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Updated: 12 hours 7 min ago

Cochrane and OHSU announce support of new donor

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 15:18

Cochrane and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) are delighted to announce the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for Cochrane and OHSU's ongoing work to build, pilot, and scale a next generation evidence system to transform the translation of health research into practice. This system is a major component of Cochrane's wider technology development program designed to address the challenge of making sense of an ever-increasing amount of health research and builds on Cochrane’s investment in projects including Linked Data, Project Transform, and review production tools.

The next generation evidence system is developing new approaches including machine learning, crowd engagement and ‘living’ systematic reviews to change the ways health data are used to discover new insights for global health.

“Cochrane is helping to create new ways of synthesising the results of health research and this project will be an important step of that journey.” said Julian Elliott, Co-PI of the project. “These systems will be more efficient and collaborative and enable research to impact on health care in near real time.” 

This project has three components that together make a significant contribution to these novel systems:

  1. Building an active online citizen science community who will build skills and contribute to a wide range of 'micro-tasks' required to generate systematic reviews through the Cochrane Crowd platform.
  2. Developing, implementing, and validating natural language processing and machine learning systems that semi-automate the extraction of tabular data from research publications.
  3. Utilizing the above systems to deliver two exemplar 'living' systematic reviews.

The Foundation will provide a grant to support the work of Cochrane and OHSU teams and partners in the USA, UK, and Australia.

Systematic reviews that bring the best science to bear on clinical decisions are a cornerstone of patient-centered care,” said Mark Helfand, Co-PI of the project. “ Living systematic reviews offer the best option for a future in which the public contributes to timely reviews that can move the best evidence into practice.” 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Would you like to host a future Cochrane Colloquia or Governance Meeting?

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 00:56

We are looking for Cochrane Groups to host the 2020 and 2021 Cochrane Colloquia and the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Cochrane Governance Meetings.

Cochrane Colloquia
Cochrane Colloquia are the flagship scientific meetings of the organization and have been held annually since 1993 in different locations across the world. They bring opportunities for people to discuss, develop, and promote scientific developments relevant to the work of Cochrane, provide training, and help shape Cochrane’s future direction. They are a chance for the community to get together to discuss the latest topics in evidence-based health care and learn about Cochrane methods through workshops and presentations.

The Colloquium is currently organized and hosted by a Cochrane Centre, Associate Centre, or Affiliate each year. The host is responsible for the local organizing of the Colloquium with support from the Central Executive Team.

The 2018 Colloquium will be held in Edinburgh and hosted by Cochrane UK; the 2019 Colloquium will be held in Santiago, Chile and hosted by Cochrane South America. We are looking for other Cochrane Groups to host the 2020 and 2021 Colloquia.

Find out more about the criteria for hosting a Colloquium and how to apply


Cochrane Governance Meetings

Cochrane Governance Meetings are Cochrane’s annual business meetings. 'Cochrane Governance Meetings' is the new name for the Cochrane Mid-Year Meeting, and will be renamed for the 2018 meetings onwards.

The Governance Meetings are an opportunity for the Cochrane’s Governing Board, Councils, and Executives to meet and discuss the organization’s Strategy to 2020 and related targets, and how these are being developed and implemented.

Cochrane Portugal will be hosting the 2018 Cochrane Governance Meetings in Lisbon. We are looking for new Cochrane Groups to host our 2019, 2020, and 2021 events.

It is important to note that Governance Meetings must be held in Europe or an easily accessible transport hub. At a minimum, the location should be within two hours’ travelling time of an international airport.

Find out more about the criteria for hosting a Governance Meetings and how to apply

Colloquium and Governance Meeting hosts are offered support from the Cochrane Executive Team throughout the organization and hosting of the event.

The deadline for submissions is 28 July 2017.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cochrane's 'logo review' gets an update

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 18:56

Cochrane’s logo illustrates the summary results from an iconic systematic review: Antenatal corticosteroids for accelerating fetal lung maturation for women at risk of preterm birth.

See additional resources at the bottom of this article

Each horizontal line represents the results of one study, while the diamond represents the combined result - our best estimate of whether the treatment is effective or harmful. The diamond sits clearly to the left of the vertical line representing “no difference”; therefore the evidence indicates that the treatment is beneficial. We call this representation a “forest plot”. This forest plot within our logo illustrates an example of the potential for systematic reviews to improve health care. It shows that corticosteroids given to women who are about to give birth prematurely can save the life of the newborn child.

Despite several trials showing the benefit of corticosteroids, adoption of the treatment among obstetricians was slow. The systematic review (originally published by Crowley et al. and with a new update published 21 March) was influential in increasing use of this treatment. This simple intervention has probably saved thousands of premature babies.

Lead author Devender Roberts discusses the latest update to this important Cochrane Review in a podcast interview, and highlights the key messages that can be taken from this update:

What does this latest update tell us? What do we know that's new?
This update clarifies some methodologies and the answers to some questions, such as gestational age at first dose, or relationships between interval of first doese to delivery and outcomes - all things that can really only be determined by [looking at] individual patient data.

Is there a need for further research around different results in different settings of care?
There are many possible factors affecting outcomes in different settings of care, but no real explanation of how an intervention that is so effective over so many decades in higher-resource settings doesn't have the same effect in lower-resource settings. And in fact the WHO is sponsoring a trial to try to generate more evidence to help answer that question.

Related resources

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Category: Making a Difference

World Kidney Day

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 18:20

 World Kidney Day, held on March 9, is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys. To advance the 2017 theme, “Kidney Disease & Obesity: Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Kidneys”, World Kidney Day aims to promote education about the harmful consequences of obesity and its association with kidney disease, advocating healthy lifestyle and health policy measures that make preventive behaviours an affordable option.

Cochrane Kidney and Transplant (CKT) is concerned with the evaluation of care relevant to patients with kidney disease and the means of managing problems associated with interventions (chronic care, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and side effects of medication).

A healthy lifestyle is important not only in reducing the risk of developing kidney disease, but also in improving the lives of people with the disease. In a World Kidney Day feature article, Cochrane Kidney and Transplant editor Suetonia Palmer highlights the recent Cochrane Kidney and Transplant reviews that have informed lifestyle care for people with kidney disease .

 

More information:
For more information about these reviews and the work of Cochrane Kidney Transplant, please visit the Cochrane Kidney and Transplant website. To learn how you can contribute to the work of Cochrane as a citizen scientist, you can visit the Cochrane website about how to get involved.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Early bird registration and stipends now open for the Global Evidence Summit

Wed, 03/08/2017 - 16:19
Registration for early bird tickets open until 30 June 2017Registration has now opened for the first ever Global Evidence Summit! Register before the 30 June 2017 to get over 11% off the standard ticket price. 

This year, Cochrane, is joining with four other leading organizations – Guidelines International Network, Campbell Collaboration, International Society for Evidence-based Health Care, and Joanna Briggs Institute - to hold the first ‘Global Evidence Summit’ in Cape Town, South Africa from 13-16 September 2017.

 The theme of the Summit, ‘Using Evidence. Improving Lives.’, will highlight and promote evidence-informed approaches to health and social research, policy and development.

The Summit will focus on the opportunities and challenges facing low- and middle-income countries - a key reason why the Summit will be hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. The event is expected to attract up to 1500 delegates and will bring together many parts of the evidence community to promote evidence-informed decision-making worldwide.

Find out more at globalevidencesummit.org/registration-fees

 

Stipend applications open until 28 April 2017The Global Evidence Summit have also launched a number of stipend and bursaries to help consumers, students, and other attendees based in developing countries to attend.

A number of stipends and bursaries to help cover registration, travel costs, accommodation, and other expenses associated with attending the Global Evidence Summit are available for eligible applicants.

Cochrane are providing the annual consumer and developing country stipends. But the organisers have also received further funding to support delegates from a LMIC setting including policy makers and researchers as well as African-based students. Follow the link to find out whether you are eligible and how to apply. The deadline for Cochrane and Global Evidence Summit stipends is the 28 April 2017.

Find out more at globalevidencesummit.org/stipends-and-bursaries

 

Find out more at globalevidencesummit.org

Email: contact@globalevidencesummit.org

Twitter: @GESummit

Facebook: facebook.com/globalevidencesummit

Hashtag: #GESummit17

 

Partner organizations:

 

Press contacts:

Michelle Galloway

Cochrane South Africa

E mailto:Michelle.Galloway@mrc.ac.za

Jo Anthony

Senior Media and Communications Manager, Cochrane

M +44(0) 7582 726 634 E mailto:janthony@cochrane.org or mailto:pressoffice@cochrane.org

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Anne Anderson Prize: recognizing the enhancement and visibility of women in Cochrane

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 20:00

To celebrate International Women’s Day (8 March), we wanted to highlight the Anne Anderson Award, which recognizes a female member of Cochrane who has made a significant contribution to the enhancement and visibility of women's participation within Cochrane. The Anne Anderson Award is one of severally prizes awarded annually.

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).

What’s the goal of the Anne Anderson Award?
The goal of the Anne Anderson Award is to recognize and stimulate individuals contributing to the enhancement of women’s visibility and participation in Cochrane’s leadership. In the footsteps of Anne Anderson, many outstanding women continue to contribute and inspire other women to improve health knowledge for the good of their communities.

Who are some of the past recipients?
2016: Nicky Cullum
2015: Lisa Bero
2014: Elizabeth Waters
2013: Cindy Farquhar
2011: Caroline Crowther

What are the prize recipients awarded?
The 2017 Award recipient will be announced at the Global Evidence Summit, and receives a plaque from Cochrane honouring her contributions. The award recipient designates the cash award of $3000 USD to assist a woman from a low-resource setting with Cochrane activities; this will include how funds have been used to inform decision-making in a specific healthcare setting.

More information on the Anne Anderson Prize and how to nominate.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

New Cochrane Library Special Collection: Enabling breastfeeding for mothers and babies

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 11:05

A new Cochrane Library Special Collection brings together Cochrane Reviews assessing evidence on interventions to support breastfeeding.

This collection of hand-picked systematic reviews on breastfeeding has been developed to bring the best available evidence on effective care to the attention of decision makers, health professionals, advocacy groups, and women and families, and to support the implementation of evidence-informed policy and practice. The collection focuses on reviews of support and care for breastfeeding women, including treatment of breastfeeding associated problems; health promotion and an enabling environment; and breastfeeding babies with additional needs.  The Cochrane Reviews in this collection have been prepared by the authors and editors of the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group and the Cochrane Neonatal Group.

Related resources

"Breastfeeding: evidence on effecting support and enablers for mothers and their babies" - blog post from author Christine East

"Yummy, yummy in my tummy, getting big with milk from mummy. Getting preterm babies feeding orally - a roundup of current evidence." - Evidently Cochrane blog

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Breastfeeding: evidence on effective support and enablers for mothers and their babies

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 17:26

On 28 February the Cochrane Library published a Special Collection of Cochrane Reviews collecting the best evidence currently available supporting effective breastfeeding for mothers and babies. Here Cochrane author Christine East presents the issues and the context surrounding consideration of evidence for breastfeeding.

Richard Branson’s business priorities of employees first, customers second, and shareholders third not only prompts a rethink of the corporate world, it also offers an opportunity to consider a paradigm shift in our approach to breastfeeding. This important public health issue requires that policy makers enable healthcare workers and mothers to be educated, skilled, and supported, and thus meet babies' needs. Which babies? Which mothers? We need to consider singletons, multiples, born prematurely or at term, whose mothers may not be sure how or when to feed, or who experience painful feeding, breast engorgement, or abscesses, or the baby that simply does not want to (or is not ready to) suck. That is pretty much all babies, in all countries.

A new Cochrane Library Special Collection brings together systematic reviews conducted by a wide range of researchers, health professionals, and volunteers, to address these questions. The Collection highlights practices, such as support, for which there is a sufficiency of high-quality evidence, as well as others where the evidence is more uncertain or sparse. The spotlight is also pointed on important gaps in the evidence, including the lack of trials that guide education or support for women having twins or higher-order multiples. This is important, given that breastfeeding rates are lower in this group than for singletons.

As Alison McFadden and Mary Renfrew note in the introduction to the Special Collection, breastfeeding is an internationally important health priority, with far-reaching health and wellbeing benefits for both mothers and their infants. Despite this, only 37% of babies are exclusively breast fed, and this percentage is falling, sometimes disproportionately so in low-income families where it has the most potential for benefit.

Low breastfeeding rates worldwide mean that many women live in communities where breastfeeding is not the norm. This Special Collection provides an excellent starting place to act on the call from the Lancet Series on breastfeeding that “…genuine and urgent commitment is needed from governments and health authorities to establish a new normal: where every woman can expect to breastfeed, and to receive every support she needs to do so.”

The evidence supports actions and commitment that promote breastfeeding as normal, with the focus on the mother and her trained support team. Further normalization can be explored through research and practice initiatives that include: ways of enabling babies in the neonatal unit to receive only breast milk and to be breastfed; ways of educating and training healthcare staff to enable women to breastfeed and to overcome those challenging early days; and ways of tempering/tackling the highly influential marketing of breast milk substitutes.

Christine East, Professor of Midwifery, Monash Women's, Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Cochrane Library Special Collection: Enabling breastfeeding for mothers and babies

 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cochrane is delighted to announce our official support for the March for Science

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 18:01

The March for Science is a celebration of passion for science and the many ways science serves our global communities.

Cochrane is delighted to announce our official support of and partnership with the March for Science.

This event will be held on Saturday, 22 April 2017 - also known as Earth Day, a commemoration of environmental advocacy and science in the public interest established in the United States nearly 50 years ago. The March is being organized in Washington, DC, with satellite marches in cities around the world, to champion the science that upholds the common good.

The March for Science is a celebration of passion for science and the many ways science serves our global communities. It advocates for robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity, and for political leaders and policy makers to enact non-partisan, evidence-based policies in the public interest.

Cochrane Co-Chair Professor Lisa Bero commented, “Cochrane is proud to join this unprecedented global gathering of scientists and science enthusiasts to acknowledge the vital role science plays in all our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world. This march is an embodiment of our values—to use evidence to lead to better decisions and better health. We encourage all Cochrane members to get involved.”

The March for Science is interested in hearing from Cochrane contributors who would like to organize a march, speak at an existing march, or contribute in other ways. Here is the full list of marches. If you want to get involved in a march, please email admin@cochrane.org and we will forward your details to the appropriate march organizers. If you want to get involved in US-based marches, please contact Cochrane US for information.

We are also seeking slogans for march posters and other ideas to be put on hats, t-shirts, and posters for the march. If you have ideas, please email Holly Millward. We aim to publish these in early April to give you plenty of time to prepare.

For more information on how you can get involved, please visit the official March for Science website, or follow the #marchforscience hashtag on Twitter. Please also check Cochrane’s main news channel and follow us on Twitter (@cochranecollab) for the latest updates and resources.


For more information on how you can get involved:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Cochrane seeks CIS Support Team Member - Flexible location

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 21:08

Specifications: Part Time, 0.2 FTE, Fixed Term
Salary: Competitive
Location: Flexible
Application Closing Date: 08/03/2017

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

Job Description: The successful candidate will join the existing Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team which provides introductory and ongoing support and training related to Cochrane editorial processes, information technology, and study identification methods to the Cochrane Information Specialist (CIS) community. Support and training is guided by the needs of practicing CISs and current Cochrane policies and technology developments. The post is available for a fixed term of one year.

Requirements: The ideal candidate should have appropriate library or information science qualifications, current or recent experience of working as a CIS in a CRG, field or Center, an understanding of information, retrieval methodologies, particularly as they apply to the production of systematic reviews, experience in biomedical database searching, e.g. The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Embase, trial registries, etc.
If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “CIS Support Team Member” 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, download the full job description

Deadline for applications: 23/01/2017 (12 midnight GMT)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Governance & Administrative Support Officer - London, UK

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 17:12

Specifications: Full Time
Salary: £21,000 – 24,000
Location: Central London, UK
Application Closing Date: Friday 17th March 2017

This role is an exciting opportunity to use your experience in administration and/or governance to make a difference in the field of health care research.  

The Governance & Administrative Support Officer will be responsible for providing administrative and operational support to Cochrane’s governing groups, including its Governing Board and representative Council. Additionally, the post-holder will work on governance improvement projects led by the Chief Executive Officer’s office, and provide general administrative support to the Central Executive Team.

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

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and a professional telephone manner.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
  • Good IT literacy, including experience of using Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat; and web use.
  • Strong organisation and prioritisation skills, with a flexible and pro-active approach to problem-solving.
  • Ability to work methodically and accurately.
  • Awareness of handling confidential and sensitive information.

Preferred:

  • Previous experience of providing administrative support.
  • Experience of working with international staff and/or volunteers.

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. An understanding of Cochrane’s work and health research more generally is an advantage, but not essential.

If you would like to apply for this position, please submit your CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Governance & Administrative 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.

No agencies please.

For further information, please download the full job description.

Deadline for applications: Friday 17th March 2017 (12 midnight GMT)
 
Initial skype interviews to be held: week commencing 20th March
 2nd stage interviews to be held: week commencing 27th March

Friday, February 17, 2017 Category: Jobs

Join Cochrane Crowd and contribute to health evidence

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 16:30

Become a Cochrane citizen scientist!

Cochrane Crowd, Cochrane’s new citizen science platform, is a global community of volunteers who are helping to classify the research needed to support informed decision-making about health care.



The job of the Cochrane Crowd community is to review descriptions of research studies to identify and classify randomized controlled trials (RCTs), a type of study that is considered the gold standard for clinical trials. Reports of RCTs are then fed into Cochrane’s Central Register of Controlled Trials, helping Cochrane authors and other systematic reviewers around the world quickly find the evidence they need to determine whether a treatment works, or whether a diagnostic test is accurate.


Anyone can join Cochrane Crowd and no previous experience is necessary. Members find the experience helps build skills in evidence assessment, and by focusing their effort to a health topic of interest they can keep abreast of the latest research. Brief (and fun!) online training is provided, and any contribution is welcome, whether it be five minutes here and there or more focussed periods of time.


Want to get involved? Head over to Cochrane Crowd to sign up and start screening! And don’t forget to tell your colleagues, friends, and families – the more the merrier!

Follow Cochrane Crowd on Twitter, and email crowd@cochrane.org for further information.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Launch of Cochrane Inaugural Scientific Committee

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 18:45

We announce with pleasure the launch of our Scientific Committee which will strengthen the scientific integrity and oversight of methodological practice within Cochrane.

This important Committee will support the Editor in Chief and the work of our Methods and Cochrane Review Groups, as well as colleagues working in our Centres and Fields across the world. We welcome the support and commitment of these thirteen colleagues. Members collectively bring a wealth of experience and expertise in methods development, and the conduct of systematic reviews with many receiving prestigious awards, honours and prizes for their work. They hold senior academic and clinical positions, produce highly cited, high impact, including seminal, published work. Members also have expertise in guidelines, awarding and managing grants, software development and support many other high level Committees and research organisations.

Further information about the Committee members can be found here.

Please contact Jackie Chandler with enquires about this Committee.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cochrane seeks Associate Scientific Editors for the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 16:53
Deadline for application 10th March 2017

Cochrane Reviews are used to inform healthcare and health policy internationally. These systematic reviews should consistently and reliably use the most appropriate and scientifically justified methods. These methods are described in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, which is updated and maintained to ensure that it reacts to novel methodological developments and is informed by the latest empirical evidence where possible. We need to maintain regular updates to ensure it consistently reflects best practice in systematic review methods. Cochrane is expanding its editorial team to sustain this important, highly cited handbook.

We are looking for skilled researchers with expertise and experience in systematic review methods. We have four Associate Scientific Editor positions. These Associate Scientific Editors will support two Senior Scientific Editors and a Senior Editor.

Further information on how to apply and role criteria are outlined here

For informal enquiries please contact Jackie Chandler (Methods Co-ordinator)

Friday, February 17, 2017 Category: Jobs

Cochrane Haematological Malignancies seeks Research Associate - Cologne, Germany

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 06:05

Specifications: Full time, fixed term position (12 months)
Location: Cologne, Germany
Preferred Application Closing Date: 26 February 2017
Key words: Systematic review author, guideline development, project management, editorial base development

Roles

Contribute to the development of Cochrane Haematological Malignancies and Cochrane Cancer. Contribute to development of guidelines and systematic reviews funded by third party organizations.

ProfileTraining in health sciences/health economy (Master degree or equivalent). Knowledge of methods of systematic reviews and concepts of evidence-based health care. Excellent proficiency and writing skills in English. Fluent use of electronic communication tools. Team player but able to work with partners in an international network.

Place of work: Cologne (Germany)

 

Information

Dr. Nicole Skoetz (nicole.skoetz@uk-koelnl.de / +4922147896647)

The official job announcement (in German) is available on the University of Cologne website.

Please submit your application electronically including a motivational letter and CV with copies of diploma until 26 February 2017 using the button “jetzt online bewerben” at the bottom of the posted announcement.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Category: Jobs

Featured Review: Moisturizer for eczema

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 19:29

Applying moisturizers is an integral part of eczema treatment, but it is effective?

Please see more resources at the bottom of this article

Eczema is a chronic skin disease characterized by dry skin, intense itching, inflammatory skin lesions, and considerable impact on quality of life. Moisturizers are a cornerstone of eczema treatment, but it is unclear whether moisturizers are effective or whether one moisturizer is preferable to another.

A team of Cochrane Skin authors based in Bahrain, Denmark, and the Netherlands assessed the effects of moisturizers for eczema. Their review includes 77 studies, with a total of 6,603 people with mild to moderate eczema, and an average age of 18.6 years. Of the 77 studies, 46 were funded predominantly by pharmaceutical companies.

The review authors found that moisturizers appeared to have a beneficial effect, but the extent of the effect varied widely, and in only a few studies did moisturizers produce an important reduction in disease severity. There is a lack of convincing evidence that moisturizers improve eczema when used alone. However, the overall conclusion is that moisturizers are safe, prevent flares, prolong time to flare, reduce the amount of topical corticosteroids needed to achieve similar reductions in disease severity, and that topical active treatment is more effective when used in combination with moisturizer. Most of the comparisons included in this review were assessed in single studies, which did not allow the authors to assess consistency of results across studies for the various moisturizers.

“Moisturizers have always been an integral part of eczema treatment. Most guidelines suggest that consistent, frequent, and generous use of moisturizers is necessary to restore or maintain the skin barrier. However until the present there has not been a comprehensive summary of the totality of the available evidence whether moisturizers worked and which moisturizer you should use,” said Esther van Zuuren from the Department of Dermatology at the Leiden University Medical Center and the lead author of the Cochrane Review. “Since moisturizers are indeed effective it makes clinical sense to encourage adherence to moisturizer therapy. There is no evidence to support a ‘one size fits all’ approach as to which type of moisturizer should be used, so clinical decisions should be based on the currently available evidence, whilst taking into account the experiences and personal preferences of the person with eczema. And because moisturizers may need to be used in large amounts, it is also important that they are affordable to people with eczema.”

Related resources

Read the plain language summary

Read the full Cochrane Review

Visit the Cochrane Skin Website

Monday, February 13, 2017

Cochrane Innovations seeks Business Development Manager - London

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 21:00

Specifications: Fixed Term contract, Part Time- up to 30 hours pw
Salary: £50,000
Location: London
Application Closing Date: 09/03/2017


Cochrane Innovations are looking for an experienced Sales and Business Development Manager. This is a new part-time position to take a hands on role in selling and managing the business development for Cochrane’s emerging systematic review-related product portfolio, with particular focus on a new online training programme and systematic review production software.

As business development manager you will be responsible for driving international institutional sales and business development opportunities, including pipeline development and lead generation, and setting up and managing re-seller and distribution partner accounts. Position will suite a candidate who will enjoy working in a small organisation with exciting growth plans, whilst working on your own initiative.

Cochrane Innovations Ltd develops business opportunities on behalf of Cochrane. Working within Cochrane's principles, mission, and strategic goals, we create products and services that support evidence-informed decision making for healthcare professionals, researchers, policy makers, and consumers of care. We work on a commercial basis, with all profits returned to Cochrane to support its financial sustainability and continued focus on Cochrane Reviews.

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

For further information, please download the Full Job Description form here.

Deadline for applications: 09/03/2017 (12.00pm midday GMT)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Online Learning Designer - London

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 18:28

Specifications: Full Time (part time may be considered for right candidate
Salary: £30,000 - £35,000
Location: London, Flexible Location considered for right candidate
Application Closing Date: 3 March 2017

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

Our Online Learning Designer will take the lead in design and production of outstanding online learning resources, working with international content experts in the fields of evidence-based health care and translating complex technical research material into engaging learning tools. You will also manage and develop our training website, and help us to implement new technology products, including an xAPI-based Learning Record Store.

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 in design and production of online training resources.
  • Experience in web content editing (preferably Drupal, or similar industry standard).
  • Experience with software and systems related to online learning, including resource development (preferably Gomo, Adapt or similar industry standard), webinars (GoToWebinar), standards (HTML5, xAPI), learning record stores, and video and audio recording and editing.
  • Experience in writing copy for learning materials, and working with people from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both verbal and written).
  • Excellent organisation and time management skills.

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. An understanding of Cochrane’s work and health research more generally is an advantage, but not essential.

The majority of Cochrane Central Executive staff are located in London, UK, however flexible location or a part-time appointment are possible for the right candidate.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017 Category: Jobs

Support for health professionals reduces unnecessary use of antibiotics in hospitals

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 06:37

An updated Cochrane Review published 9 February has identified effective and safe ways to reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics in hospitals. Guidelines and policies that promote better targeting of antibiotics in patients who need them have the greatest impact when they are supported by the most effective ways to change doctors’ behaviour.

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, such as pneumonia. Antibiotic resistance has become a major public health problem with some infections no longer treatable using currently available drugs. Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria lead to longer hospital stays and carry a higher risk of death. Inappropriate use of antibiotics is associated with increased resistance, and studies have shown that about half of the time physicians in hospital are not prescribing antibiotics appropriately.

A team of Cochrane researchers from the UK assessed the effectiveness and safety of interventions to improve how physicians prescribe antibiotics to hospital inpatients. They also wanted to know how much variation there was among the different types of interventions they studied.  

The researchers found 221 studies from the US, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. The interventions were aimed at healthcare professionals who prescribe antibiotics to hospital in-patients receiving acute care, and those undergoing planned surgery. The interventions broadly fell into two categories. ‘Restrictive’ techniques applied rules to make physicians prescribe properly, whilst ‘enabling’ techniques provide advice or feedback to help physicians make more informed prescribing decisions. In both cases, the aim was to increase the number of appropriate prescribing decisions so that patients who were unlikely to benefit from antibiotics did not get them, whilst they were still used for patients who stood to benefit from them.

The researchers found high-quality evidence from 29 randomized studies in 23,394 inpatients that following either type of intervention 58% of hospital in-patients received treatment in line with prescribing guidelines, compared with 43% of the patients in the standard practice groups. The interventions shorten the duration of antibiotic use from 11 days to 9 per patient, and probably reduce hospital stay from an average of 13 days to 12 per patient. Data from 28 randomized studies of 15,827 patients showed that the risk of death was 11% in both treatment groups, suggesting that reducing antibiotic use did not lead to an increase in harm. Data from 26 non-randomized studies provide only limited evidence of an association between adopting the interventions and a reduction in hospital infections.

Interventions that included enabling or restrictive techniques were consistently more effective than interventions that relied on simple education alone (e.g. meetings or distribution of guidelines). Moreover, adding enabling techniques increased the effectiveness of restrictive techniques. However, only 10% of interventions used the most effective enabling techniques, (goal-setting, feedback, and action planning.)

Cochrane lead author Peter Davey, from the Population Health Sciences Division at the University of Dundee in Dundee, UK said, “This Cochrane Review shows that a wide variety of different interventions have been successful in safely reducing unnecessary antibiotic use in hospitals.”

He added, “We do not need more studies to answer the question of whether these interventions reduce unnecessary antibiotic use, but we do need more research to understand why the most effective behaviour change techniques are not more widely adopted within hospital settings. Future research should instead focus on targeting treatment and assessing other measures of patient safety, and different interventions that explore the barriers and facilitators to implementation. Appropriate antibiotic use in hospitals should ensure effective treatment of patients with infection and reduce unnecessary prescriptions. Successful adoption of the interventions we have studied could have considerable impact on health service, policy, and future decision-making for patients.”

Editor’s notes
Full citation:  Davey P, Marwick CA, Scott CL, Charani E, McNeil K, Brown E, Gould IM, Ramsay CR, Michie S. Interventions to improve antibiotic prescribing practices for hospital inpatients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 4 . Art. No.: CD003543. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003543.pub3.

This research was supported by grants from the Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

For further information please contact:

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

Media spokesperson:
Peter Davey
Lead Clinician for Clinical Quality Improvement
Population Health Sciences University of Dundee
Mackenzie Building
Kirsty Semple Way
Dundee
Scotland DD2 4BF UK
E p.g.davey@dundee.ac.uk

About Cochrane
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health.

Cochrane produces reviews which study all of the best available evidence generated through research and make it easier to inform decisions about health. These are called systematic reviews.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Join TaskExchange if you’d like to help on a systematic review

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 16:52

Keen to get experience with systematic reviews, but not sure where to start? Or perhaps you’re already experienced, and want to help out?

TaskExchange is an online platform that connects people needing help with their systematic review with people who have the time and skills to help. A variety of tasks are posted on the platform, from literature searching, article screening and translation and data extraction, to statistical analysis and consumer reviews. Whether you’re a complete beginner or very experienced, you’re bound to find a task that suits you!

Jan Witowski, fifth year medical student from Poland, was looking for more systematic review experience when he came across TaskExchange. He says,

“I had started to work on reviews, and I noticed TaskExchange on the Cochrane webpage. I saw an author team wanted help translating a Polish trial article, so I volunteered to do that, and was acknowledged in the publication which was a bonus for my CV. The authors have since offered me more translation work. TaskExchange has made it easy to get involved in systematic reviews and I’d recommend it to anyone wanting experience in evidence synthesis."

To get started with TaskExchange, sign up, browse the tasks, and respond to the tasks that catch your eye!

You can follow TaskExchange on Twitter to keep up with the latest news, and email taskexchange@cochrane.org for further information.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

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