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Featured Review: Virtual reality for stroke rehabilitation

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 16:08

Many people after having a stroke have difficulty moving, thinking, and sensing. This often results in problems with everyday activities such as writing, walking, and driving. Virtual reality and interactive video gaming therapy involves using computer-based programs designed to simulate real-life objects and events. This may have some advantages over traditional therapy approaches as they can give people an opportunity to practice everyday activities that are not or cannot be practiced within the hospital environment and patients may spend more time in therapy as the activity might be more motivating.

A team of Cochrane authors based in Australia, Canada, and United States worked with Cochrane Stroke to determine the efficacy of virtual reality compared with an alternative intervention or no intervention on upper limb function and activity and on gait and balance, global motor function, cognitive function, activity limitation, participation restriction, quality of life, and adverse events. 72 studies involving 2470 people after stroke were included.

This Cochrane Review found that the use of virtual reality and interactive video gaming was not more beneficial than conventional therapy approaches in improving upper limb function but may be beneficial in improving upper limb function and activities of daily living function when used as an adjunct to usual care (to increase overall therapy time). There was insufficient evidence to reach conclusions about the effect of virtual reality and interactive video gaming on gait speed, balance, participation, or quality of life. There was a trend suggesting that higher dose (more than 15 hours of total intervention) was preferable as were customised virtual reality programs; however, these findings were not statistically significant.

“Virtual reality is a rising popular trend that extends into clinical settings, including stroke rehabilitation,” says Kate Laver from the Department of Rehabilitation, Aged and Extended Cae at the Flinders University in Australia and the lead author of the Cochrane Review. “We first published this Cochrane Review in 2011 and then updated it in 2015. This latest update adds 35 more studies to the evidence base, almost doubling the previously included number of studies. Clinicians who currently have access to virtual reality programs should be reassured that their use as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program appears reasonable, taking into account the patient's goals, abilities, and preferences.”

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Feature Review: What factors influence the provision of care by skilled birth attendants in low- and middle-income countries?

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:46

New Cochrane evidence synthesis highlights the many factors that influence the care provided by skilled birth attendants

In low- and middle-income countries, many mothers still die during childbirth. Women are encouraged to give birth in health facilities rather than at home so they can receive care from skilled birth attendants. A skilled birth attendant is a health worker such as a midwife, doctor, or nurse who is trained to manage a normal pregnancy and childbirth, and refer the mother and newborn when complications arise.

A team of Cochrane authors based in Norway, South Africa,and Uganda worked with Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care to identify factors that can influence skilled birth attendant’s ability to provide quality maternity care. 31 qualitative studies conducted in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were included that explored the views, experiences, andbehaviours of skilled birth attendants. Participants were skilled birth attendants including doctors, midwives, nurses, auxiliary nurses and their managers. The search covered studies published before November 2016

This Cochrane evidence synthesis found that many factors influence the care that skilled birth attendants can provide to mothers during childbirth. Factors include access to training and supervision; staff numbers and workloads; salaries and living conditions; and access to well-equipped,well-organisedhealthcare facilities with water, electricity, and transport. Other factors that may play a role include the existence of teamwork and of trust, collaboration, and communication between health workers and with mothers. Skilled birth attendants reported many problems tied to these factors.

“This synthesis highlights the everyday realities of a health worker, working in sometimes difficult circumstances in a low or middle-income countrysetting,while trying to provide care for mothers and babies,” says Susan Munabi-Babigumira, the lead author of the Cochrane evidence synthesis. “More needs to be done to address the human resource and health system infrastructural challenges that prevent health workers based at health facilities in low- and middle- income country settings from providing good quality maternity care. This synthesis is also relevant for an international audience since it addresses the need to build resilient health systems to improve health outcomes. We hope the findings in this review can be used to design strategies to improve the quality of care for mothers and theirbabies,and improve health services in general.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Seeking Senior Research Assistant for NIHR Cochrane IBD Project - Preston, UK

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 16:22

Hours: Part time (0.5 FTE)
Basis: Fixed term contract for 12 months
Closing Date: 15th January 2018
Interview Date: TBC

The School of Medicine at the University of Central Lancashire wishes to appoint two Senior Research Assistants to support the research and knowledge transfer activities of Dr Morris Gordon. The main research interests of Dr Morris Gordon are systematic review and evidence synthesis, in post clinical and educational contexts. The post holder will undertake Cochrane systematic reviews as part of an NIHR funded project under the direction of Dr Gordon.

With experience of systematic review work and specific Cochrane experience, you will have knowledge and understanding of the work of Cochrane Collaboration and the nature of systematic reviews.

You will have postgraduate training in an appropriate field to at least Masters level, including epidemiology, public health and medical specialities. A PhD or Professional Doctorate qualification are not essential requirements, but would be desirable.

You must possess excellent communication skills; have an ability to work within a multidisciplinary team and show initiative and innovation. With a professional and flexible approach, you will have a commitment to the missions and values of the University.

Informal enquiries are welcomed - please contact Morris Gordon, Head of Professionalism and Careers, via email in the first instance mgordon@uclan.ac.uk.

Applicants need to meet all essential criteria on the person specification to be considered for interview. This position is based in Preston.

Please apply online via www.uclan.ac.uk/jobs or by contacting Human Resources on 01772 892324 and quoting the reference number. CVs will not be considered unless accompanied by a completed application form.

Monday, November 20, 2017 Category: Jobs

The Recommended Dose: Episode 5 with Paul Glasziou

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 04:24
Episode 5: Professor Paul Glasziou
Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine, Bond University, Robina, Queensland, Australia;
and part-time General Practitioner

Paul Glasziou (aka The Surfing Professor) joins Ray this week to share insights from his stellar career as both a family doctor in Brisbane and a global evidence guru at Oxford and Bond Universities. He explores big picture health issues like overdiagnosis, overtreatment and the implications of genomic testing, alongside important questions for our everyday health - like how you can find and use evidence and put it to good use when visiting or choosing your own doctor or specialist.

At one point Ray braves a chilly Gold Coast beach at the crack of dawn to find Paul and his close colleague/best surfing buddy Professor Chris Del Mar catching waves, spotting whales and agreeing that fun is actually a surprisingly essential part of serious research work. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Cochrane seeks Junior Software Developer - Western Europe location

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:52

Specifications: Full Time
Location: any Western Europe location considered; Copenhagen, Denmark preferred
Application Closing Date: Friday 15 December 2017

This is a challenging and interesting opportunity for a junior developer to contribute to a non-profit organisation with a social mission to improve health care for everyone.

Job description: You will be based in Cochrane’s Informatics and Knowledge Management Team, and you will work in the team responsible for web applications and web services for Cochrane systematic review production software. These tools are central to Cochrane’s new review production ecosystem, linking several applications from Cochrane and partners.

Requirements: The candidate should have demonstrable software development experience and knowledge, and is expected to quickly master new languages, frameworks, and tools. We are looking for a thorough, organised and collaborative team member who will contribute to good practice standards and strive for quality. We expect you to contribute primarily to software development, but also to solution design and quality assurance, especially unit testing.

About Cochrane: Cochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by identifying, appraising and synthesizing individual research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm and where more research is needed.

Our work is recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. We want to be the leading advocate for evidence-informed health care across the world.

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

For further information, please download the full job description.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 Category: Jobs

Cochrane Colloquium Edinburgh: Sponsorship, advertising, and exhibition opportunities

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 18:00

The 2018 Cochrane Colloquium will be held in Edinburgh at the International Conference Centre in Scotland from 16-18 September 2018. It will be hosted by Cochrane UK.

 Cochrane’s annual colloquia is a truly international event, attracting up to 1300 delegates from across the world. It’s a great opportunity for delegates and organizations attending, to network and learn more about the latest in evidence-based practice.

The theme for 2018 is:

Cochrane for all: Better evidence for better health decisions

This will be a Colloquium for everyone. It will welcome newcomers to Cochrane from all parts of the world and from all backgrounds. One of the key aims is to increase the involvement of patients, carers and family members (healthcare consumers) in our work. As such, the Colloquium 2018 will be a Patients Included event that is co-designed, co-produced and co-presented by healthcare consumers and where everyone’s input is valued equally.   

The Colloquium 2018 will focus on the key goals of Cochrane’s Strategy to 2020, looking through the eyes of healthcare consumers and in partnership with them:

  • Producing evidence
  • Making evidence accessible
  • Advocating for evidence
  • Effective and sustainable organization

Sponsorship:

Below is the sponsor and exhibition brochure, that lays out the options available, including advertising and stipend opportunities. This is an exciting moment to be part of Cochrane and its mission.

If you would like to discuss the opportunities available, please contact us at colloquium@cochrane.org

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cochrane Germany Foundation officially established

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:04

On October 26 2017, the independent and non-profit Cochrane Germany Foundation (Cochrane Deutschland Stiftung, CDS) was officially established with an office in Freiburg. The German Federal Ministry of Health will support the foundation with an amount of up to one Million Euro annually to ensure that the activities of Cochrane Germany can pursue permanently.

On November 9, the German Minister of Health said:

“We need independent research that persistently and scientifically questions study results and that provides us with reliable information about the best-possible treatment methods. That is why I called on the Federation to support the activities of Cochrane Germany in a sustainable manner with the formation of the Cochrane Germany Foundation.”

With the establishment of the foundation, a twenty year period of project-based funding comes to an end for Cochrane Germany. Stable and regular funding will enable the foundation to generate and implement information based on Cochrane Evidence steadily, to engage with relevant stakeholders and user groups more easily, to expand training programs and contribute to methodological enhancements for systematic reviews. The knowledge that Cochrane generates constitutes an essential information source on the effectiveness of therapies and diagnostic methods in the field of medicine and facilitates decision-making for evidence-informed health care in the best-possible manner.

Director of the foundation is Prof. Gerd Antes (scientific director) and Dr. Britta Lang (managing director). The academic partner of the foundation remains the central facility “Evidence in Medicine” of the Freiburg University Medical Centre, directed by PD Dr. Jörg Meerpohl and Prof. Dr. Gerd Antes.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cochrane seeks new Community Support team - Flexible location

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 17:22

Posts: Community Support Officers and Senior Community Support Officer
Location: Flexible
Specifications: Full time/part time. Multiple positions. Permanent contract (subject to probationary period and location). Secondments welcome.
Closing date for applications: Friday, 8th December 2017

Context

Experienced and friendly support staff are invited to be part of Cochrane’s new Community Support team. This team will present a friendly, supportive and efficient point of contact for the Cochrane community, responding to queries covering a broad range of areas including software (e.g. Archie, RevMan), membership, training, websites, sales, review production and research. The Community Support team are the day-to-day face of the team answering the majority of queries and escalating complex enquiries appropriately.

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.

This team sits within the Learning and Support department, which strives to provide outstanding, inclusive learning and support programmes that effectively enhance the skills, knowledge and experience of current and potential contributors, enable high quality participation in diverse Cochrane activities, and enable the effective implementation of Cochrane policies and procedures.

Team members will have the opportunity to collaborate in the setup and design of this coordinated service.

The roles

Community Support Officers:
With a commitment to providing excellent support and service to our community, you will act as the act as the first line of contact for support enquiries from the Cochrane community and escalating queries to subject matter experts as required.
Salary: Up to £30,000 dependant on skills and experience.
FTE: Multiple positions up to 1.4 FTE in total.
Position description: Click here

Senior Community Support Officer:
With experience providing support or training to Cochrane contributors, you will act as an expert responder to more complex queries relating to review production, software and methods.
Salary: Up to £35,000 dependant on skills and experience, or negotiable on secondment.
FTE: 0.2 FTE (1 day per week)
Position description: Click here

Accountability and responsibility

These roles will be accountable to the Learning and Support Manager, and responsible for providing high quality support services in collaboration with team members and subject matter experts.

Term of appointment and recruitment process

This position is open to anyone who meets the requirements described above. We welcome flexible working arrangements and applications from candidates wishing to undertake this role as a part-time secondment from their employer. Our main office is in London, UK, but strong applicants in other locations will be considered.

The appointment process will consider the need for all aspects of diversity, including those of gender, age, experience, language and geographical location.

To apply please send a letter, Curriculum Vitae, and letter of support to recruitment@cochrane.org by Friday 8th December 2017.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 Category: Jobs

The Recommended Dose: Episode 4 with Jimmy Volmink

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 15:48
EPISODE 4: PROFESSOR JIMMY VOLMINK
Professor of Epidemiology, Dean of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University, South Africa & Founding Director of Cochrane South Africa

Professor Jimmy Volmink joins Ray to trace an extraordinary personal and professional journey that defied the odds. From his childhood with little educational opportunity in apartheid South Africa to a stellar international research career, he shares the critical moments, chance meetings and inspiring influences that have shaped his life and work. 

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

Monday, November 13, 2017

World Antibiotic Awareness Week

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 15:28

Professor Dame Sally Davies, England's Chief Medical Officer, recently warned that the world could face a "post-antibiotic apocalypse.” She urged that, unless action is taken to halt the practices that have allowed antibiotic resistance to spread and ways are found to develop new types of antibiotics, we could return to the days when simple wounds, infections or routine operations, are life-threatening. 

To mark  World Antibiotic Awareness Week, 13th-19th November, we are highlighting Cochrane evidence which supports decision-making in the appropriate use of antibiotics. 

Press Release: Shared decision making and antibiotic use for acute respiratory infections in primary care (read in  Spanish).

Improving antibiotic prescribing in hospital

Antibiotics for preventing recurrent sore throat

Antibiotics for sore throat

Testing blood procalcitonin levels to decide when to start and stop antibiotics in adults with acute respiratory tract infections

 

Biomarkers as point-of-care tests to guide antibiotic use for acute respiratory infections

 

Antibiotics for acute otitis media in children

 

Antibiotics for glue ear

Rapid antigen detection tests (RADTs) for group A streptococcus (GAS) in children with pharyngitis

Antibiotics for operative vaginal delivery?

Antibiotics for episiotomy repair?

Antibiotic prophylaxis for women having cesarean section

Timing of IV prophylactic antibiotics for women having caesarean delivery

 

Preventing post-cesarean infections: which route for antibiotics? 

Antibiotics for exacerbations of COPD

 Antibiotics for irreversible pulpitis

Antibiotics for chronic rhinosinusitis

Short- vs. long-course intravenous antibiotics for severe pneumonia in children aged 2-59 months

Prophylactic antibiotics after cervical excision

Antibiotics for cough or wheeze after acute bronchiolitis in children

Monday, November 13, 2017

World Health Organization uses Cochrane evidence in breastfeeding guideline

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 20:15

The World Health Organization's latest breastfeeding guideline, Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding in facilities providing maternity and newborn services, has been published. This guideline provides global, evidence-informed recommendations on protection, promotion, and support of optimal breastfeeding in facilities providing maternity and newborn services, as a public health intervention. It features evidence from 16 Cochrane Reviews; 7 Reviews from Cochrane Neonatal and 9 from Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth

View the WHO guideline and view the evidence included.
Related resources:  Tuesday, November 7, 2017 Category: Making a Difference

Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group seeks part-time Information Specialist (Manchester, UK)

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 16:14

Closing Date: 16/11/2017
Duration: 1 December 2017 until 31 March 2020
Hours Per Week: 0.6 FTE
Salary: £31,604 to £38,833 pro rata per annum according to experience
Location: Oxford Road, Manchester

The Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group wishes to recruit a part-time Information Specialist. We are looking for a dynamic and enthusiastic individual with excellent communication skills to support the production of systematic reviews in the field of orthopaedic trauma.

You will be a graduate with a strong health information background.  A qualification in librarianship, information science or equivalent experience is essential. Experience of designing and conducting online literature searches of databases such as MEDLINE, good computer literacy and a sound knowledge of medical terminology and systematic reviews are also essential.

You will have excellent interpersonal, time management and organisational skills and be able to work with considerable autonomy to regular deadlines. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 Category: Jobs

Participants from across Russia and beyond gather for the third Cochrane Workshop in Kazan

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 19:20

Cochrane Austria, Cochrane Russia, and Cochrane Sweden joined forces to deliver a truly International Cochrane event on evidence-based medicine, held in Kazan at the end of October. The successful workshop took place over two days and focused on review production software. It marked the third Cochrane workshop held in Russia to date.

The Vice Rector for Innovation, Andrey Artemyev, officially opened the workshop and gave a warm welcome to participants on behalf of the Rector of Kazan Federal University, Ilshat Gafurov.

The theme of the workshop was 'Cochrane systematic reviews: from protocol to review - logistics and challenges' and aimed to equip participants with knowledge and practical skills with regard to using Cochrane review production software Review Manager (RevMan).

Workshop participants had the opportunity to learn and actively interact with tutors on the most important issues of systematic literature search, selecting studies, data extraction, risk of bias assessment, meta-analysis, assessment of heterogeneity and quality of evidence, and use of supporting software (Covidence and RevMan).

The workshop was a huge success and marked the new level of joint collaborative work of Cochrane and Kazan Federal University, following the recent visit of Cochrane CEO Mark Wilson to Kazan and signing the partnership agreement with the Rector of the University Ilshat Gafurov.

We warmly thank our Cochrane tutors:

  • Dr Gerald Gartlehner, Director of Cochrane Austria, DepartmentforEvidence-Based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, Danube University Krems (Krems, Austria).
  • Barbara Nussbaumer-Streit, Associate Director of Cochrane Austria, DepartmentforEvidence-Based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, Danube University Krems (Krems, Austria).
  • Dr Matteo Bruschettini, Director of Cochrane Sweden, Senior Consultant Neonatologist, Department of Paediatrics, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital (Lund, Sweden)

And all our participants, who were very active, inspiring, smart and stimulating representing 9 regions of the Russian Federation (Kazan, Kalinigrad, Moscow, Nizhniy Novgorod, Perm, Samara, St'Petersburg, Uliyanovsk, and Ufa), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Columbia. 

Media coverage

Monday, November 6, 2017

New Cochrane Library Special Collection: Yoga for improving health and well-being

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 14:42
Yoga originated thousands of years ago in India as an integrated physical, mental, and spiritual practice based on ancient Vedic philosophy, and is connected to Ayurveda, the system of traditional Indian medicine. During the 20th century, yoga became increasingly recognised outside India, and over the past decades it has continued to grow in popularity worldwide as system for promoting health and well-being. While modern yoga often focuses on physical poses and is sometimes thought of as a type of exercise, the practice usually incorporates one or more of the mental or spiritual elements that are traditionally part of yoga, such as relaxation, concentration, or meditation. For this reason, yoga is considered a mind-body exercise.

There are currently many different types or schools of yoga, each with a different emphasis on and approach to practice. It is widely thought that some of these yoga practices may help treat or prevent physical or mental illnesses, and improve the overall quality of life. There is therefore a need for information on the potential health benefits and harms of yoga.

The Cochrane Library Special Collection of systematic reviews on yoga focuses on reviews evaluating the effectiveness of yoga for improving physical or mental symptoms and quality of life in a range of health conditions. It has been developed to bring the best available evidence on the health-related effects of yoga to the attention of the general public, patients, health professionals, and other decision makers, and to inform choices on the use of yoga to improve health and well-being. This Special Collection has been collated by L Susan Wieland of the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field, with reviews from the following Cochrane groups - Cochrane AirwaysCochrane Back and NeckCochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle TraumaCochrane Breast CancerCochrane Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems GroupCochrane EpilepsyCochrane Haematological MalignanciesCochrane Heart; and Cochrane Schizophrenia.
The Special Collection covers: 
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Health of older people and improving balance
  • Pulmonary conditions
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Mental health
  • Neurological conditions
  • Child health
Acess all articles in the Special Collection for free - Cochrane Library Special Collection: Yoga for improving health and well-being. Friday, November 3, 2017

The Recommended Dose: Episode 3 with Lisa Bero

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 17:04

Lisa Bero, a former Co-Chair of the Cochrane Governing Board, says public will increasingly demand less wining and dining, more independence from health professionals 

 Global authority on research integrity and industry bias in science Professor Lisa Bero has called for greater recognition of industry influence in science, following last week’s revelations that Australian nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists are receiving millions of dollars in payments from pharmaceutical companies.

‘All around the world this is a problem because physicians and other health professionals to some extent have this expectation that they are wined and dined and it's part of becoming a health professional,’ she told Australian podcast The Recommended Dose with Ray Moynihan.

‘There really needs to be a way to change the culture and I think this is going to come from consumers and people who understand that this is not acceptable.’

‘So the next step after disclosure will really be to minimize dependence on these industry payments. I think that's hard for some groups that may be totally dependent on industry so one way is to find alternative sources of funding, but a second issue that needs to be addressed is whether this funding is actually needed. So, for example, is all that money that is going to buy fancy lunches or a cruise on the harbour - is that really necessary? Or if it's being spent on glossy brochures that only promote one product - is that really necessary?’

In a wide-ranging interview, Professor Bero highlights the tangible ways conflicts of interest can influence the decision-making of individual doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, as well as the bigger picture agenda and outcomes in health, climate change, and nutrition research.

In a striking example, Professor Bero tells The Recommended Dose how her own nutrition research into how private companies influence public health outcomes in areas such as obesity was found to be being secretly ‘monitored’ by Coca-Cola, as uncovered by The Sydney Morning Herald late last year.

‘I wasn't at all surprised that Coca-Cola, once they realized my research agenda included nutrition, would be monitoring my work as well,’ she says. ‘I'm not worried about it because I've been working in this area for over 20 years and have put up with a lot of scrutiny and unpleasant comments from industry and it hasn't really changed what I do.’

‘But I can definitely see how for junior investigators this could have a chilling effect on their work, and that did concern me. So one of the things I do is to really encourage them…to look on the bright side. What it really does is make your research stronger because you know that people will be looking at it very carefully.’ Which clearly they are.

Professor Bero also shares her thoughts on leaving California to become a fully-fledged, ocean-swimming Sydneysider, who finds daily inspiration in the story of Charles Perkins – the first Aboriginal graduate of The University of Sydney. She also reflects on her role as Co-Chair of Cochrane and highlights the importance of health evidence that’s free from conflicts of interest or commercial influence of any kind.

Listen to the full interview on The Recommended Dose - now available on SoundCloud, iTunes and Stitcher.

Related resourcesOther relevant research:
  • The latest Cochrane Review on Industry sponsorship and research outcome was published in February this year and includes 27 new studies and provides definitive evidence that pharmaceutical industry funding of drug studies biases results and conclusions to look favourable towards the drug of the sponsor.
  • Lisa and Ray, who are occasional collaborators, are both co-authors on this recent study of more than 100 000 industry-funded winning and dining events for health professionals
About Cochrane & Cochrane Australia:

Cochrane is an independent, not-for-profit organisation made up of 37,000 contributors from 130 countries. We work together to make the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful and accessible for individuals, organizations, and governments around the world. 

Cochrane produces trusted health information in the form of systematic reviews that are free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Our evidence underpins and informs the daily decisions of clinicians, patients and carers, researchers, policymakers, and funding bodies. Our work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high-quality, trusted information. 

Cochrane Australia is an active part of this collaborative network, with over 3,000 local researchers, clinicians and patient advocates who synthesize and analyze the latest health research. Our contributors can be found in all corners of the continent, from Darwin to Hobart, from Perth to Brisbane, and most places in between.  The Cochrane Australia centre is located in Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Melbourne.

Cochrane Australia is funded by the Australian Government through the NHMRC. The NHMRC also funds a national subscription to the Cochrane Library, ensuring all Australians have free access to the best in trusted health evidence. 

Find out more at cochrane.org (Global Cochrane site) and at australia.cochrane.org (Cochrane Australia) or follow us on twitter at @cochraneaus

About Ray Moynihan

Ray is a man with many hats... Currently a Senior Research Fellow at Bond University’s Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice, and an NHMRC Early Career Fellow, he is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and author. Ray spent plenty of time as a producer at the ABC’s flagship investigative TV program Four Corners, as a reporter at the ABC TV’s 7:30 Report and as a presenter on Radio National. He’s written four books on the business of medicine, including Selling Sickness, which has been translated into 12 languages.

He is also a former Harkness fellow at Harvard University, has been a columnist with the BMJ and the Medical Journal of Australia, and has also had original research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, PLOS Medicine and the BMJ - to name a few. Regularly interviewed by media globally, and invited to speak around the world, Ray has a long-time interest in the evidence-informed approach and the work of Cochrane.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Edge Hill University seeks Senior Research Associate/Systematic Reviewer - West Lancashire, UK

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 04:32

Closing date for applications: Sunday 12 November 2016

Edge Hill University is looking for an experienced Senior Research Associate to work on an integrative, mixed-methods systematic review on respite care and short breaks for young adults with complex health conditions funded by the National Institute for Health Research. You will work with a team from Edge Hill University, University of Bangor, and Lancaster University.

For complete information on the position and how to apply, please see the full job posting.

 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 Category: Jobs

Cochrane Public Health seeks Research Associate/Information Scientist - Glasgow, UK

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 15:41

Job title: Research Associate – Information Scientist
Closing date: 26th November 2017
Position Type: Full Time
Salary Range: £34,520 - £38,833

Job Purpose
We are delighted to be advertising this full timepost for an information scientist to provide professional and technical support to meet the information science needs of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (SPHSU), University of Glasgow and Cochrane Public Health (CPH). 

Specifically, the postholder will provide specialist information science support for a wide range of research projects conducted across the MRC/CSO SPHSU and for CPH, as well as providing information science support for publication related activity within SPHSU. This will include leading on the development and conduct of complex search strategies for systematic reviews, negotiating with, training and advising unit staff on key elements of information science and institutional requirements for publications and copyright. The post requires a familiarity with systematic review methods, and an ability to appraise the quality of published reviews. In addition, the postholder will be expected to facilitate incorporation of innovative approaches to searching and screening procedures for systematic reviews, and publish research in the area of evidence synthesis and information science for healthy public policy.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Perform the following activities in conjunction with the Principal Investigator (PI):

  1. Take a leading role in the planning and conduct of assigned research individually or jointly in accordance with the project deliverables and project/group/Institute of Health & Wellbeing research strategy.
  2. Document research output including analysis and interpretation of all data, maintaining records and databases, drafting technical/progress reports and papers as appropriate.
  3. Establish and maintain your research profile and reputation and that of the Institute of Health & Wellbeing including establishing and sustaining a track record of independent and joint publications of international quality in high profile/quality refereed journals and conferences, enhancing the research impact in terms of economic/societal benefit, and gathering indicators of esteem.
  4. Survey the research literature and environment, understand the research challenges associated with the project & subject area in relation to the information science requirements, & develop/implement a suitable research strategy.
  5. Presentation of work at international and national conferences, at internal and external seminars, colloquia and workshops to develop and enhance our research profile.
  6. Identify potential funding sources and to assist in the development of proposals to secure funding from internal and external bodies to support future research.
  7. Take a leading role in developing and maintaining collaborations with colleagues across the research Institute of Health & Wellbeing and wider community (e.g. academic and Cochrane Public Health).
  8. Take a leading role in team/group meetings/seminars/workshops and Institute research group activities to enhance the wider knowledge, outputs and culture of the Institute of Health & Wellbeing and MVLS College.
  9. Take the lead in the organisation, supervision, mentoring and training of undergraduate and/or postgraduate students and less experienced members of the project team to ensure their effective development.
  10. Perform administrative tasks related to the activities of the research group and Institute, including budgets/expenditure.
  11. Make a leading contribution to outreach and recruitment activities of the University of Glasgow.
  12. Make a leading contribution to teaching activities and associated administration as assigned by the Director of Institute of Health & Wellbeing and in consultation with the PI.
  13. Be responsible for safety management and research governance matters related to the work undertaken as part of this post in accordance with MRC|CSO SPHSU and GU policies.
  14. Keep up to date with current knowledge and recent advances in the field/discipline.
  15. Engage in personal, professional and career development, to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.
  16. Undertake any other duties of equivalent standing as assigned by the Director of Institute of Health & Wellbeing and/or PI.

These key tasks are not intended to be exhaustive but simply highlight a number of major tasks which the staff member may be reasonably expected to perform.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and  Experience

Knowledge/Qualifications

Essential:
A1. Postgraduate qualification (Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 11(Postgraduate Diploma) or equivalent with some research and/or teaching experience,and working towards membership of an appropriate professional body/Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 11 (Masters Degree) or equivalent professional experience, and be working towards membership of an appropriate professional teaching body (e.g. HEA). A2. Extensive and up-to-date theoretical and practical knowledge in areas related to information science.
A3. Understanding of Open Access requirements.and Intellectual Property protection, including issues of copyright.
A4. Knowledge of Open Access publication requirements
A5. Understanding of relevant health and safety policies and procedures relative to the role.Desirable:
B1. Knowledge of systematic review methods, including familiarity with criteria recommended to assessing the quality of systematic reviews.
B2. Familiar with Cochrane approaches to searching and documentation required to support publication of a Cochrane systematic review.
B3. Familiar with recent applications of text mining to systematic reviews.

Skills
Essential:
C1. High level of competency in designing and conducting searches of bibliographic databases to support complex systematic reviews.
C2. High level of competency in managing bibliographic software, including facilitating imports and tailored outputs.
C3. Competent in delivering training, at group or one-to-one level, on information science skills for public health.
C4. Research creativity and strong cross-discipline collaborative ability as appropriate.
C5. Highly motivated, ability to use initiative and quick to learn new techniques.
C6. Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including public presentations and ability to communicate complex concepts clearly and concisely.
C7. Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach.
C8. Willingness and aptitude to work in a multidisciplinary environment.
C9. Appropriate workload and time management skills.
C10. Extensive IT and data analysis/interpretation skills as appropriate.
C11. Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach.
C12. Excellent negotiation skills
C13. Good team leadership skills including demonstrable supervisory skillsDesirable:
D1. Familiar with criteria recommended to assessing the quality of systematic reviews.
D2. Able to apply text mining techniques to expedite screening of literature searches.
D3. Able to assess Risk of Bias across different study types.

Experience

Essential:
E1. Sufficient breadth and/or depth of knowledge in specialist subject/discipline and of research/teaching methods and techniques relevant to project subject area.E2. Substantial experience of developing and conducting searches for systematic reviews.
E3. Extensive experience searching for research and policy documents.
E4. Experience of scientific writing.
Experience of providing training on searching skills to researchers
E5. Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner
E6. A track record of presentation and publication of research results in quality journals/conferences. 
E7. Experience of making a leading contribution in academic activities.
E8. Ability to demonstrate a degree of independence as illustrated by identification of project objectives from assessment of the literature, design & analysis of data & drafting of papers.
E9. Experience of working independently.Desirable:
F1. An emerging national or international reputation.
F2. Assessment of Risk of Bias/critical appraisal of studies- both randomised and non-randomised studiesJob Features

Dimensions

  • To carry out a range of functions to support the research projects being conducted within academic environments of the highest national or international quality.
  • Contribute to research publications as appropriate to specific contribution related to technical support.
  • Publish and seek funding as appropriate to subject specialism within agreed timescales.
  • Informal supervision and support of less experienced members of the project team e.g. postgraduate and project students.
  • Undertake teaching or other duties in accordance to meet needs of MRC|CSO SPHSU.
  • Engage in personal, professional and career development to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.
  • Leadership in the design and implementation in your specific research project(s) as appropriate.
  • Planning and Organising.
  • Management of time and prioritisation of research, teaching and administrative duties.
  • Planning, organisation and implementation of research project on a weekly and monthly basis.
  • Plan research directions that are within the available budget.
  • React to varying project needs and deadlines.
Decision Making
  • Undertake decision making on all aspects of research project/activities. 
  • Prioritise own, and where appropriate delegate to junior team members workload.
  • Decide on research directions and goals within remit of original project proposal.
  • Adjust research approaches to meet project outcomes.
  • Identify best journals for publication and meetings/conferences to attend.
  • Purchase of equipment and materials.
Internal/External Relationships
  • University colleagues: to exchange information to ensure efficient working and to facilitate cross disciplinary working.
  • External bodies/collaborators: proactively maintain co-operation and links at all levels to enhance profile and reputation.
  • Dissemination: preparation and presentation of reports/results and participation in meetings and conference calls.
Problem Solving
  • Research including technical and theoretical aspects, problem solving and development of novel ideas.
  • Awareness of project and budgetary issues and equipment lead times.
  • Assistance of undergraduate/postgraduate students and junior team members with problems relating to research project.
Other
  • Representation of the University/College/ through presentation at national and international events.
  • Attendance at training events to learn and implement new research technologies.
  • Prepared to travel to work in the UK/Europe and elsewhere as required by the University.
About the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit

The aim of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit is to improve human health and wellbeing via the study of social, behavioural, economic, cultural and environmental influences on health. Our more specific objectives include:
  • studying the multiple interacting processes through which biological, social, behavioural, economic, cultural and environmental factors influence physical and mental health and health behaviours over the lifecourse;
  • discovering mechanisms which can modify these processes and have the potential to improve public health in a complex and changing world;
  • developing and evaluating interventions which harness these mechanisms to improve public health and reduce social inequalities in health; and
  • influencing policy and practice by communicating the results and implications of research to a range of audiences.
Dr Hilary Thomson, welcomes informal enquiries from potential applicants to discuss this post. Please e-mail: hilary.thomson@glasgow.ac.uk. For more information and to apply see  https://www.gla.ac.uk/it/iframe/jobs/ and search the job title. 

  Monday, October 30, 2017 Category: Jobs

Become a Cochrane citizen scientist!

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 15:08

Become a Cochrane citizen scientist!

crowd.cochrane.org

This platform will enable anyone to get involved with Cochrane and help identify the evidence we need to make informed healthcare decisions.

The platform builds on the hugely successful Embase project where a community of over 2,000 people helped identify well over 20,000 reports of randomized trials for Cochrane’s Central Register of Controlled Trials. Cochrane Crowd offers this same task but with some significant enhancements:

 

 And the fun is only just beginning. Over the next few weeks and months, Cochrane Crowd will roll out more tasks aimed at classifying and describing the evidence.

Go on, take a look: crowd.cochrane.org and see if you can you find an RCT today!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Cochrane is seeking an Associate Editor to work with its Review Networks

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 15:46

Post: Associate Editor
Location: Flexible
Specifications:  Full time/part-time. Permanent contract, subject to 6-month probationary period
Salary: Up to £45,000 dependent on skills and experience
Closing date for applications:  30th November 2017 

Context

Cochrane is creating eight new Networks of Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs) responsible for the efficient and timely production of high quality systematic reviews that address the research questions that are most important to decision makers. The creation of these thematic Networks provides an exciting opportunity for experts in the field to join Cochrane’s new editorial leadership and help the organization deliver its Strategy to 2020 objectives.

The Networks cover the review production areas of:

  • Acute and Emergency Care;
  • Brain, Nerves and Mind;
  • Cancer;
  • Children and Families;
  • Circulation and Breathing;
  • Long-term Conditions and Ageing (two distinct Networks); and
  • Public Health and Health Systems.

With the creation of the Networks, Cochrane will reassign members of the team carrying out pre-publication screening of reviews to work directly with the Networks as Associate Editors.  We are seeking to appoint at least 1 FTE Associate Editor to become part of the team.

The team will focus on continuing supporting and developing processes for quality assuring Cochrane Reviews, with a particular emphasis on earlier screening of reviews, protocols and updates against the MECIR quality standards and helping to develop resources and guidance on quality assurance of Cochrane Reviews.  In addition, the Associate Editors will support other activities that will contribute to the development of the networks, including supporting prioritisation activities, and development of a strategic or development plan for the network.

Accountability and Responsibility

The Associate Editor is accountable to the Senior Editor within the CEU with responsibility for review quality.

The Associate Editor will play an operational role in:

  • Supporting network Senior Editors
  • Helping groups to identify and manage poor-quality reviews in the early stages of the review process;
  • Providing back-up screening and editorial support to CRGs within the Network;
  • Supporting the development and implementation of appropriate and consistent editorial processes for the Network;
  • support the Senior Editor in the communication between the Network and CET with respect to issues of quality, editorial process, training, technology, knowledge translation, and innovations of methods in Cochrane Reviews.
  • Supporting prioritisation and the development of the Network strategic plan.
Person specification

The Associate Editor will join the team which has been working with CRGs through the CEU screening programme, and will work with one or two named Networks.

Essential attributes:

  • Degree in relevant field or equivalent
  • An understanding of the importance of systematic reviews to clinical decision making
  • Familiarity with Cochrane guidance and standards on the design, conduct, and reporting of systematic reviews, including MECIR and GRADE methods.
  • Intermediate level IT skills, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the systematic review process
  • Strong organization and prioritization skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work methodically and accurately
  • A pro-active approach to problem-solving
  • Experience of conducting Cochrane systematic reviews
  • Past or present experience of providing technical editing for systematic reviews

Desirable attributes:

  • An ability to develop and maintain working relationships with key stakeholders
  • Hold an editorial position within Cochrane (e.g. Managing Editor, Editorial Assistant, Cochrane Review Group Editors, including scientific, methodological, or statistical editors)
Term of appointment and recruitment process

This position is open to anyone who meets the requirements described above.

All applications will be reviewed by the Editor in Chief, the Deputy Editor in Chief, and the CEU Senior Editor with responsibility for review quality.

We are open to job share applications that describe how the functions will be divided, and how continuity will be achieved. We would also welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake this role as a part-time secondment from their employer.

The appointment process will consider the need for all aspects of diversity, including those of gender, age, experience, language and geographical location.

To apply please send a letter, Curriculum Vitae, and letter of support to recruitment@cochrane.org by Monday 30th November 2017.

 

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. 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.

 

Friday, November 3, 2017 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Office Manger - London, UK

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 15:01

Specifications: Full Time
Salary: Up to £30,000
Location: London, UK
Application Closing Date: 20/11/2017

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.

This role is an exciting opportunity to use your experience in office management, facilities, and administration to support colleagues in making a difference in the field of health care research.
The Office Manager will be responsible for providing the facilities management for Cochrane’s London Office, including acting as the first point of contact with the landlord and managing agents; managing the general administration requirements for the Central Executive Teams, and to help ensure that the best value is obtained for all office expenditure.

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

  • Previous Office/facilities management experience.
  • Excellent typing skills - speed and accuracy essential.
  • Excellent IT skills, including MS Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to prioritise and manage own workload amid conflicting demands and busy work periods.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Confident in problem solving and using initiative.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Ability to communicate confidently with people at all levels.
  • Proven ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines. 
  • Ability to exercise discretion and diplomacy in dealing with confidential or sensitive matters.
  • Attention to detail/accuracy.
  • Adaptability.

Previous experience within the healthcare sector would be useful.

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

For further information, please review the full job description.

Deadline for applications: 20/11/2017 (12 midnight GMT)

Friday, October 27, 2017 Category: Jobs

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