Cochrane News

Cochrane Library Editorial: Cochrane reviews role in directing researchers away from biased primary studies

1 year 6 months ago

A new Cochrane Library Editorial has been published about the role of Cochrane reviews in directing researchers away from potentially biased primary studies. 

The editorial discusses new evidence that risk of bias ratings disseminated in Cochrane reviews can influence the citations received by the appraised studies. Specifically, after a review is published, papers at ‘high risk of bias’ due to selective reporting attract fewer citations than a comparable group of ‘low risk of bias’ papers. Whilst the effect is modest, it is notable that systematic reviews can redirect researchers away from wayward science. 

The editorial calls for more research on how to turn the weak signal provided by risk of bias ratings into a stronger one, to increase the efficacy of systematic reviews in shaping follow-on science and to complement more traditional signals such as retractions, citations, and journal-level metrics.

Karla Soares-Weiser, Editor in Chief of Cochrane, says, "Cochrane is a strong advocate for transparency and integrity in research. These issues go to our core: without access to relevant, unconflicted and accurate data, our reviews will not be of the quality we want. This editorial highlights the potential for Cochrane reviews, and the rigorous assessments carried out as part of the review process, to further contribute to improving the overall quality of health research."

Thursday, November 24, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Yoga may have health benefits for people with chronic non-specific lower back pain

1 year 7 months ago

An updated Cochrane Review, published in the Cochrane Library, suggests that yoga may lead to a small reduction in pain in people with chronic non-specific lower back pain over the short term, and that improvements in back function may be similar to those seen with other types of back-focused exercise. However, researchers advise that more studies are needed to provide information on long-term effects.

What is non-specific low back pain?

Low back pain is a common health problem. In many cases, there is no known cause for the pain and it is termed 'non-specific' back pain. For some people, the pain may last for three months or more and at this point it is termed 'chronic.' Non-specific low back pain is usually treated with over-the-counter pain medicines and exercise and does not require surgery or other invasive procedures. Yoga is sometimes used to help treat or manage low back pain.

What did we want to find out?

We wanted to find out if yoga improves function (for example, ability to walk, do jobs around the house, getting dressed), pain and quality of life associated with low back pain.

What did we do?

We searched medical databases for clinical trials comparing yoga practices using physical postures (often called 'hatha yoga') to any other treatment, sham (pretend) yoga, or to no treatment in adults (aged 18 years or older). We also included trials comparing yoga added to other treatments, versus those other treatments alone. 

What did we find?

We included 21 trials with 2223 participants. Ten trials were carried out in the USA, five in India, two in the UK, and one each in Croatia, Germany, Sweden, and Turkey. Most participants were women in their 40s or 50s.

Key results

  • For people with long-lasting low back pain without a known cause (chronic non-specific low back pain), after three months of doing yoga or not doing yoga, yoga is probably better than not doing exercise for improving pain and back-related function, although the improvements are small.
  • There is probably little or no difference between yoga and other types of back-focused exercise in improving back-related function, but we are uncertain about differences between yoga and other exercise for improving pain.
  • Back pain was the most common harm reported in yoga trials. Risk of harms was higher with yoga than with no yoga, but similar for yoga and other exercise. There was no suggestion that yoga was associated with a risk of serious harms.

What are the limitations of the evidence?

Because we did not find any trials comparing yoga to sham yoga, we cannot say how yoga would affect low back pain if people did not know they were doing yoga. Participants in all the trials were aware of whether they were practicing yoga or not, and this may have influenced their interpretation of whether their back pain had changed. In addition, some trials were very small, there were few trials in some comparisons, and the trials in some comparisons had inconsistent results. Therefore, we downgraded the quality of the evidence to moderate, low, or very low.

Lead Cochrane author Susan Wieland from Cochrane Complementary Medicine at the Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Maryland, commented,

“Our findings suggest that yoga exercise may lead to improving back-related function and reducing back pain by a small amount. Our findings also suggest that there may be little or no difference between yoga and other back-focused exercise when looking at improvements in back-related function at three and six months. At the moment we have very limited information on comparisons between yoga and other back-focused exercise with respect to improving back pain and for longer term effects beyond six months. Readers should remember that in each of the studies we reviewed, the yoga exercises were developed to treat low back pain and the yoga classes were led by experienced practitioners. The findings of this Cochrane Review will help people make more informed choices about their future treatment options.”


Full citation: Wieland LS, Skoetz N, Pilkington K, Harbin S, Vempati R, Berman BM. Yoga for chronic non‐specific low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2022, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD010671. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010671.pub3. 

About Cochrane
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health. Cochrane produces reviews which study all of the best available evidence generated through research and make it easier to inform decisions about health. These are called systematic reviews. Cochrane is a not-for profit organization with collaborators from more than 130 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Our work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. https://www.cochrane.org/

About Wiley
Wiley, a global company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. www.wiley.com.

If you are a journalist or member of the press and wish to receive news alerts before their online publication or if you wish to arrange an interview with an author, please contact the Cochrane press office: pressoffice@cochrane.org

Friday, November 18, 2022
Lydia Parsonson

Cochrane seeks Commissioning Editor

1 year 7 months ago

Specifications:  Fixed Term Contract Fulltime (Part time will be considered at minimum 0.6FTE)
Salary: £47,000 per annum
Location: UK
Application Closing Date:  27 November 2022

The Evidence Production and Methods Directorate in Cochrane is made up of three departments that are responsible for the efficient and timely production of high-quality Cochrane Reviews addressing research questions that are most important to decision makers.

The Commissioning Editor will be responsible for ensuring that work on high-quality, relevant  reviews is initiated, and for monitoring progress. Overall, this role will contribute to producing trusted evidence by:

  1. Working closely with the Head of Methods and Evidence Synthesis Development to identify priority Cochrane Reviews
  2. Working with Cochrane Review Groups and Thematic Groups/Evidence Synthesis Units to coordinate support for reviews in process
  3. Working with Cochrane’s Development Directorate in exploring funding opportunities for suites of related reviews and for individual reviews as necessary
  4. Overseeing initiation and completion of new and updated Cochrane Reviews against agreed priority areas that meet Cochrane’s mission

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.

How to apply

  • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here
  • The deadline to receive your application is by 27 November 2022. 
  • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples.
  • Please indicate the FTE you would like to be considered for in your application. Note that we will assess applications as they are received.
  • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
Tuesday, November 15, 2022 Category: Jobs
Lydia Parsonson

Cochrane seeks Evidence Synthesis Development Editor

1 year 7 months ago

Specifications: 0.8 FTE, Permanent
Salary: £45,000 per annum full time equivalent (Pro-rated to part time)
Location: UK
Application Closing Date:  27 November 2022

The Evidence Production and Methods Directorate in Cochrane is made up of three departments that are responsible for the efficient and timely production of high-quality Cochrane Reviews addressing research questions that are most important to decision makers.

As Evidence Synthesis Development Editor in the Methods and Evidence Synthesis Development team, you will be working on new and updated Cochrane Reviews prior to their completion and submission for editorial process. The role-holder will need to ensure that protocols and new or updated reviews will meet Cochrane’s quality standards.

The role-holder will need to be able to recognise when to refer methodological questions to colleagues with specialist methods expertise in the Methods Support Unit or Cochrane Methods Groups for further advice, especially around the assessment of bias and statistical methods.

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.

How to apply

  • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here
  • The deadline to receive your application is by 27 November 2022. 
  • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples. Note that we will assess applications as they are received, and therefore may fill the post before the deadline.
  • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
Tuesday, November 15, 2022 Category: Jobs
Lydia Parsonson

Cochrane joins public involvement pledge

1 year 7 months ago

Cochrane has joined other health and social care bodies in a pledge to improve public involvement in research.

Cochrane has signed up to the Shared Commitment to Public Involvement in Health and Social Care Research. The Shared Commitment aims to bring about changes which will drive up standards in health and social care research. The statement was developed in partnership with members of the public and was launched in March 2022 during Science Week. 

Public involvement refers to all the ways in which the research community works together with people including patients, carers, advocates, service users, and members of the community.

Dr Matt Westmore, Health Research Authority Chief Executive, said: “It’s great to have Cochrane joining our Shared Commitment to Public Involvement.

This shared statement, developed with patients, research participants and leaders in health and social care research, will ensure public involvement is embedded across the health and social care research system.

The entire research system is sending the same strong message. That public involvement is always important, always expected and always possible. The evidence is that better research results from involvement, and better research delivers benefits for patients.”

Cochrane is an international, not-for-profit network of clinicians, patients and careers, researchers, and policy-makers creating high-quality healthcare evidence synthesises.

Catherine Spencer, Cochrane CEO, said: “Cochrane provides high-quality, synthesized evidence for health decisions. Involving the public ensures that our focus is meaningful and our evidence is accessible. Signing this public involvement pledge makes a clear statement; the input and involvement of patients, carers, and the public is valued by Cochrane.”

Richard Morley, Cochrane’s Consumer Engagement Officer, explains: “Cochrane has a long and rich history of collaborating with healthcare consumers. The Cochrane Consumer Network has played a formal role since 1995 with over 2,000 members and 2 Consumer Executives serving on the Cochrane Council. We have recently launched a framework that will help guide Cochrane’s work to 2027. Signing this public involvement pledge solidifies Cochrane’s commitment to ensuring that healthcare consumers are embedded and central to our work.”

Maureen Smith, Chair of the consumers Executive, said: “Cochrane consumers have a long tradition of involvement to ensure that evidence is accessible, relevant, and responds to the needs of their communities all over the world. Signing this pledge signals Cochrane’s firm commitment to advancing and supporting the incredible potential of consumers in their roles as users of evidence and producers of evidence.”

Organisations who have signed the shared commitment include:

The statement, signed by leaders at each organisation, reads:

Public involvement is important, expected and possible in all types of health and social care research.

Together our organisations and members fund, support and regulate health and social care research. This statement is our joint commitment to improve the extent and quality of public involvement across the sector so that it is consistently excellent.

People have the right to be involved in all health and social care research. Excellent public involvement is an essential part of health and social care research and has been shown to improve its quality and impact. People’s lived experiences should be a key driver for health and social care research.

When we talk about public involvement, we mean all the ways in which the research community works together with people including patients, carers, advocates, service users, and members of the community.

Excellent public involvement is inclusive, values all contributions, ensures people have a meaningful say in what happens and influences outcomes, as set out in the UK Standards for Public Involvement.

Working together we will support the research community to carry out excellent public involvement. We will provide or share guidance, policies, systems, and incentives.

We will:

  • listen to and learn from the people and communities we involve and apply and share that learning 
  • build and share the evidence of how to involve the public and the impact this has 
  • support improvements in equality, diversity, and inclusion in public involvement 
  • promote the UK Standards for Public Involvement.

We will embed this commitment into the decision-making processes of our organisations.

Monday, December 12, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane seeks Central Editorial Service Information Specialist

1 year 7 months ago

Specifications: Part time 30 hours per week (0.8 FTE) - 1 year Fixed term contract
Salary:  £41,000 per annum full time equivalent
Location: Ideally based in the UK, Germany or Denmark. Candidates from the rest of the world will be considered; however, Cochrane’s Central Executive Team is only able to offer consultancy contracts outside these countries (1-year fixed-term contracts)
Application Closing Date: 20 November 2022

Cochrane has established a centrally-resourced Editorial Service to support the efficient and timely publication of high-quality systematic reviews in the Cochrane Library. The reviews that are published through the Central Editorial Service address some of the research questions considered to be the most important to decision makers.

Reporting to the Head of Editorial, the CES Information Specialist will provide post-submission search peer review as a member of the Central Editorial Service and to coordinate the Cochrane Information Specialists' Search Peer Review Team

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 locations are possible for the right candidate. Please note, however, that we are only able to offer consultancy contracts outside of the UK, Germany or Denmark.

We will consider extended notice periods if required for applicants who wish to honour existing contracts. We fully support remote and flexible working arrangements.  

How to apply

  • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here.  
  • The deadline to receive your application is by 20 November 2022.  
  • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples. Note that we will assess applications as they are received, and therefore may fill the post before the deadline.
  • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
Tuesday, November 1, 2022 Category: Jobs
Lydia Parsonson

Cochrane seeks Information Product Specialist

1 year 7 months ago

Specifications: Permanent Part time (0.5 FTE)
Salary: £43,000 per annum full time equivalent (pro rata to part time hours)
Location: Ideally based in the UK, Germany or Denmark. Candidates from the rest of the world will be considered; however, Cochrane’s Central Executive Team is only able to offer consultancy contracts outside these countries (1-year fixed-term contracts)
Application Closing Date:  14 November 2022

Cochrane is a charity and 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. They do this by synthesising research findings to produce the best available evidence on what works. Their work has been recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

The core purpose of this role is to advise and contribute to the development of Cochrane information products and deliver on key projects for the Publishing & Technology Directorate (P&T).

The majority of Cochrane Central Executive staff are located in London, UK, however flexible locations are possible for the right candidate. Please note, however, that we are only able to offer consultancy contracts outside of the UK, Germany or Denmark.

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

We will consider extended notice periods if required for applicants who wish to honour existing contracts. We fully support remote and flexible working arrangements.  

How to apply

  • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here
  • The deadline to receive your application is by 14 November 2022.  
  • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples.
  • Note that we will assess applications as they are received, and therefore may fill the post before the deadline.
  • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
Tuesday, November 1, 2022 Category: Jobs
Lydia Parsonson

Making health decisions: Sarah’s story

1 year 7 months ago

Healthcare decision making can be complex – learn from Sarah’s personal story and make use of Cochrane resources.

Evidence-based healthcare is the integration of the best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. It is often represented with these three elements in a Venn diagram with these three equally important elements. However, decision making in healthcare isn’t always so neat and uncomplicated.  Cochrane systematic reviews contribute to the best available, current, valid, and relevant evidence in this process. Cochrane is also committed to helping others understand evidence-based healthcare and the role of evidence.

Sarah Chapman, a former nurse with a long career in health research, had progressive hearing loss since early adulthood. Recently she was faced with a life changing decision if she would like to go ahead with an optional cochlear implant. In this video with illustrations by Karen Morley, Sarah talks us through her personal story of healthcare decision making and how evidence and other factors fit into her thinking.

 

Sarah explains, “We are messy creature full of messy emotions, living complex lives, and it's in that space that we make our healthcare decisions. Understanding evidence and learning to spot which health information is trustworthy is important to all patients and caregivers – and Cochrane has the resources that can help with this.” You can learn more about Sarah’s in her personal blog, ‘From Ear to Eternity.’

Cochrane has a long and rich history of collaborating with healthcare consumers (patients, carers, and the public). Presenting our evidence in a way that is useful for people making decisions about healthcare and advocating for evidence in health and care is an important part of our work.

Cochrane’s Evidence Essentials is a free introduction to Evidence Based Medicine, clinical trials, systematic reviews, and how to use evidence when making decisions about your health. It was co-produced with patients and caregivers and it is presented a interactive and accessible manner.

Catherine Spencer, Cochrane CEO, says “For Cochrane to achieve its vision, producing high quality reviews of health evidence isn’t enough. Cochrane aspires to a world where all health decisions are informed by high-quality evidence – which means people need to first understand evidence and how to use it. As Sarah’s story shows, making health decisions can be complex. Cochrane’s Evidence Essentials helps people understand health evidence and how to use it. We hope that anyone new to the world of evidence-based healthcare will find this resource indispensable.”

Friday, January 19, 2024 Category: The difference we make
Muriah Umoquit

How to communicate scientific uncertainty: A Lifeology and Cochrane collaboration

1 year 7 months ago

Sometimes people avoid talking about uncertainty in scientific findings…but they shouldn't! Gain insights and practical advice on how to communicate uncertainty in this free resource.

Science is complicated and inherently uncertain – it’s hard for scientists and researchers to know how to talk with diverse audiences about this. We are excited for the launch of ‘How to communicate scientific uncertainty’ – a free resource directed at communication professionals and scientists and researchers sharing their work.

Lifeology’s tagline is ‘The place where science and art converge’. They offer a platform that brings together scientists, artists, and storytellers to help people better understand and engage with science, health information, and research. One of the main ways they meet their objectives is through beautifully illustrated, evidence-informed, bite-sized ‘flashcard’ courses about science and health-related topics aimed at the general public and students. 



“Drawing on experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cochrane Convenes brought together leaders from across the world to explore and then recommend the changes needed in evidence synthesis to better prepare for and respond to future global health emergencies,” explains Cochrane's Editor in Chief, Dr Karla Soares-Weiser. “The Cochrane Convenes Report has a strong call for action for the research community to communicate scientific uncertainty better – this Lifeology course is a fantastic resource to address this.”



Author Nicole Kelp from Colorado State University says, “Uncertainty is complicated for all humans to handle, myself included! It was helpful to consider science communication from this empathic perspective while writing this course.” The Harding Centre for Risk Literacy reviewed a pre-final version. The course was reviewed multiple times by Muriah Umoquit, Senior Communications Officer at Cochrane.

This course has 43 cards illustrated beautifully by Jordan Hunter who uses the analogy of a Park Ranger helping people navigate the terrain with signage. “This project was a fun one to work on, “says Jordon. “The imagery in this course highlights the diversity of audiences and instead of text, I used symbols in speech bubbles so that the course can be easily translated.”




"Science communication thrives through collaboration among scientists, topic thought leaders, communication professionals, and creative visionaries like storytellers and artists," emphasized Muriah Umoquit, Senior Communications Officer at Cochrane and reviewer for this course. "It was great to join forces once again with Lifeology. This is the third collaboration with Lifeology, following the creation of the impactful resources ‘What is an infodemic and how can we prevent it?’ and ‘How to talk about vaccines when you’re not an expert’. We are thrilled to present our latest endeavor: a free resource on communicating scientific uncertainty. This invaluable resource is packed with practical advice and utilizes accessible language, empathetic storytelling, and relatable imagery. Join us and explore its enlightening content today!"


View the Lifeology course 'how to communicate scientific uncertainty' in:

Learn more about Lifeology:

Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Lydia Parsonson

Cochrane framework for engagement and involvement of patients, carers, and the public

1 year 7 months ago

Cochrane's framework to 2027 builds on existing work leading to consumer involvement throughout the entire process of research and dissemination of Cochrane evidence. 

Healthcare consumers (patients, carers, and the public) play a vital role in making sure that Cochrane evidence addresses important questions and is produced, presented, and made available in a way that’s useful for people making difficult decisions about healthcare. 

Our consumer volunteers are a vital part of our evidence community, and we thank them for contributing their time, skills and lived experience to the organisation. 

Cochrane supports consumer involvement and engagement in health research because it promotes transparency, accountability, and trust in the way that research is produced; results in evidence that addresses consumers’ needs; reduces waste in research; improves the translation of research into policy and practice;  leads to improved benefits for health systems and better outcomes for patients; is consistent with current health research approaches; and is expected or mandated by our funders, partners, and consumers themselves.

Cochrane's framework for consumer engagement and involvement to 2027 is a result of significant involvement of stakeholders: a task group, consultations, surveys, prioritisation exercises, and drawing on central strategies and previous work with consumers.

We would like to thank all those people who contributed to creating this ambitious vision and we look forward to the work ahead to make this a reality. 



Richard Morley, Cochrane’s Consumer Engagement Officer, explains; “Cochrane has a long and rich history of collaborating with healthcare consumers. The Cochrane Consumer Network has played a formal role since 1995 with over 2,000 members and 2 Consumer Executives serving on the Cochrane Council. This framework will help guide Cochrane’s work to 2027; upscaling our existing efforts and ensure consumers are embedded and central to our work.”



The framework has five elements:

  1. Engagement - a programme of communication about health research, evidence dissemination, recruitment and learning that helps more people use evidence in health decision making.
  2. Co-production - increase the number of reviews prioritised and that involve consumers in the evidence production process to ensure that reviews are aligned with users’ needs and support consumer involvement in the governance of Cochrane.
  3. Accessibility - a programme to improve health literacy amongst healthcare consumers that covers understanding evidence, health research, critical appraisal, and shared decision making, whilst working to make Cochrane evidence more accessible.
  4. Partnership - establish a range of international strategic partnerships, including patient groups, to develop engagement, co-production, advocacy and health literacy activities leading to the dissemination of Cochrane evidence and improved engagement and involvement.
  5. Evaluation and reporting - establish an observatory in order to ensure Cochrane’s work in engagement and involvement is evidence based, and to monitor and evaluate the impact of its work.

“Cochrane’s importance in the world of evidence-based medicine, its increasingly global reach, and growing membership, create an opportunity to significantly develop its work to engage with an international patient and public audience,” says Catherine Spencer, Cochrane CEO. “This framework ensures that patients, carers and the public are at the heart of what Cochrane does.” 

Chris Champion, Cochrane's Engagement, Learning and Support, explains how the framework fits in to Cochrane's engagement strategy and how you can get involved. 

Maureen Smith, Chair of the Cochrane Consumer Network Executive, explains how the framework fits into Cochrane's engagement strategy and is relevant to patients, carers, and the public.

Friday, March 10, 2023
Lydia Parsonson

Two key opportunities to inform global clinical trial policy: add your views

1 year 8 months ago

The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently running two consultations which will shape the future of global clinical trials policy. We encourage the Cochrane Community to participate. 

The surveys are being carried out following the passing of a resolution on ‘strengthening clinical trials to provide high-quality evidence on health interventions and to improve research quality and coordination’ at the World Health Assembly in May 2022.

Cochrane is submitting responses to both consultations at the central level. We also encourage members of our community who work with clinical trial data to also take part and share their perspectives.

Consultation 1: World Health Assembly Resolution on strengthening clinical trials

This survey requests input on implementation of the clinical trials resolution on a wide range of issues related to trials including data sharing, ensuring more representative trial populations, and planning and conducting trials in emergency circumstances. This is an opportunity to share examples of best practice and recommendations for improvement. The questions are available in PDF form here to help with preparing responses.

Consultation 2: WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform – draft guidance on reporting results in trial registries

This survey is a key opportunity to ensure that the reporting of results in clinical trial registries are fit for purpose. It concerns recommendations on the minimum elements of studies which should be reported. The questions are also available in PDF form here to help with prepare responses.

Both consultations close on 11 November 2022 – please consider participating.

If you are interested in finding out more about and contributing to Cochrane’s advocacy in this area, please write to Emma Thompson, Cochrane’s Advocacy and Partnerships Lead.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane Governing Board announces new trustees - Embedding evidence and governance expertise into Cochrane’s Governing Board

1 year 8 months ago

Cochrane appointments of two new governing board members, Professor Gillian Leng and Professor Wendy Levinson and says farewell to two retiring Trustees, Rae Lamb and Marguerite Koster.

Cochrane is an international non-profit network, which sets the gold standard for synthesizing health research findings  to facilitate evidence-based health care.  Cochrane Reviews, found in the Cochrane Library, are up-to-date, follow a rigorous scientific methodology, and are free from commercial conflicts of interest. Health professionals, patients, and policy makers trust Cochrane Reviews for their healthcare decision-making. Cochrane works with researchers, health professionals, patients, policy makers, and media representatives from around the world to make Cochrane Reviews relevant and usable.

Cochrane's Governing Board is responsible for setting Cochrane's strategic direction and overseeing the work of the Chief Executive Officer, Editor in Chief, and Central Executive Team. Tracey Howe has recently been appointed for a second term as Co-Chair of the Cochrane Governing Board.  Along with Co-Chair, Catherine Marshall, Tracey Howe,  announced the appointment of two new governing board members, Professor Gillian Leng and Prof essor Wendy Levinson and farewell to two retiring Trustees, Rae Lamb and Marguerite Koster.

Gillian Leng, former Chief Executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and current trustee of the Guidelines International Network, has over 30 years’ experience of working within the national and international worlds of guideline development and associated evidence and research functions. Her knowledge and understanding of the development and use of evidence based health advice, in the Uk and internationally, will be valuable as the Cochrane Board continues its work developing a secure and strong role for the future.

Gill Leng said, "Cochrane is hugely important for international healthcare and plays a vital function in ensuring effective, robust evidence is available at a global level. As the trend for ‘living guidelines’ increases, the role of Cochrane as an evidence provider will become ever more essential, bringing alignment where appropriate with the needs for guideline developers. I have been a strong ‘Evidence advocate’ since I was a junior doctor, I contributed as a Cochrane Editor for many years, and I welcome the opportunity to help shape the future of Cochrane."

Wendy Levinson, is a Professor of Medicine at University of Toronto, currently Chair of Choosing Wisely Canada. She has a wide range of experience from her volunteer roles as Chair or President of the boards of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the Society of General Internal Medicine, the Professors of Medicine, and the Canadian Association of Professors of Medicine and full-time positions including serving as the Chair of Medicine at the University of Toronto  and the Division head of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the University of Chicago. 

Wendy Levinson said of her appointment, "I admire the work of Cochrane and use the reviews frequently. Cochrane is undergoing major changes and I look forward to using my skills in leadership of large organizations, strategic planning, and fundraising to help support Cochrane’s future. Furthermore, my international network through Choosing Wisely may also serve to support Cochrane and build a useful collaboration, especially as we continue our important work identifying low value health care."

Catherine Spencer, Cochrane CEO said, ‘Wendy and Gill both bring an inspiring range of professional experience, which we welcome to help us navigate a new future for Cochrane. Both new Trustees also bring links with organisations Cochrane has partnered with and that rely on Cochrane Evidence for their work – the Guidelines International Network and Choosing Wisely.

We would also like to warmly thank leaving Trustees, Rae Lamb and Marguerite Koster for their service to and support for Cochrane.

Rae Lamb, is the Chief Executive of Te Pou in NZ, a national centre for workforce and leadership development for the mental health workforce in New Zealand, specialising in the development of evidence-based mental health resources and Deputy Chair of the NZ Quality and Safety Commission.  Ms Lamb initially trained as a reporter and broadcaster, then undertook a Harkness Fellowship in Health Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health and Institute for Healthcare Improvements in the United States. Rae has also served as a former New Zealand Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner and Australian Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.

Catherine Marshall, Co-Chair, said "Rae brought a wealth of experience in governance, organisational leadership, change management, complaint resolution and working with diverse stakeholder groups nationally and internationally. Rae understands the importance of evidence-based health care and decision making, and her professional, ethical approach has made a significant contribution to the governing board. We thank her for her work on our Complaints Policy and with the Complaints Committee and as a member of the Governance Committee."

Rae Lamb said “Cochrane and the work of its community is more important than ever in this late pandemic world where misinformation is rife. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to be part of Cochrane. I strongly believe there are exciting opportunities and times ahead for the organistion, its work and its people.”

Marguerite Koster,  Director of Evidence-Based Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, one of the largest not-for-profit health plans in the U.S., serving 12.2 million members. She oversees the efforts of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group’s Evidence-Based Medicine Services Unit within Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California Region, which provides medical care to more than 4.5 million members.   Marguerite will continue to serve Cochrane as a member of the Future of Evidence Synthesis Oversight Committee.

Tracey Howe, Co-Chair Governing Board, said "Marguerite was appointed to the Cochrane’s Governing Board in 2016 as one of its first externally appointed members. Marguerite has played an invaluable role as a Co-Chair of the Governing Board, Treasurer, Chair of the Finance, Audit & Investment Subcommittee, a member of the Remuneration and Governance Subcommittees, and the Cochrane/Guidelines International Network Partnership Advisory Group. Cochrane has benefited from Marguerite’s valuable experience in using Cochrane evidence to develop clinical practice guideline development, and inform health technology assessment, knowledge translation and evidence-based implementation."

Marguerite Koster said,  “Cochrane’s systematic reviews have been invaluable in informing evidence-based health care decisions within Kaiser Permanente. It has been my pleasure to serve on the Governing Board, especially to emphasize the vital role of the Cochrane Library in influencing health care policy and practice within a large health delivery system.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Muriah Umoquit
Checked
16 hours 49 minutes ago
Subscribe to Cochrane News feed