russia to develop the health system and improve health policy, while the appreciation of the value of CPGs is high in the academic and leadership health community, and the need for quality CPGs is screaming today.

The AGREE tool is a method of consolidating expert appraisals, it allows assessment of the methodological rigour and transparency of the process of guideline development, ideally should be used in the process of developing CPGs.

Clinical practice guidelines represent the essential tool of health policy based on evidence. Their quality and reliability determine the quality of care and allow to achieve better results of treatment or outcomes in patients.

In the Russian Federation, the majority of clinical practice guidelines have been developed over the past two decades, and many are still under development. Their legal status, both in the provision of medical care, and in its expert evaluation, has not yet been fully determined. The issues of improving the development and use of CPGs in Russia are now widely discussed at all levels of the health system and at the highest government level.

This work was undertaken to improve clinical practice in Russia and to promote health policy development, namely, the development of clinical practice guidelines, dissemination and use that of CPGs that meet the best international standards.

Diseases of the hepatopancreatobiliary system are the most common diseases of the digestive system, requiring surgical treatment. The severity of their complications with high mortality rates and the currently used high-cost technologies for their diagnosis and treatment pose serious challenges for health systems.
The authors asked four experts in this field to evaluate, using the questionnaire AGREE II, independently of each other the following Russian produced CPGs, found as a result of systematic search: 1 CPG – for acute cholecystitis, 2 CPGs – for acute cholecystitis, 1 CPG – for acute pancreatitis, 1 CPG – for chronic pancreatitis, and 1 CPG on cholelithiasis. All CPGs were developed by the associations and scientific societies of specialists from Russia and CIS countries.

All six clinical recommendations received the highest scores for the domain Clarity of Presentation (46-80%) and the lowest domain scores were for Editorial Independence (6-25%), on the whole, experts rated the quality of recommendations low.

The authors believe that these results probably reflect the situation with the quality of clinical practice guidelines in general, and suggest ways to overcome this problem, in particular, the use of the AGREE II tool in developing new and updating existing clinical practice guidelines.

The authors, noting the limitations of their research and analysing the possible reasons for the low quality of the CPGs and the differences in expert assessments, justify the need to repeat the same study in two to three years.

The publication of these results in the journal PLOS ONE, a reliable, peer-reviewed open access journal, gives us confidence that this is the best way to make these results widely known internationally and in the rapidly developing Russian academic health community.

The lead author of this paper, the Cochrane Russia Director, Liliya Eugenevna Ziganshina says that this work represents the first humble steps of Cochrane Russia in launching a project for the systematic assessment of Russian clinical practice guidelines and clinical trial reports. This is essential to enable improvement of medical research and presentation of publications or reports on this research and clinical trials as a basis for the implementation of Cochrane strategy of Knowledge Translation in Russia. Introduction and implementation of unified systematic requirements and standards that ensure quality, reliability and independence of clinical practice guidelines based on principles and tools of evidence-based medicine are urgently needed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Cochrane seeks Business Analyst - London, UK

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 19:20

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Specifications: Full Time
Salary: £35,000 to £40,000 DOE
Location: London with flexibility to work from home up to 2 days per week
Application Closing Date: 26th October 2018

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

The Cochrane Library Business Analyst (BA) you will gather, analyse, validate and document business requirements using workshops, interviews, document analysis, site visits, use cases, business analysis, task, workflow analysis and observations, ensuring they are sufficiently detailed, reviewed, signed off, and kept up-to-date and are fully traceable. They will create and manage functional specifications and help identify and validate appropriate solutions, to support business objectives.

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

  • Experience evaluating information gathered from multiple sources, reconcile conflicts, and translate high-level requirements from the customer into detailed tasks for the technical team.
  • In-depth knowledge of feature definition, technical analysis, and software development processes.
  • Highly proficient technical skills/knowledge enabling you to work effectively with engineers and understand the technical aspects of the platform(s).
  • Ability to translate technical requirements into a form which is understandable by non-technical customers
  • Excellent written English
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to interact professionally with executives, managers, and subject matter experts.
  • Ability to assess project requirements and understand processes for gathering, validating and documenting.
  • Ability to understand and create workflows of requirements (user journey, functional specification).
  • Strong ability to translate business requirements to technical requirements that developers can use to implement.
  • Able to work efficiently and effectively with a geographically-dispersed department and organization.

Cochrane is a global, independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesizing research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm and where more research is needed. Our work is recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to with “Business Analyst” in the subject line.  The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements for the post outlined in the job description using specific examples.  List your experience, achievements, knowledge, personal qualities, and skills which you feel are relevant to the post.

For further information, please see the full job description.

Deadline for applications: 26th October 2018 (12 midnight GMT)

Interviews to be held on: (TBC)


Monday, October 1, 2018 Category: Jobs

Cochrane Summer School 2018

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 17:01

Improving Cochrane evidence uptake in clinical practice is a joint goal of Cochrane Neurological Sciences and Cochrane Italy. They have been making progress with their annual Summer Schools. Over a week they gather young doctors to talk about clinical decision making, evidence-based medicine, and the methodology behind Cochrane Reviews.

Thursday, October 11, 2018