Cochrane News

Celebrating 30 years of Cochrane

8 months 3 weeks ago

Cochrane, a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and health enthusiasts is celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2023.

In 1987, the year before Archie Cochrane died, he referred to a systematic review of randomized controlled trials of care during pregnancy and childbirth as "a real milestone in the history of randomized trials and in the evaluation of care", and suggested that other specialties should copy the methods used. His encouragement, and the endorsement of his views by others, led to the opening of the first Cochrane Centre in Oxford, UK in 1992 and the founding of The Cochrane Collaboration in 1993.

Cochrane has released a new video to celebrate our 30 year anniversary, featuring interviews with key collaborators past and present.



At the #CochraneLondon Colloquium, Karla Soares-Weiser and Jimmy Volmink engaged in a thought-provoking discussion with Iain Chalmers, Muir Gray,  Jini Hetherington, and others. They explored the origins and inspirations behind the founding of Cochrane. View the PDF Slides.



We have also curated a collection of Cochrane Reviews that exemplify the enduring mission and innovative approaches taken by our organization. This Special Collection underscores the future of Cochrane, built upon its rich history of methodological diversity and unwavering dedication to meeting user needs.

Monday, October 2, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane seeks Executive Assistant to Editor in Chief

8 months 4 weeks ago

Specifications: Permanent – Full Time
Salary:  £27,070 per Annum  
Location: (Remote – Flexible) Candidates anywhere from the world will be considered; however, Cochrane’s Central Executive Team is only able to offer consultancy contracts outside these countries.
Directorate: EPM
Closing date: 06 September 2023
 
Cochrane is an international charity. For 30 years we have responded to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesising research findings and our work has been recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

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

To provide an efficient and responsive administrative, organisational, and logistical service to the Editor in Chief (EiC) and the leadership team of the Evidence Production & Methods Directorate (EPM). Support operational activities of the directorate, including management of the Editorial Board.
       
Don’t have every single qualification? We know that some people are less likely to apply for a job unless they are a perfect match. At Cochrane, we’re not looking for “perfect matches.” We’re looking to welcome people to our diverse, inclusive, and passionate workplace. So, if you’re excited about this role but don’t have every single qualification, we encourage you to apply anyway. Whether it’s this role or another one, you may be just the right candidate.

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

You can expect: 

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

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

How to apply

  • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here
  • The deadline to receive your application is 6th Sep, 2023.
  • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples. 
  • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
Wednesday, August 23, 2023 Category: Jobs
Lydia Parsonson

Jordi Pardo Pardo announced as new Cochrane Governing Board interim Chair

9 months ago

Cochrane appoints new Governing Board interim Chair, Jordi Pardo Pardo and says farewell to two outgoing Trustees, Catherine Marshall and Tracey Howe

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.

Cochrane’s Governing Board has appointed Jordi Pardo Pardo as new interim Chair. He will be taking over from Catherine Marshall and Tracey Howe who have been serving as Co-Chairs of the Board. Catherine's maximum four-year term will conclude in September 2023, and Tracey, whose term was set to end September 2024, has decided to step down this September due to personal circumstances.

Jordi Pardo Pardo, a longstanding member of the Board, former Managing Editor of Cochrane Musculoskeletal and current senior advisor with the Health Equity Thematic Network, will be taking over as interim Chair, effective from 5th September 2023. His appointment was made by the Governing Board during their May meeting. Jordi will serve in this role for a period of up to one year while a permanent Chair is recruited. The Governance and Nomination Committee will oversee the recruitment process and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

Jordi’s tenure with Cochrane dates back to 1997 when he joined the Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre and contributed to the expansion of the Iberoamerican network. He has been part of the Lung Cancer group, the Equity Methods Group, Cochrane Canada and Cochrane Musculoskeletal, before joining the newly created Equity Thematic Network.

"I'm humbled by the opportunity to expand on the work that Tracey and Catherine have led to transform our organization. As we navigate into a new structure, I’m excited to explore the opportunities that a move to open access could bring to Cochrane and the world. I’m looking forward to working with our talented community to grow our reach and impact.”

- Jordi Pardo Pardo

Catherine Spencer, Cochrane CEO, extended a warm welcome to Jordi as interim Chair observing: “Jordi Pardo Pardo has an excellent understanding of both the workings of the Governing Board and the purpose of Cochrane. His appointment is welcomed by the Central Executive Team to ensure continuity as Catherine Marshall and Tracey Howe’s time comes to a close.”

She further expressed sincere gratitude to Catherine and Tracey for their unwavering dedication, leadership and invaluable contributions to Cochrane while wishing them all the best in their future endeavours.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane seeks Head of Editorial Policy and Research Integrity - remote

9 months ago

Specifications: Permanent – Full Time
Salary:  £60,000 per Annum (1.0 FTE)
Location: Remote – UK Based
Closing date: 04 September 2023

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

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

The Head of Editorial Policy and Research Integrity is responsible for Cochrane’s editorial policies and research integrity and methods standards. They will ensure Cochrane’s review production processes and systems support efficient and trusted review production, with a focus on improving author experience. This role involves editorial and operational leadership, working closely with colleagues across the Evidence Production & Methods and Publishing and Technology directorates to ensure Cochrane’s product development aligns with its strategic priorities.   

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

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

You can expect: 

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

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

How to apply

  • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here
  • The deadline to receive your application is 04th Sep, 2023.
  • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples. 
  • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
Monday, August 21, 2023 Category: Jobs
Lydia Parsonson

Empowering Informed Choices: Cochrane China's innovative Knowledge Dissemination Competition

9 months ago

In healthcare, evidence-based information serves as the cornerstone of informed decision-making. Yet, the true impact of this knowledge lies in its accessibility and comprehensibility. Recognizing this, Cochrane China is running it's third annual competition that hopes to boost public interest in Cochrane reviews and fosters inventive pathways for sharing knowledge.

At the forefront of this endeavour is the Centre for Evidence-based Chinese Medicine at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, a Cochrane China Network Affiliate that acts at the Translation and Dissemination Working Group. This Working Group, in collaboration with the Centre for Evidence-based Chinese Medicine of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, the Cochrane China Network Affiliate acts as the Translation and Dissemination Working Group. This working group is jointly hosting the competition with the Center for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine at Wuhan University, the Second School of Clinical Medicine at Wuhan University, and the dedicated members of the Cochrane China community.

Cochrane defines knowledge translation (KT) as the process of supporting the use of health evidence from our high-quality, trusted Cochrane reviews by those who need it to make health decisions. KT helps to make Cochrane evidence accessible and useful to everybody while advocating for evidence-informed health care.




We welcome you to submit a KT piece to this competition! 

Simplified Chinese:
Submissions need to be in Simplified Chinese. If you start in a different language, you can always translate it. It is helpful if one person in your team can communicate in Simplified Chinese as most communication by organizations around the competition will be in this language. 
Open to all:
All ages and geographical locations are welcome to enter.
Get creative: A wide range of creative formats is welcome;  past winners include pictures, written work, and videos. Some previous examples include this stop-motion video and these infographics.
Unite together: Participants can choose to submit their work either as individuals or as part of a team, allowing for diverse and collaborative contributions.
Deadline: The deadline for submissions is 30 August 2023. 
Winners: Winning submissions will be featured on the WeChat public website and the BUCM Essential Perspectives on Evidence-Based Medicine video channel. There are also branded prizes to be won!
Get in touch: Find out more information or  ask questions at ebmvolunteer@163.com

Join the WeChat account for more information: 

Monday, August 21, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Engage in conversations with living 'books' at #CochraneLondon's Library of People

9 months 1 week ago

Cochrane UK is gearing up to host the much-anticipated Cochrane Colloquium at London's Queen Elizabeth II Centre (QEII) from September 4th to 6th, 2023. The event promises an enriching experience, combining learning, networking, and fun. The countdown has begun, but there is still time to register!  

On Wednesday, September 6th, during the lunch break, join us for the #CochraneLondon Library of People. This event offers a unique opportunity to engage in conversations with human 'books,' who possess rich life experiences to share. This informal and enjoyable setup offers a refreshing way to connect with others and gain fresh viewpoints.

At the Library of People, you can "borrow" individuals as if they were open books, delving into their narratives and have conversations about subjects that intrigue you. These interactions will take place within small groups, enabling meaningful discussions. Each "book" will come with a list of suggested questions to facilitate the conversation's outset. 

The Cochrane Book Club members will be your "Librarians," guiding you in the selection and discovery of your ideal "book". You'll encounter a rich variety of "books," representing diverse nationalities, various career stages, roles within the Cochrane community, and personal passions.

Mentee to Mentor - crossing continents Omolola Alade 

15,000km southeast of home (Ibadan, Nigeria) I was first introduced to evidence synthesis during a graduate course on Epidemiology at the University of Sydney, Australia. I struggled with homesickness, but distracted myself by interpreting forest plots and critical appraisals of systematic reviews.

Several years later, this time 10,000km northwest of home, having mastered homesickness, I became a mentee of the US Cochrane network. Working with mentors moved me from my distant, hesitant interest to being an active contributor to evidence synthesis. Now I am leading a research project, with seven other mentees, on equity considerations in mentoring programs for evidence synthesis.

Back home in Nigeria, I am part of an inaugural collaborative initiative between my faculty and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research to conduct several systematic reviews on oral health. I am also a mentor to the next generation of oral health researchers in evidence synthesis, mentoring three researchers in the first cohort of the National Oral Health for Development programme of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research. So, as you can see I have gone from mentee to mentor as I have travelled the world.

 

Translating best evidence to support disaster settings - Evidence Aid (born in Cochrane in 2004) Claire Allen

Like many others I sat transfixed by the dreadful events which unfolded on 26 December 2004 in the wake of the Indian ocean earthquake and tsunami. Like many others, I had no idea what we as a society, or indeed Cochrane (which I’d worked with since 1997), could do, apart from giving money. Thankfully Mike Clarke who was Chair of the Board of Trustees in Cochrane and other colleagues had the inspired idea that as an organisation, Cochrane was perfectly placed to provide robust information to help those who were supporting the relief effort in making their decisions. And, boom, Evidence Aid was born. I jumped ship from Cochrane to Evidence Aid formally in 2014. From then, Evidence Aid became an independent charity, working with many organisations such as Save the Children, the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization and we were at the forefront of the information provision when the recent Covid pandemic hit the world, starting our efforts in February 2020, before lockdowns were started.

 

My experience as an early career professional and Cochrane Ana Beatriz Pizarro

I am a 25-year-old early career registered nurse hailing from a small town in the north of Colombia. As a first-generation college student, I take immense pride in being the youngest editorial board member representing The Early Career Professionals Group. My passion for evidence-based healthcare is reflected in my extensive work, having published over 30 systematic reviews.

My primary goal is to improve lives in the Global South through multidisciplinary approaches, understanding specific health-disease problems, their impact, and potential applications in public health.

Beyond my professional pursuits, diverse interests add colour to my life, including singing, playing the ukulele, watching films, and finding joy in going to the beach and outdoor running.

I believe in the power of stories and have experienced their impact firsthand in my life. As a 'book' in the #CochraneLondon Library of People, I am eager to engage in conversations and share my life experiences, professional insights, and personal interests.

What have Hogwarts and Sherlock Holmes got to do with teaching EBM? Maria Björklund

I am a librarian at Cochrane Sweden who loves to read. Fantasy and detective stories are my favourite genres and I always enjoy how libraries and librarians are represented in fantasy and detective fiction!  I also am drawn in by how a mystery unfolds and you pick up clues and evidence (of course!) along the way and try to solve the crime or mystery yourself while reading.

I teach evidence-based medicine and refer to Sherlock Holmes and fictional libraries (like Hogwarts) when I am helping students understand evidence-based medicine and systematic data retrieval - it is a successful and engaging tactic.

 So, my reading preferences are sometimes also reflected in my professional work, and I think it is a nice way of engaging students in evidence- based medicine.

 A life-changing treatment decision: hope, fear and a bit of evidence? Sarah Chapman

I’ve had progressive hearing loss throughout my adult life and had got to the point where I was struggling to hear, despite hearing aids. In 2021, I was offered a potentially life-changing treatment, a cochlear implant. This would involve surgery and an irreversible process in which the ‘normal’ mechanism of hearing would be destroyed. People meeting the criteria for a cochlear implant are likely to benefit, but outcomes aren’t guaranteed and whether, how much, and in what ways I would benefit were uncertain. I learned first-hand that how we make treatment decisions in our real, messy lives doesn’t necessarily fit the neat models we see when we read about evidence-based decision-making.

Wikipedia: the world largest encyclopaedia - friend or foe? Jennifer Dawson

Communicating and sharing high-quality and reliable evidence informed information is a passion of mine. I have been working with Cochrane as our Wikipedian-in-Residence since 2016. The viewership of medical articles on English-language Wikipedia alone surpasses 2 billion page views per year and there are about 40,000 articles that relate to human health. 

In 2021, viewership of the main Wikipedia COVID-19-related article was over 500,000 views a month, far more than most of the other sources of information on the internet. Medical content is also available in over 280 languages. 

When I tell colleagues in my field that I help improve medical articles on Wikipedia, I usually get all sorts of interesting questions (and sometimes funny looks)! Why should we be considering Wikipedia? Do you recommend Wikipedia as a resource for people with questions about their health? How hard is it to edit Wikipedia? Many people in medical and evidence-based medicine fields find Wikipedia very frustrating. They are not wrong! There are many, many, articles that need improving and many that share incorrect, missing, or outdated information. It can be hard to jump in as a new editor and navigate conflict of interest and work with a very keen volunteer community of often anonymous editors. Rather than dismiss the ‘World’s Largest Encyclopedia’, why not learn more and potentially help improve what people are accessing!

Careless comms costs lives: battling misinformation on statins Harry Dayantis

 

There are few scientific topics as needlessly controversial as statins. These cholesterol-lowering drugs are prescribed to millions of people worldwide and have underdone countless trials evaluating their benefits and risks. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that they reduce the risk of heart disease. So why do people get so worked up about them, and why do I care?

I care because my father died of a sudden heart attack overnight when I was at university. He was 49 years old and held national records for long-distance running. The post-mortem revealed that he had heart disease, and he might still be alive today if he’d been diagnosed and treated with statins. The risk has a significant genetic component, and I now take statins myself.

I’ve been involved in communicating many research papers on statins over the past decade, at UCL and Oxford University. I’ve worked with cardiologists and researchers to share the real evidence on statins in an often hostile media environment. It’s important that benefits and harms are communicated accurately so that people can make informed decisions; there is evidence that media scare stories have prevented many people from taking statins, potentially costing thousands of lives.

Accessibility at conferences shouldn’t just be a tick box Emily Messina

Attending or presenting at conferences is often an essential aspect of academic careers. We can share research and network, but let’s be honest, how many of us are mentally exhausted just planning to attend a conference, let alone after its over? Despite the fact that many of us, around 20%, are D/deaf, hard-of-hearing, disabled, and/or neurodivergent, we continue to leave accessibility as an afterthought. We strain to read slides or posters with tiny print, struggle with noise and sensory overload in crowded poster halls, forced to spend energy hunting for accessible paths through the conference space, and miss information that is only presented orally. Aren’t we tired of bare knuckling our way through conferences? Without creating content that's accessible, how can we have our science received, understood, and (importantly) acted on. So, let’s talk, share our experiences, and we can learn from each other better ways to improve accessibility and share our research more effectively.

Storytelling to break down boundaries Wanjiru Mwangi

Step into my world of communications and let me take you on an exciting journey about storytelling and the boundaries it breaks. Since time immemorial, storytelling has been a fundamental part of human connection. And in research, it has helped transcend the rigid confines of data and facts, transforming them into narratives that resonate with human emotions and experiences. Not by distorting truths or oversimplifying the complexities of research, but by transforming the most complex ideas into accessible information for those who truly need or yearn to grasp it. As you read through this, try and imagine the power of a personal story, a memory that resonates deeply, or a song that touches your heart. These diverse mediums of storytelling can foster deeper connections between researchers and their audience, leading to a more informed and enlightened public. So come chat with me, Wanjiru, a communications expert in both internal and external communications.

 Don't miss out on this exhilarating opportunity to engage with living stories. No pre-registration for Colloquium attendees is required; simply join us on the event day!

Library of People: Connecting Through Stories
Wednesday, September 6th
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Level 1, Pickwick

In addition to this Library of People event, we invite you to bring used books to Level 1 throughout the event. There will be a free book exchange table where you can pick up your next great read! 

Find out more about the Colloquium:

Get in touch: colloquium@cochrane.org

Thursday, August 17, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane seeks Learning and Support Officer - remote

9 months 2 weeks ago

Specifications:  Fixed term maternity leave cover (through May 2024)
Salary: £43,000 Pro-rated 0.6 FTE (though 0.4 FTE will be considered)
Location: Remote - Candidates from the UK, Germany and Denmark with fixed-term employment contract. Candidates from the rest of the world with fixed-term consultancy contract.
Closing date: 20 Aug 2023
 
Cochrane is an international charity. For 30 years we have responded to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesising research findings and our work has been recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

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

The Learning and Support Officer will play a central role in revising and updating the Learning Team’s portfolio of author training materials, as Cochrane methods and processes change and evolve over the coming months. The Learning and Support Officer will also coordinate activities of the Cochrane Trainers’ Network, including communicating with the Network about updates to training materials and organizing train the trainers’ sessions for trainers from across the Cochrane Community. Given the geographically dispersed nature of Cochrane authors and trainers, this learning and support will be delivered remotely.

This role is part of the Learning Team, which is responsible for providing learning materials and training for Cochrane staff, authors, and users of Cochrane evidence. The team sits within the wider Membership, Learning and Support team, which strives to ensure that Cochrane recruits, develops and retains high quality contributors to participate in our work by providing a comprehensive service to engage new contributors, reward and develop existing contributors and support all members of our community when they need help.

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

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

You can expect: 

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

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

How to apply

  • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here.
  • The deadline to receive your application is 20th Aug, 2023.
  • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples. 
  • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
Monday, August 7, 2023 Category: Jobs
Lydia Parsonson

Get ready for #CochraneLondon: Top tips from the Cochrane Community

9 months 2 weeks ago

Cochrane UK is gearing up to host the much-anticipated Cochrane Colloquium at London's Queen Elizabeth II Centre (QEII) from September 4th to 6th, 2023. The event promises an enriching experience, combining learning, networking, and fun. The countdown has begun, but there is still time to register  

To ensure you make the most out of the Colloquium, we've gathered a selection of insights and suggestions from members of the Cochrane Community. These tips will guide you through multiple days of intense engagement, helping you maintain your well-being, enthusiasm, and collaborative spirit throughout the event. Have other suggestions? Let us know by using the hashtag #CochraneLondon on social media. 


1. Download a Business Card App

Embrace the digital age by adopting a digital business card app. This eco-friendly option enables you to effortlessly exchange contact information, fostering future collaborations.  

"When Cochrane recently attended the 76th World Health Assembly we used blinq.me digital business cards. It was free, easy to set up, and was the main form of business cards that people were using. I hope our Cochrane Community embraces digital business cards as an environmentally conscious choice and helps sets themselves up for future collaborations."

- Catherine Spencer, Cochrane CEO

2. Plan your routes with the Citymapper App

The Colloquium venue is a short walk from tube stations, many hotels, and much more.  The Citymapper app (free) is a really useful tool offering offline navigation to help you get around, including walking, bus, tube and rail routes, ensuring you always know where you’re headed.

" Even as a UK local, I use the Citymapper app and recommend it to anyone coming to London. It can provide accessible route information which is also helpful if you have luggage with you, has live tube and bus information, and is perfect for walking around and exploring without wifi. London has so many great spots to visit before and after the Colloquium - including the Bartholomew Fair events - and I hope having this app will give you the confidence to go out and explore! ”

- Sarah Chapman, Cochrane UK

3. Pack your walking shoes for the Anne Anderson Walk

The Anne Anderson Walk is about 4.5km long and can be completed at your own pace. It will take you past some of the city's most iconic landmarks, give you stunning views of London, and educate you about close-by historical and medical points of interest. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes and take advantage of the opportunity to explore London's surroundings while connecting with fellow attendees.

"As the recipient of the 2021 Anne Anderson Award, this walk holds a special place in my heart. It's also a cherished highlight for many Colloquium attendees. While conferences often keep you indoors, the Anne Anderson Walk ensures you truly experience the location. This year, the venue is surrounded by historical sites that showcase London's medical legacy and the significant role of women. Don't forget to bring your walking shoes, contribute to the Anne Anderson Award, and prepare yourself for an enriching experience!"

- Jackie Ho, Cochrane Malaysia

4. Get your official #CochraneLondon merchandise from the Cochrane Store

Select and purchase your limited-edition #CochraneLondon items beforehand. The print-on-demand store offers an exciting range of items, including tote bags, t-shirts, and mugs, which you can choose to purchase for use during the conference or as cherished souvenirs of the event. Please note that these items will not be available for purchase at the Colloquium itself and must be acquired in advance.

"Cochrane is prioritizing sustainability and the environment with this event. Rather than traditional conference swag bags of items you'll never use again, we've taken an eco-conscious route by introducing a print-on-demand store. This not only reduces unnecessary waste but also ensures that participants receive merchandise they truly value and intend to use. I love my Cochrane t-shirt and mug and am excited to see the new items added to the store!  Alongside #CochraneLondon items, there are also ones to celebrate Cochrane's 30th Anniversary items, as we will be celebrating this milestone at the colloquium."

- Sabrina Khamissa, UK

5.  Use the #BetterPoster and #BetterPresentation templates
We worked with the leading research team investigating the accessibility of presentations at academic conferences to create templates for those presenting a poster or doing an oral presentation. Both presenters and attendees will benefit from the use of these templates! 

"I love how evidence-based Cochrane is in so many aspects of their work. Based on the latest research, #CochraneLondon templates makes creating posters and PowerPoint slides so much easier. By adopting these templates, researchers can elevate the impact of their findings, facilitate knowledge transfer, and foster inclusivity within academic conferences. It's going to be exciting to attend a Colloquium with so many using them; attendees will be able to swiftly identify the presentations that align with their interests and it will make it easier for those of us who have English as a second language."

-  Xun Li, Cochrane China


6. Explore the full programme and curate your own Colloquium experience 

Take the time to look through the full Colloquium programme and plan your schedule. Immerse yourself in a captivating lineup of plenary talks, workshops, posters, oral presentations, and meetings that encompass a vast spectrum of topics and issues in evidence-based health care. You can personalize your experience to match your interests and goals!

"The Cochrane Colloquium is more than just a typical academic gathering! It has posters, oral presentations, and a lineup of plenary talks but it goes beyond just academic content! Cochrane Colloquiums are also about building connections and creating unforgettable memories. Be sure to check out all the 'take a break' fun activities and the social gathering at the Natural History Museum!  I encourage all attendees to delve into the comprehensive programme and strike a balance between planned engagements, networking, and enjoyable moments."

- Andrea Moreno, Cochrane France

7. Unite and connect with fellow book lovers! 

Finished a book on the way to the Colloquium and want a new one for the trip home? Have piles of books that could use a loving home? Bring a book for the  #CochraneLondon book exchange! You can also 'sign out' a human book at our Library of People! 

"The love for books at Cochrane extends beyond the Cochrane handbooks! The Cochrane Book Club is hosting a book exchange at the Colloquium. Bring in a book, write your recommendation and a note on a bookmark, and leave with a new book! The book exchange is happening on level 1 over the three days. Book Club members will also be librarians at the Library of People happening in the same area on Wednesday at lunch. We're looking forward to connecting with you over some good books! "

-  Anne-Catherine Vanhove, Cochrane Belgium

8. Mix and Mingle! 
Beyond catching up with colleagues and friends, this event is an opportunity to engage with newcomers interested in our work and potential future collaborators. Embrace the chance to expand your network and foster meaningful connections that could shape exciting collaborations. Stay open to new encounters and the possibilities they bring!

"My best advice: meet and talk to as many people as you can. It's nice to meet colleagues, but everyone at the Colloquium will have an interest in Cochrane’s work and will welcome the chance to share their thoughts and ideas. They may be just the person you are looking for! For me, this approach has given me friends for life spread across the organisation."

-  Elizabeth Royle, UK 


9. Harness the power of social media

While we're meeting in-person, you can also embrace the digital buzz by actively using the event's hashtag; #CochraneLondon.  Through social media, you can connect with other attendees, follow up with presenters, and share your insights with your followers.  

  "You can get ready for Colloquium by sharing the fun badges on your social media to announce to everyone that you will be there! Also, look through the official #CochraneLondon Social Media Ambassadors and give some a follow. Once you're at the Colloquium, be sure to use the official #CochraneLondon hashtag and share your highlights! "

-  Georg Rüschemeyer, Cochrane Germany

10. Make your well-being a priority! 
Cochrane recognizes that conferences can be busy and overwhelming at times. We want to ensure that Cochrane London attendees have the opportunity to prioritize their well-being while also engaging in some fun and social activities. Some people take a break by connecting with others and some people need time to themselves - the colloquium offers space and activities to help meet both of these needs!

"My advice is to treat #CochraneLondon like a marathon, and not a sprint. Every day will be busy, filled with sessions to attend, and people to meet, and it’s important to make the most of this opportunity. But it’s also important to pace yourself and give yourself permission to schedule in proper breaks each day. Take time out for yourself in the Colloquium's 'Quiet Corner', go for the Anne Anderson Walk, or even take some time to go back to your hotel room - especially if it means you are then able to return to the main sessions refreshed and recharged! 

-  Nuala Livingstone, Northen Ireland

Have other suggestions and tips? Let us know by using the hashtag #CochraneLondon on social media.

As you embark on your Cochrane Colloquium journey, we hope that these valuable tips will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to make the most of this enriching experience. We are looking forward to welcoming you to London and uniting the community once again! Don't miss out on this transformative event, where trusted evidence takes centre stage and lasting connections flourish.

Find out more:

Get in touch: colloquium@cochrane.org

Thursday, August 17, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane seeks Software Development Team Lead

9 months 2 weeks ago

Specifications: Permanent – Full Time (Hybrid Role, 3 days office and 2 days WFH)
Salary: £60,000 (Paid in DKK, as per market exchange rate) per annum
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Closing date: Aug 14, 2023
 
Cochrane is an international charity. For 30 years we have responded to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesising research findings and our work has been recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

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

As development team lead, you will manage an Agile/Scrum software development team (3 developers, 1 test engineer) who develop web applications that accelerate the production of systematic reviews of health evidence. You will support the team in their work, coordinate with product owners on timelines, and contribute to software testing within the team as needed to ensure sprint goals are met.
 
Don’t have every single qualification? We know that some people are less likely to apply for a job unless they are a perfect match. At Cochrane, we’re not looking for “perfect matches.” We’re looking to welcome people to our diverse, inclusive, and passionate workplace. So, if you’re excited about this role but don’t have every single qualification, we encourage you to apply anyway. Whether it’s this role or another one, you may be just the right candidate.

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

You can expect: 

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

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

How to apply

  • For further information on the role and how to apply, please click here.
  • The deadline to receive your application is 14th Aug, 2023.
  • The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements, using specific examples. 
  • Read our Recruitment Privacy Statement
Tuesday, August 1, 2023 Category: Jobs
Lydia Parsonson

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

9 months 3 weeks ago

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 28, 2023
Lydia Parsonson

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

9 months 3 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 21, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

#CochraneLondon: A trailblazing conference prioritizing sustainability and environmental considerations

9 months 4 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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

Monday, July 31, 2023
Muriah Umoquit
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10 hours 31 minutes ago
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