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Updated: 9 hours 22 min ago

Job vacancies with Cochrane Infectious Diseases - Liverpool, UK

Wed, 02/10/2021 - 16:30

The  Centre for Evidence Synthesis in Global Health has led developments in systematic reviews in tropical medicine and international health. In the 1990s, staff contributed to setting up Cochrane, and established the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG). This is now recognised as one of Cochrane’s premier groups, with over 150 Cochrane reviews and 600 authors, and is well-linked with the World Health Organization. Two job positions are currently being advertised with the Centre.

Take a look at  and where you will find annual reports of our work and learn more about the CIDG team. If you have any further informal inquiries, please contact:


Research Assistant in Evidence Synthesis (COVID-19)

Based in Liverpool, we are currently looking for a Research Assistant to join the team of 11 staff to contribute to public health and clinical Cochrane reviews relevant to COVID-19. CIDG work closely with the Central Cochrane Editorial Unit in prioritising and completing relevant reviews. We have published reviews in public health measures including quarantine, diagnostic tests and treatments. We are currently working on reviews related to aerosol transmission, public health, and vaccines, ivermectin, and prevalence of the Long COVID Syndrome; and on diagnostic COVID-19 review updates, collaborating with an international team organised from the University of Birmingham.


The successful candidate will have a Master degree that includes training in interpreting quantitative data; ideally you will also hold a postgraduate qualification in epidemiology or related quantitative topic. You will have experience in biomedical or social science research in low and middle-income countries and have the ability to critically appraise medical literature at postgraduate level. A PhD is desirable. You need clear evidence of critical insight into priority policy questions in international health relevant to infectious diseases, and experience in diagnostic test research is desirable. If you have authored a Cochrane review, have experience of using GRADE, or have a track record in published research, it will be an added advantage to your application. 



Clinical Research Associate (Evidence Synthesis) 

Based in Liverpool, we are currently looking for a Clinical Research Associate to join the team of 11 staff to contribute to the broad programme of research and development in READ-It. We are currently working on Cochrane effects reviews in COVID-19, malaria drug treatment, malaria vector control and TB and malaria diagnostics; and a variety of qualitive evidence synthesis reviews in neglected tropical diseases and TB. There are also methodological projects related to Cochrane review methods that there may be opportunities to be part of. We aim for a mixed portfolio to provide a broad exposure to evidence-informed science.

The successful candidate will have an MBBS and an appropriate postgraduate qualification. You will have experience and confidence in critically appraising medical literature at postgraduate level and demonstrate evidence of a critical insight into priority policy questions in international health in infectious diseases relevant to low- and middle-income countries. Excellent skills in writing in plain English are important to the post.

The post holder will demonstrate experience of working in a multi-disciplinary team with the ability to work collaboratively as well as independently. We want people who have an enthusiastic approach to work and possess excellent attention to detail. Strong communication, time and organisational skills are pivotal as you will be responsible for ensuring effective communication flow within the project team. If you have authored a Cochrane review, have experience of using GRADE, have a track record in published research or possess a PhD in a relevant field, it will be an added advantage to your application. You will also contribute to the postgraduate teaching programme in critical appraisal and evidence synthesis.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 Category: Jobs

Is chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine useful in treating people with COVID-19, or in preventing infection in people who have been exposed to the virus?

Wed, 02/10/2021 - 13:51

COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. If the infection becomes severe, people may need intensive care and support in hospital, including mechanical ventilation.

Drugs used for other diseases were tried out in COVID-19, and this included chloroquine, used for malaria; and hydroxychloroquine used for rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus. The authors sought evidence of the effects of these drugs in treating people ill with the disease; in preventing the disease in people at risk of getting the disease, such as health workers; and people exposed to the virus developing the disease.

Key messages

  • Hydroxychloroquine does not reduce deaths from COVID-19, and probably does not reduce the number of people needing mechanical ventilation.
  • Hydroxychloroquine caused more unwanted effects than a placebo treatment, though it did not appear to increase the number of serious unwanted effects.
  • The authors do not think new studies of hydroxychloroquine should be started for treatment of COVID-19.

Bhagteshwar Singh, Lead author of this review and Clinical Research Fellow at the Institute of Infection, Veterinary & Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool explains,

“Early in the pandemic, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine had been put forward as potential drugs for treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Evidence from initial studies was inadequate, but more recent reports from larger trials meant we could conclude in our review that hydroxychloroquine is not beneficial for patients with COVID-19 who require care in hospital. The evidence is less clear for prevention of COVID-19 and for people being treated as outpatients. However, with no benefit when used for treatment of severe COVID-19, a benefit in these situations is unlikely.”

Senior author Dr Tom Fletcher added: “This review certainly should put a line under using this drug to treat COVID-19, but some countries and health providers are still caught up in the earlier hype and prescribing the drug. We hope this review will help these practices end soon."

What was studied in the review?
The team searched for studies that looked at giving chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to people with COVID-19; people at risk of being exposed to the virus; and people who have been exposed to the virus.

They found 14 relevant studies: 12 studies of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine used to treat COVID-19 in 8569 adults; two studies of hydroxychloroquine to stop COVID-19 in 3346 adults who had been exposed to the virus but had no symptoms of infection. The authors did not find any completed studies of these medicines to stop COVID-19 in people who were at risk of exposure to the virus; studies are still under way.

The studies took place in China, Brazil, Egypt, Iran, Taiwan, North America, and Europe; one study was worldwide. Some studies were partly funded by pharmaceutical companies that manufacture hydroxychloroquine.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Cochrane receives an Innovate UK grant to fund further development of the COVID-19 Study Register

Wed, 02/10/2021 - 11:12

Cochrane is delighted to announce the awarding of a grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to fund the continued development and enhancement of the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register throughout 2021.

Cochrane’s COVID-19 Study Register, launched in April 2020, is a curated collection for researchers to access all relevant primary studies being published related to COVID-19. The Register helps systematic reviewers prioritise topics, identify available evidence and produce urgently needed reviews for front-line health professionals, public health policymakers and research teams developing new therapeutic, diagnostic, and preventive interventions for COVID-19. 

The grant was awarded to Cochrane in partnership with Metaxis, which has been involved in the development of the Study Register since its launch.

Funding from this Innovate UK grant will be dedicated to making enhancements to the data curation processes that assist in populating the Register, which currently includes nearly 42,000 studies. The Register team plans to develop its crowdsourcing and machine learning (AI) capabilities that will help to identify, link, describe, and appraise studies in near real-time to significantly aid discoverability, as well increasing accessibility via an Open API. This new crowdsourcing and machine learning development is divided into six work packages as follows. 

  • Crowdsourcing study linking: 
    We will deliver a semi-automated approach to linking related reports through the use of a crowdsourced task. 
  • Crowdsourcing quality assessment: 
    We will deliver a new task on Cochrane Crowd that will allow contributors to perform a risk of bias assessment on randomised trials related to COVID-19.
  • Automation of study characteristics:
    This work package will deliver a range of machine learning classifiers that will then work in partnership with human annotators enabling us to better keep pace with the large quantity of research being produced.
  • Further develop and populate the register:
    We will populate, enrich, and add more features to the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register so it can keep up with the exponential growth in COVID-19 research and to enable researchers to navigate this research in a timely fashion.
  • Enhanced curation:
    All Cochrane study data are managed in the Cochrane Register of Studies, a large repository of linked clinical trials which enables the use of new technologies such as crowdsourcing and machine learning to play an increasing role in the identification and tagging of studies. We will add new capabilities to the Cochrane Register of Studies to better support the new workflows and curation activities described in work packages 1 to 4.
  • Open API/ improve the information security:
    Having developed the above technology, we want to make sure the information is easily accessible. The public API will expose RESTful micro-service endpoints for 1.) vocabulary access; 2.) COVID study register content search; and 3.) PICO micrograph data access.

Cochrane Crowd, Cochrane’s citizen science platform, will facilitate the crowdsourcing, linking studies and assessing quality. Thus far, the Crowd has contributed to identifying thousands of relevant COVID-19 studies via the COVID Quest task.

Charlotte Pestridge, Head of Cochrane’s Publishing, Research, and Development Department and Project Lead said: “This is fabulous news; this grant secures resource to innovatively enhance the COVID-19 Study Register throughout 2021. The work we’ve planned means the Register will be strengthened and further developed to become the definitive resource for primary research studies on COVID-19. This will provide researchers and policy-makers with rapid, up-to-date access to relevant evidence and enable rapid evidence synthesis in combating the global pandemic.”

Dr Gordon Dooley, Managing Director of Metaxis, who has worked on the Study Register since its launch, said: “This is really exciting news and we are delighted to be a key partner in this project. Our aim is to use the funding to make our processes for identifying and classifying COVID-19 study references more accurate and efficient, including the linking of different references for the same studies.”

He added: “With the planned enhancements to our Cochrane Crowd tasks and the integration of machine learning classifiers into the Cochrane Register of Studies, researchers and systematic reviewers will see references with full classifications being added to the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register much more quickly. Our efforts to make COVID-19 evidence rapidly visible will assist them in prioritising COVID-19 topics and identifying available evidence to produce urgently needed reviews that will, in turn, inform decision-making for front-line health professionals.”

Find out more about Cochrane’s COVID-19 Study Register at

Thursday, February 11, 2021

International Women's Day Panel on diversity in health evidence synthesis - 8 March 2021

Tue, 02/09/2021 - 21:42

International Women's Day is March 8th! Join us as we discuss and highlight minority women and young investigators working in health science and evidence synthesis. Hear about their career paths, who has inspired them, and what advice they have for other women interested in or working in health evidence synthesis.  Learn about Cochrane’s role in evidence Synthesis and how anyone can get involved.

Each year Cochrane hosts an event in the name of Anne Anderson, a pioneering woman in health evidence synthesis.  In the past it's been the 'Ann Anderson Walk' at the Cochrane Colloquium to raise money for the annual Anne Anderson Award. This year, the Cochrane US Network is thrilled to be hosting a virtual panel, which will highlight the stories of five amazing women and kick-off a special virtual Ann Anderson community activity.  Registration is FREE for this exciting virtual event  - everyone is welcome to attend!

When: 8 March 2021 2-3 pm EST (view in your time zone)
Register: (You will need to create a password to complete registration)

Who was Anne Anderson?

Anne Anderson was a contributor to the stream of thinking and effort that gave birth to evidence-based health care. A clinically qualified reproductive physiologist, Anne had an active interest in women’s health, co-editing the first edition of Women’s Problems in General Practice with Ann McPherson and contributed to Effectiveness and Satisfaction in Antenatal Care (1982), edited by Murray Enkin and Iain Chalmers. She was discussing with Marc Keirse and Iain Chalmers the possibility of co-editing a companion volume on elective birth, however her premature death from breast cancer in 1983 ended her involvement. Anne Anderson was 46 years old when she died. Iain Chalmers, Murray Enkin and Marc Keirse went on to publish Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (ECPC) in 1989, dedicating the book in part to Anne. ECPC, through its systematic approach to assessing the research literature, is widely acknowledged to have led to development of Cochrane (more about Anne Anderson: Wikipedia).

Who is part of this year's panel?

Tiffany Duque is a global health and research consultant and has worked for 20 years in the fields of nutrition, health programs, and research in multiple countries. In her current role as Senior Officer of the Cochrane US Network, she strives to increase the advocacy and use of evidence synthesis in the US, toward the goal of better health outcomes for all people living in the United States. Prior to her role with Cochrane, Ms Duque worked in Colombia with the Global Alliance of Improved Nutrition as Principal Investigator for a nutrient supplement and breastfeeding research project in underserved communities.  In prior projects she worked with UNICEF Headquarters to develop updated global guidance on infant and young child nutrition and complementary feeding and for World Vision South Africa on a nutrition and HIV community intervention program. She also worked for 8 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, serving as program manager for the Micronutrient Malnutrition program. Ms. Duque has lived in several cities and countries and currently resides with her two young children and husband in Los Angeles, California.

Dr.  Patricia Heyn is an Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Deputy Director of the US Cochrane University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado.  She is the editor for the Review Articles of The Gerontologist in addition to serving on many editorial boards of highly cited peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Heyn has been involved in synthesis methodology and applied clinical gerontology and rehabilitation research for over 20 years.  Her investigations are aimed to find innovative solutions to (1) increase healthy lifestyle behavior; (2) prevent or delay the onset of neurodegenerative disease with exercise and/or cognitive training; and (3) evaluate protective/risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  She is well-known for her distinctive knowledge in evidence-based methodologies and clinical practice guidelines. Her meta-analysis study on the effects of exercise training for individuals with dementia is recognized as one of the most cited articles from the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is highly scored in Altmetric. Her research was featured in the La Nación, Argentina's leading newspaper and is frequently cited in various media such as, WIKIBOOKS, ABC 7 News and the Alzheimer’s Association.  Dr. Heyn is from Brazil and currently resides in Denver, Colorado.

Dr.  Shayesteh Jahanfar is currently Associate Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine in the MPH Program at Tuft’s University School of Medicine.  Dr. Jahanfar has worked with Cochrane since 2002, starting from being an author, facilitator, reviewer, and moving up through various positions including committee member, Coordinator of Cochrane international events, Director of Cochrane Iran, Director of Central Michigan University affiliate, and now establishing a Cochrane Affiliate at Tufts University. Over the years, Dr Jahanfar has written almost 20 reviews and protocols, trained over 600 clinicians, educators, and students and supported knowledge translation activities and has been promoting Cochrane with any resources she can find and she migrated from Iran to Malaysia, then Canada and onto the US. She is a strong advocate to young investigators and mentors and trains multiple masters and PhD level students, in addition to her teaching and research, each year.

Elizabeth Centeno-Tablante is a doctoral student in International Nutrition at Cornell University in the research teams led by Dr. Saurabh Mehta and Dr. Julia Finkelstein. She is developing research projects in Ecuador focusing on maternal and child health and the intersection between nutrition and infectious diseases. Elizabeth has published a Cochrane systematic review on folic acid fortification for public health and other systematic reviews on the transmission of COVID-19 as well as Zika and Ebola viruses through breastmilk, which contributed to the update of WHO guidelines. Before joining the PhD program, she was a consultant for the World Health Organization, where she contributed to the development of global guidelines for nutrition and maternal and child health. Elizabeth studied Biology at University of Carabobo, Venezuela and earned a master’s degree in Biomedicine at the University of Laguna, Spain and in Clinical Trials at the University of Sevilla, Spain.

Dr. Reem Mustafa is a clinical nephrologist who is board certified in Preventive Medicine, Internal Medicine and Nephrology and is an associate professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She is especially interested in managing patients with chronic kidney disease and their other medical conditions to slow the progression of their disease. Dr. Mustafa is trained and has research interests in public health, research methodology, and clinical epidemiology, including utilizing pragmatic clinical trials to study the effect of different feasible interventions to improve the outcomes and quality of life of patients with kidney disease.  Dr. Mustafa also has experience with decision analysis and mathematical models for guideline development and critical appraisal. Her work with Cochrane includes extensive experience in the development and assessment of clinical practice guidelines through my work with The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) working where she has been involved with global guideline development groups including WHO, the Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN). Dr. Mustafa is a co-founder of the U.S. GRADE network.

Nimisha Kumar is a fourth-year medical student in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.  She also received her BS in Biology at IU. Nimisha served as the inaugural Cochrane Fellow of the recently established US Satellite of the Cochrane Pregnancy & Childbirth Review Group, where she worked on three reviews, carried out a prioritization process, and served as liaison to the Cochrane US Network. As part of the US Network, she contributed to the Opioid Workgroup, designed to update and initiate reviews geared towards addressing the effects of the opioid epidemic in the US with regards to mothers and infants. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Understanding health evidence in COVID-19 times

Mon, 02/08/2021 - 22:02

We all wish we were at least a little scientifically literate, so we can become competent enough to spot what is evidence based. Whether it's a chat over the fence with a neighbour or something you spot on social media, it's hard to know how to assess the quality of health claims. For many people  accessing health claims isn't something they've considered to do before or needed to do until now. 

The World Health Organization defines an infodemic as “overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – that occurs during an epidemic. It can lead to confusion and ultimately mistrust in governments and public health response”. This has been a particular challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, with misinformation being shared often, and fast.

Listed below is online learning that is freely available to anyone who is interested in an introduction to evidence-based healthcare, Cochrane evidence, and how to use it. A great resource for yourself and to pass on to family and friends! 

Cochrane Evidence Essentials
What? Four  free learning modules that give an introduction to Evidence Based Medicine, clinical trials and Cochrane evidence.
How? You will be guided through four learning modules by Eleni, a fictional character who is looking for reliable evidence to help her make informed choices. By following Eleni’s story, users can explore topics that include Evidence Based Medicine, clinical trials, systematic reviews, and how to find, understand and use Cochrane evidence. The learning is engaging and includes contributions from a wide range of subject matter experts, quizzes, short films, audio, interviews, interactive graphics, and links to further information for people who wish to learn more.
Designed for?  Designed for patients, care givers, family members (anyone interested in health evidence) policy makers and members of the healthcare team. 

Evidently Cochrane
Blog posts usually featuring new or updated Cochrane reviews on a health topic that aim to make Cochrane evidence really accessible and to encourage discussion about it. The blogs often include a patient or practitioner perspective. Run by Cochrane UK. 
How? Weekly blog posts and  special series with multiple blogs, and other resources, on one topic.
Designed for? Designed for patients, carers, healthcare professionals and clinical support staff and health researchers.

iHeath Facts
Quickly and easily check the reliability of a health claim circulated by social media. Supported by Cochrane Ireland. 
Submitted health claims are researched and checked by a panel to provide robust, unbiased response. 
Design for? 
The general public.

Students 4 Best Evidence (also available in Spanish)
What? A website pulling together resources on Evidence-Based Healthcare into one interactive space. 
How? Run by a global  network of students, from school age to university, who are interested in learning more about evidence-based health care.
Designed for? For those training to be a doctor, nurse or other health professional, or school student thinking about studying medicine or doing health research. 

Other related resources:

Friday, February 19, 2021

Prof Jimmy Volmink recognised with honorary doctorate for ‘individuals of exceptional distinction’

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 19:30

Professor James "Jimmy" Volmink, the founding Director of the South African Cochrane Centre, was recognized for his devotion to evidence-based medicine with an  honorary doctorate at the Ku Leuven University. 

Learn more about why he called the 'father of evidence-based medicine in Africa' and his strong devotion to Cochrane:

Jimmy reflects on reflects his personal and professional journey in this 'Recommended Dose' podcast. His current role at Stellenbosch - one of South Africa’s most pre-eminent universities - is itself a striking testament to the kind of change he has witnessed, worked towards and continues to advocate for. When he applied to study at Stellenbosch back in the 1980s, Jimmy was turned down because he was black. Almost four decades later, he holds the prestigious position of Dean of Medicine and Health Sciences at that very same university. Here, Jimmy shares with Ray how this and many other formative experiences have led to his lifelong, unwavering commitment to support and mentor new generations of students in South Africa and to keep on 'banging the drum about inequality' to affect real change.

Jimmy expresses his gratitude for the honorary doctorate and shares his thoughts on COVID-19:

Please join us in offering Professor Volmink congratulations on this honour and best wishes for the future.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Cochrane UK and Cochrane Ireland host online event; 'Virtually Cochrane', 20-22 April 2021

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 15:17

Registration now open for ‘Virtually Cochrane’, an online event hosted by Cochrane UK and Cochrane Ireland: 20-22 April 2021.

Registration is now open for ‘Virtually Cochrane’, an online event for all those involved with, or interested in, planning, doing, sharing and using health and healthcare evidence.

Everyone is welcome to register for a series of sessions on the theme of ‘navigating evidence and uncertainty’. Join live sessions or watch content on-demand. There will also be opportunities for networking, and access to a projects hub.

Patients, carers, patient advocates, and members of the public can register for free.

You can view the programme here and register here

Get in touch:

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Cochrane Living Systematic Reviews vs COVID-19: Highlighting the latest information

Wed, 01/27/2021 - 15:53

By September 2020, there were more than 3000 COVID-19 trials registered and the number keeps growing. Systematic reviews compile all the relevant evidence about a topic to help inform decisions. However, where new research is being completed quickly, like COVID-19, a way of regularly updating systematic reviews with new studies is needed, so that all the evidence can be used to support urgent decisions.

Cochrane has been developing ‘living systematic reviews’. These are evidence reviews in topics where a lot of research is emerging quickly. Living systematic reviews search for evidence much more regularly than standard reviews and incorporate relevant new evidence as it becomes available. Living reviews are important so that decision makers such as policymakers can be sure they have the latest evidence when making decisions.

Learn more about this work and how Cochrane has adapted to the changing situation and availability of evidence in this short case story.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Virtual Methods Symposium: Advanced Methods and Innovative Technologies for Evidence Synthesis

Fri, 01/22/2021 - 20:21

The US Agency for Healthcare Research Quality has prioritized a crucial need to disseminate health research findings. As such, a grant was awarded to Dr. Tianjing Li to convene a conference on “Innovative Methods Research to Increase the Utility of Systematic Reviews.”  Dr. Li has met this challenge by bringing together some of the world’s top methods researchers to present their work and help disseminate how systematic reviews can improve the quality, effectiveness, and appropriateness of healthcare by synthesizing the evidence and facilitating the translation of research findings. Due to COVID19, this in-person event has been moved to a three-session, virtual format -  that is open to all and free! 

Coordinated by the Cochrane US Network and hosted by University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus, this exciting conference program and speaker line-up aims to maximize dissemination, encourage implementation, and increase knowledge. The interactions at the symposium will include opportunities to engage, discuss, and share on topics including:

  • theoretical and practical methodological advances
  • empirical exploration of methods
  • assessment of feasibility and comparison of alternatives
  • implementation of novel approaches in practice
  • dissemination and implementation of complex assessment and analytical methods

This symposium will provide a unique opportunity to bring methodologists and review authors from Evidence-based Practice Center and Cochrane together. It is aimed at professionals with backgrounds or interest in advancing and disseminating research synthesis methods,  as well as young investigators; thus fostering collaboration among various disciplines and specialties while also developing the next generation of methodologists.

Session 1: Complexity in Systematic Reviews
February 16th 1:30pm – 4pm EST (Check in your timezone)
Session 2: Automation for Systematic Reviews
February 23rd 2pm – 4pm EST (Check in your time zone)

Session 3: Synthesizing Harms of Interventions
March 8th 11am – 1pm EST (Check in your time zone)

These sessions are free to all participants - register for one or all three sessions!  

Friday, January 22, 2021

Treatment for breast engorgement in breastfeeding

Fri, 01/22/2021 - 16:11
Friday, January 22, 2021

Cochrane ENT vs COVID-19 - Providing targeted evidence for clinicians

Fri, 01/22/2021 - 15:40

Healthcare workers supporting people with ear, nose and throat (ENT) issues needed to know how COVID-19 may impact on their care and how to protect themselves from infection when providing this. Cochrane ENT wanted to use their team’s skills to curate and deliver targeted evidence to support healthcare professionals and patients.

Cochrane ENT drew together an online repository of guidance and evidence about caring for people with ear, nose, throat, hearing and balance problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also worked with Cochrane Oral Health to fast-track three systematic reviews, are undertaking living systematic reviews, updated regularly, about ways to prevent and treat this loss of smell. They are also working with two patient groups who are advising them on the issues that matter to patients.

In this short case story, learn more about how Cochrane ENT delivered targeted COVID-19 evidence to support healthcare professionals and patients and what they learned in the process.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Cochrane passes 100,000 members and supporters

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 20:22

In mid-December 2020, Cochrane passed the milestone of 100,000 members and supporters! We are so proud of our collaborative, diverse, global community, made up of people from 225 countries. Hear from some of our contributors by exploring #MyCochraneStory.

Our 100,000th supporter to engage with Cochrane was Priscila Verduzco, pictured below. Priscila is an ophthalmologist from Mexico City. She is currently completing a master's degree in medical sciences at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She joined Cochrane to encourage and assist with research, training, and dissemination of evidence in vision and ophthalmology. To commemorate this milestone, we have sent some geek chic Cochrane merch to Priscila in Mexico, along with a certificate.

Priscila joins Cochrane as we have expanded our information on how to get involved and Join Cochrane. Included in these new pages are:

The pages also showcase Cochrane's Membership badges, which are available to download from the Cochrane Account portal for all of our members and where supporters can see their progress toward Cochrane Membership.

We hope you will join us – join in – and make a difference. 

Explore how to Join Cochrane

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Cochrane expands its reach with the launch of a new Network across China

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 11:47

Today Cochrane announces the official launch of a new network of institutions committed to promote evidence-based health care practice and policy decision making in China.

Made up of some of the country’s leading organizations in the research and practice of evidence-based medicine field, the Cochrane China Network will work with clinicians, professional associations, policymakers, patients, healthcare provider organizations and the media to promote the wider dissemination and use of Cochrane evidence in China; as well as supporting and training Chinese systematic review authors of Cochrane Reviews.

The Cochrane China Network is initially made up of the existing Cochrane China Centre based at the West China Hospital, Sichuan University; the Cochrane Hong Kong Affiliate based at the Nethersole School of Nursing, Chinese University of Hong Kong; plus seven other Affiliates including;

  • Centre for Evidence-based Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Affiliate of the Cochrane China Network
  • Centre for Evidence-based Medicine and Clinical Research, Peking University, Affiliate of the Cochrane China Network
  • Department of Evidence-based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, Second School of Clinical Medicine, Wuhan University, Affiliate of the Cochrane China Network
  • Evidence-based Medicine Centre, Fudan University, Affiliate of the Cochrane China Network
  • Institute of Health Data Science, Lanzhou University, Affiliate of the Cochrane China Network
  • School of Public Health and Management, Chongqing Medical University, Affiliate of the Cochrane China Network
  • Evidence-based Medicine Centre, University of Nottingham Ningbo, Affiliate of the Cochrane China Network

Mark Wilson, Cochrane’s Chief Executive Officer, said of the Network’s launch: “I am delighted to see these prestigious institutions and leaders join together to form an important force for evidence-based health care in China. Each Affiliate comes with its own thematic area of expertise and focus and many of these researchers and clinicians are leaders in the field. I am excited by the expertise, innovation and knowledge they will bring to Cochrane’s mission of delivering trusted evidence into health policy and clinical decision-making. I hope that this new – already extensive – Network will grow further and welcome many more partners in years to come.”

Tracey Howe, Co-Chair of the Cochrane Governing Board adds: “Over the past two decades Cochrane has taken a lead in advocating for evidence-informed healthcare, and now has Cochrane Groups in 43 countries, and more than 100,000 members worldwide. This new Network will represent Cochrane in China, supporting evidence-based practice and policy making, working towards our shared vision for better health.”

The Cochrane China Network, co-chairs explain, “The Network is made up of leading institutions with existing expertise in research and practice, from across eight cities in the country. The network members will work collaboratively to disseminate trusted evidence and champion the use and rigor of evidence, ultimately to enhance the health and well-being of citizens. Evidence based healthcare is a relatively new concept in China, so the inception of this Network is a huge milestone in building up understanding of this topic.”

The China Network is co-chaired by:

  • Janita Pak Chun CHAU Professor, The Nethersole School of Nursing; Assistant Dean (Alumni Affairs), Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Co-Director, Cochrane Hong Kong
  • Yan HU Dean and Professor, School of Nursing, Fudan University, Shanghai, China; Director, Fudan University Centre of Evidence-Based Nursing and Shanghai Evidence-Based Nursing Centre
  • Yinghui JIN Associate Professor, Centre for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

The formal launch of the new Cochrane China Network was held virtually on January 21 and 22, 2021.

The Cochrane China Network is part of Cochrane, a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health. Cochrane produces reviews which study all of the best available evidence generated through research and make it easier to inform decisions about health. Cochrane is a not-for profit organization working to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Cochrane’s work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility vs COVID-19: Collaborating to produce the ‘PregCov-19’ living systematic review

Tue, 01/19/2021 - 16:32

COVID-19 is especially dangerous for at risk populations, such as pregnant women. It is critical to determine how COVID-19 affects pregnant women and their babies. A regular systematic review methodology is not sufficient to synthesise the overwhelming amount of evidence produced daily worldwide. Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility needed to carry out a living systematic review, meaning the review would be continually updated, incorporating new studies as they become available.

The ‘PregCov-19’ living systematic review project commenced at the beginning of April 2020, and latest results from the living systematic review were published in September 2020. Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility created a webpage on the University of Birmingham website to highlight the project and make it easily accessible to pregnant women, researchers, and clinicians worldwide.

Learn more about this work and what Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility learned in the process by reading this short case story.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Launching Cochrane methods guidance in Spanish and Japanese

Tue, 01/19/2021 - 15:51

Cochrane is delighted to launch Spanish and Japanese translations of MECIR (Methodological Expectations for Cochrane Intervention Reviews) from Cochrane Iberoamerica and Cochrane Japan, respectively.

These are the first translations of Cochrane’s methods guidance since the launch of version 6 of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (see this Cochrane Editorial for more details about the Handbook’s launch). This is an important milestone in supporting the engagement of people with different native languages in Cochrane Reviews.

Access the translated versions of MECIR in Spanish and in Japanese. 

Ensuring that Cochrane Reviews represent the highest possible quality is critical if they are to inform decision making in clinical practice and health policy. MECIR are Standards that guide the conduct and reporting of Cochrane Intervention Reviews; they are essential the ‘how-to’ guide for Cochrane Reviews and are drawn from the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. All Standards are tagged as ‘mandatory’ or ‘highly desirable’. Mandatory Standards should always be met unless an appropriate justification for not doing so can be provided. Highly desirable Standards should generally be implemented but justification for not implementing them is unnecessary. 

The development of MECIR has been a collaborative effort over the years, involving review authors, editors and methodologists from all corners of our community. We are thrilled that this collaboration now includes Cochrane Translation Teams.

Dr Karla Soares-Weiser, Cochrane’s Editor-in-Chief, said: “Cochrane has published more than 33,900 translations of Cochrane Review plain language summaries and/or abstracts as of December 2020. Even though Cochrane Reviews are produced in English, having methods guidance for our Reviews available in non-English languages can help increase the diversity and inclusivity of author teams, especially for Reviews that need expertise from particular settings or countries where English is not a native language. The translation of Cochrane methods guidance is also important for review and methods training in non-English speaking countries as it reduces the linguistic barrier for researchers getting involved.”

Dr Xavier Bonfill Cosp, Director of Cochrane Iberoamerica, said: “The Spanish version of MECIR is a useful tool for Spanish-speaking authors and will contribute that high-quality reviews are conducted in the global multilingual collaboration that is Cochrane. At Cochrane Iberoamerica we are happy to have been part of this translation effort and we look forward to increasing its accessibility in the future through more interactive on-line platforms.”

Dr Norio Watanabe, Director of Cochrane Japan, said: “I am very happy and honored to publish the Japanese version of the MECIR, because I believe this can contribute not only to Cochrane review authors but also to anyone who thinks of interpreting results from systematic reviews in Japan. We are now planning to translate the latest version of Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions as a next step.”

Post written by Judith Deppe (Multi-language Programme Manager, Cochrane) and Ella Flemyng (Methods Implementation Manager, Cochrane)

Additional resources:

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Cochrane statement to the 148th WHO Executive Board meeting on strengthening global emergency preparedness

Tue, 01/19/2021 - 13:58

The World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board is meeting virtually this week (18-26 January).

The Executive Board, which is made up of 34 elected members from WHO Member States, is responsible for implementing the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly (WHO’s decision-making body) and to advise and facilitate WHO’s work.

Our statement highlights the ongoing contributions of the Cochrane community to the international COVID-19 response, and pledges support for WHO’s efforts in preparing for future health emergencies.

The full statement is below:
The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the critical importance of timely evidence-informed global health policy. Governments, healthcare professionals and researchers worldwide continue to seek answers to questions related to the treatment of patients, and how best to protect populations.

Cochrane is a global leader in the production of high-quality synthesized evidence to inform health decision making. Over the last year, we have worked closely with WHO by producing rapid reviews to answer its priority questions related to COVID-19. We published 25 reviews on priority questions related to clinical management of patients with COVID-19 and public health measures to prevent transmission of disease; these reviews are being regularly updated as new evidence becomes available. To help make sense of the large volume of research being published every day, we also launched and are maintaining one of the largest and most sophisticated registries of COVID-19 studies a living synthesis of COVID-19 study results and Cochrane Groups around the world are working within their settings to provide evidence for decision making.

While many countries are currently experiencing the highest number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, vaccines are starting to become available – giving the world hope for the future. As we begin to look ahead to beyond COVID-19, we should really learn from this pandemic and think about what preparedness for future health emergencies should involve, which surveillance systems are needed and what the research community can do to support WHO and Member States in preparing for this.

Cochrane is therefore committed to not only support WHO with its norms, standards and guidelines work with evidence synthesis throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to contribute towards ensuring global preparedness for future pandemics and health emergencies.

  • The 148th session of the Executive Board take place on 18-26 January 2021. You will be able follow proceedings on this webcast
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

#MyCochrane merchandise

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 21:41

Embrace your geek chic and love for evidence-based healthcare with Cochrane merch!

Over the years, branded items have been printed out to celebrate Colloquia and special events and milestones. Many take pride in wearing and using something branded with the global organization they are a part of or use - and it was time for a refresh! 

The Cochrane Store brings designs that celebrate evidence-based healthcare, take pride in the rigger and quality of systematic reviews, and show the world you are a supporter of high-quality Cochrane evidence! All money from sales are reinvested in helping people get involved in Cochrane. 

The initial designs added to the store were created by science illustrator Science Scribbles. Dr. Lauren Callender says, "For this project, I particularly wanted to draw attention to the fact that Cochrane is very highly regarded by the scientific community. I hope I was able to visually depict this and that people will really love the designs!"

If you're looking for something with just the logo or an item with a bit of humour, we have mugs, t-shirts and totes that cover that! These are great for those that want to share their pride in using Cochrane reviews or their involvement in creating them. 

 We love seeing your Cochrane items 'out in the wild'! Share your photos using the hashtag #MyCochrane and to be sure we see them and give you credit email your picture to and let us know your Instagram or Twitter handle so we can give you credit! 


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Eight ways to quit smoking in 2021: video talks through the Cochrane evidence

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 19:25

Stopping smoking brings enormous health benefits, but can be very challenging.

In this talk, Cochrane author and editor Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce talks through Cochrane evidence on the best and most common ways to quit smoking.

This talk is based off an article in The Conversation co-authored by Jamie and Dr Nicola Lindson, Cochrane author and managing editor of the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group. The talk was hosted by Oxford at Home, the University of Oxford’s weekly programme of live knowledge sharing online ‘tutorials.’

Monday, January 18, 2021