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Cochrane seeks Junior Systems Administrator - London, UK

Cochrane News - Thu, 12/01/2016 - 14:28

Specifications: Full Time
Salary: £40,000
Location: London, UK
Application Closing Date: 06/01/2017

This is a challenging and interesting opportunity for an experienced Systems Administrator to contribute to a non-profit organisation with a social mission to improve heaIth care for everyone.

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

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

Job Description: You will be based in Cochrane’s Informatics and Knowledge Management Team and your primary responsibility will be to support the smooth running of Cochrane’s systems and IT infrastructure. You will support and troubleshoot local and remote computers used by Cochrane Central Executive members (approx. 80 people).

Requirements: The ideal candidate should have experience maintaining Windows or Linux servers together with database management, with excellent analytical and problem-solving abilities to identify and fix problems. We are looking for a thorough, organised and collaborative team member who will contribute to good practice standards and strive for quality. More information here.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Junior Systems Administrator” 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.

Deadline for applications: 06/01/2017 (12 midnight GMT)

Thursday, December 1, 2016 Category: Jobs

2016 winner of the prestigious Aubrey Sheiham Leadership Award for Evidence-Based Healthcare in Africa announced

Cochrane News - Tue, 11/29/2016 - 05:00
 Dr Mbah Patrick Okwen has been announced as the 2016 winner of the prestigious Aubrey Sheiham Leadership Award by Cochrane. The award is named after the dental epidemiologist who was inspired and encouraged by Archie Cochrane to question many of the practices in medicine and dentistry.

Prof. Sheiham’s commitment was to improving the health of populations in low- and middle-income countries by advancing evidence-based healthcare. He believed that supporting and training key health personnel in the concepts of Cochrane would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare. Unfortunately Dr Sheiham passed away in November 2015.

The award is managed by Cochrane South Africa (SA) and presented annually to an African researcher to support the conduct of a Cochrane Review focusing on a priority topic with impact on the health of people living in low- and middle-income countries. The winner is also expected to mentor a novice author from Africa during the review process and, in so doing, develop capacity in research synthesis on the continent.

The award includes attendance at an annual Cochrane Colloquium; costs of face-to-face meetings for the awardee and mentee; costs of travel for periods of dedicated work time; and a period of stay at Cochrane SA or another appropriate site to work on the review.

Dr Okwen is based at the District Hospital Bali and the Centre for Development of Best Practices in Health Yaoundé, Cameroon. He is a Cameroonian with the background of clinical practice as a medical doctor and Masters in Health Economics. He is also currently a member of the Cochrane African Network (CAN), a Learning Initiative for Experienced Authors (LIXA) member, guest author with the Cochrane iPad edition and lead of the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) African Community. Dr Okwen has been involved with Cochrane Systematic Reviews since 2007. He will use the award to complete his Cochrane Review entitled ‘Artesunate Plus Mefloquine for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum Malaria’ with the Cochrane Infectious Disease Group; an efficacy and safety review which has been commissioned for an update of current malaria treatment guidelines by the World Health Organization.

Dr Okwen’s mentee is Dr Aseh Promise (PhD Health Economics).

The judging panel included Cochrane leaders from Africa - Prof. Charles Shey Wiysonge, the pioneer Aubrey Sheiham scholar and recently appointed Cochrane SA Director; Prof. Jimmy Volmink, Founding Director of Cochrane SA and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University; Prof. Taryn Young, Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care, Stellenbosch University and Dr Tamara Kredo, Acting Director of Cochrane SA.

Prof. Wiysonge said the award is important for creating opportunities for local research development and showcasing local talent. “The Aubrey Sheiham Award creates opportunities for African Cochrane authors to be funded to conduct high-priority reviews that have the potential to impact on health on the continent in particular. It also allows the development of future Cochrane leadership.”                    

                                                                                                                                                              

Statement – Dr Mbau Patrick Okwen

“It is with great motivation, pride and humility that I receive the Aubrey Sheiham award for 2016. The award gives me a new resolve to promote evidence-based health care at district hospitals and primary care centres across Africa.

My experience with EBHC has been challenging but rewarding for my practice. It reassured my desire to always seek for evidence for practice both preventive and therapeutic. It has also highlighted the inequalities that exist in global healthcare practice, especially with respect to access to knowledge both for clinicians, policy makers and service users.

In the spirit of Aubrey Sheiham, I will like to draw attention to the need for evidence implementation for communicable disease like malaria, HIV and TB but also to non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes which are currently on the rise and with the heaviest burdens shifting to the African region.

It is an opportunity for me to reposition myself amongst my peers and seek ways to pull them on to the evidence-based health care platform or push evidence into their practice whenever they seek this evidence. My current work seeks to promote evidence-based practice in the use of artemisinin combined therapies in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria through developing and disseminating systematic review evidence; conducting clinical audits and feedback and mentoring clinicians and researchers on conducting systematic reviews. “

              

About the Aubrey Sheiham award

Aubrey Sheiham BDS, PhD, DHC is a dental epidemiologist who was inspired and encouraged by Archie Cochrane to question many of the practices in medicine and dentistry. His main commitment was to improving the health of populations in underdeveloped countries and challenging dental establishments to be far more critical. The misuse of healthcare resources has more serious ethical and health implications in underdeveloped countries because resources for health are generally inadequate. Prof. Sheiham believed that supporting and training key health personnel in the concepts of Cochrane would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health care. Since 2001, through Prof. Sheiham’s generosity, Cochrane researchers from low- and middle-income countries have been funded and supported each year to complete a Cochrane Review on a topic of relevance to their region, and to cascade relevant knowledge about Cochrane and evidence-based health care to their local networks.

About Cochrane and Cochrane SA

Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, health professionals and consumers of healthcare; carers, advocates and people interested in health. It responds to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health. Cochrane is a not-for profit organisation with collaborators from over 120 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest.

Cochrane SA is part of the global Cochrane network. It is one of 14 centres worldwide. Cochrane SA is a research unit of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).  It receives its core funding from the SAMRC and raises project-specific grants from external funders in collaboration with partners.

Follow Cochrane South Africa on twitter @SACochrane

Media enquiries:
Michelle Galloway, Cochrane SA Communication Officer
michelle.galloway@mrc.ac.za

084 604 4955 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cochrane Response seeks Editorial Assistant - London, UK

Cochrane News - Wed, 11/23/2016 - 14:32

Specifications: Part Time- 30 hours pw
Salary: £25,000 - £27,000
Location: London
Application Closing Date: 22/12/2016

This is a new and exciting role for an individual interested in an early career editorial position with a leading provider of systematic review services. Reporting to the Executive Editor you will provide a range of editorial and administrative tasks to support the systematic review team; including copy editing, preparing reports for publication, monitoring production schedules, and organizing meetings and team travel. This role will be 30 hours per week.

The successful candidate will need to be extremely well organized to manage a high and varied workload. We are looking for a person with a proven collaborative approach to assist our busy team, ideally with experience in a similar role.

Cochrane Response is a new evidence consultancy service providing a broad range of literature review and evidence synthesis services to international policy makers, guideline developers and research groups to support evidence informed healthcare decision making. We work closely with Cochrane networks to increase Cochrane’s capacity to respond to requests for commissioned evidence reviews and tailored evidence services.

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. The primary results of this work are Cochrane Systematic Reviews.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Editorial Assistant” 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.

Deadline for applications: 22/12/2016 (12.00pm midday GMT)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Executive Assistant to the CEO - London, UK

Cochrane News - Tue, 11/22/2016 - 16:13

Specifications: Full Time
Salary:
£32,000
Location:
London
Application Closing Date:
07/12/2016

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.

This is an exciting role for an individual who would relish the challenge of providing efficient and responsive administrative, organisational, and logistical support service to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This role will be 37.5 hours per week.

We are looking for an experienced Executive Assistant to the CEO with a proven collaborative approach to assist CEO and support his department. The successful candidate will need to be extremely well organized to manage a high workload.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Executive Assistant to the CEO” 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.

Deadline for applications: 07/12/2016 (12 midnight GMT)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks post-doc research fellow - Exeter, UK

Cochrane News - Mon, 11/21/2016 - 03:33

Post: Post-doc research fellow (Cochrane Heart Rehabilitation Research Fellow)

Location: University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK

Contract type:  Part-time (0.6FTE); fixed-term appointment for 30 months

Salary: £33,943 up to £38,183 (pro rata).

Closing date: 1 December 2016

For more information email Prof Rod Taylor or see the full job posting.

Monday, November 21, 2016 Category: Jobs

Featured Review: School-based interventions for preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy in adolescents

Cochrane News - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 15:49

Do school-based interventions prevent HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy? This is the question asked by researchers from the University of York, South African Medical Research Council, and Stellenbosch University in a Cochrane review published this week.

Sexually active adolescents in some countries, particularly girls, are at high risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs); while early, unintended pregnancy can have a major impact on the lives of young people. School-based sexual and reproductive health programmes are widely accepted as an approach to reducing high risk behaviour, given that the school environment plays such an important role in the development of young people. Curriculum based sexuality programmes are popular in many countries and, while there is some evidence that they can improve knowledge and reduce self-reported risk-taking, this review evaluated the number of young people who contracted STIs including HIV, and on the number of adolescent pregnancies.

The group of independent authors included eight cluster randomised trials with a total of more than 55,000 participants, to assess the impact of school-based interventions. The authors included trials carried out in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Europe; six trials evaluated school-based interventions while two evaluated incentive-based programmes aimed at encouraging students to stay in school.

“As they are currently carried out, education programmes alone probably have no effect on the number of young people infected with HIV, other STIs or the number of pregnancies,” said Dr Amanda Mason-Jones from the University of York, the lead author of the review, “especially if condoms and contraceptives or other health service provision are also not freely available to young people.”

The review showed that in those studies which provided incentives, such as free school uniform or small cash payments to young people who stay in school, that while there was no definitive change in the number of HIV, one showed a reduction in other STI infections, and overall there was a significant reduction in adolescent pregnancies, although more high quality evidence is needed to confirm this.

“Previous studies have focussed on self-reported outcomes only.  Our’s is the first review and meta-analysis that has included only measurable biological outcomes.” Continued Dr Mason-Jones, “It is clear that there needs to be further high quality research undertaken in this area so that policy makers can be better informed as to the best way to keep young people, especially girls, in education for longer. Schools or further education and training facilities may provide a positive environment for information and guidance about healthy relationships, but this needs to be combined with the appropriate health services that meet the needs of young people and help improve their life chances.”

The Cochrane review was co-ordinated by the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG), based at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The CIDG has been in operation since 1994, led by Professor Paul Garner, and is supported by over 600 authors from 52 countries. 

Read the full review in full here.

Visit the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group website.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day 2016

Cochrane News - Tue, 11/15/2016 - 19:05

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term that covers those long-term lung conditions which are characterized by shortness of breath, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic asthma, and which aren’t fully reversible. World COPD Day is observed each year in November to highlight and raises awareness about the symptoms, risk factors and, treatment for COPD – and is a good time to share some of our relevant Cochrane evidence.

Blogpost: 3 things to help people with COPD keep well and keep out of the hospital on Evidently Cochrane.

Antibiotics for exacerbations of COPD

 Nebulisers or inhalers to give bronchodilators for exacerbations of COPD

 

 Pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD

Help for sexual problems in people with COPD

Mucolytics for COPD or chronic bronchitis

Inhaled corticosteroids with LAMAs and LABAs for COPD

 

Long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs) for COPD

Indacaterol for COPD

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cochrane seeks two Research Assistants - Liverpool, UK

Cochrane News - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 18:38

Research Assistant (Malaria Vector Control and Elimination) x2
Salary:
£27,629 to £32,004 per annum (pro rata)
Contract type: Full Time, Fixed Term appointment for 6 months (Part Time Hours considered minimum 0.6 FTE)
Closing date: 21 November 2016
Location: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

The World Health Organization intends to expand guideline development based on systematic reviews and GRADE to malaria vector control. The Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group has contributed to WHO guidelines in malaria chemotherapy and will now extend this to synthesis for vector control. We have an exciting opportunity for two research assistants to join the team of international academics to support the ongoing collaboration work.

The World Health Organization intend to expand guidelines development based on systematic reviews and GRADE to malaria vector control. The Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group has contributed to WHO guidelines in malaria chemotherapy and will now extend this to syntheses for vector control. This will include new Cochrane reviews in insecticide residual spraying combined with insecticide impregnated nets, space spraying; updating existing reviews; and developing methods in meta-analysis of entomological outcomes. To support this work we have an exciting opportunity for up to two research assistants to join an international team of dynamic and motivated academics, and build on the collaboration between the Centre for Evidence Synthesis in Global Health and the Department of Vector Biology at LSTM. On a daily basis the successful candidate will have the responsibility of completing Cochrane reviews and contributing to the review work of other author teams.

Ideal candidates will have a Master’s degree in epidemiology, public health, clinical tropical medicine, or vector biology. You will have experience in biomedical or social science research in low and middle income countries and have confidence in critically appraising medical literature at postgraduate level.

You need to have completed a substantive quantitative analysis, either a systematic review or an applied research project. You need clear evidence of critical insight into priority policy questions in international health relevant to infectious diseases.

Successful candidates will demonstrate initiative, commitment to organizing workloads, and be able to meet important deadlines. You will need to have a flexible approach to work with the ability to work as part of a diverse team as well as independently.

These posts are initially for six months with a variety of sources of potential funding currently being applied for to continue and develop this programme of work. The posts are available immediately.

For more infromation and to apply: http://www.lstmed.ac.uk/research-assistant-malaria-vector-control-and-elimination-x2

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 Category: Jobs

2016 Cochrane contributor prize and award winners

Cochrane News - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 14:47

Each year at our annual Colloquium, Cochrane presents a number of awards and prizes to contributors to recognize contributions to our work and organization made in various ways.

The Thomas C Chalmers Award is awarded to the principal author of the best oral and the best poster presentation addressing methodological issues related to systematic reviews.

The 2016 best oral presentation winner winner is Daniël Korevaar
, for 'Time to publication among completed diagnostic accuracy studies: associated with reported accuracy estimates'.

The 2016 best poster presentation is Juan Victor Ariel Franco
for 'Error identification in search strategies of new Cochrane Systematic Reviews published in 2015'.

The Kenneth Warren Prize is awarded to the principal author of whichever Cochrane Review authored by a national living in a developing country is judged to be both of high methodological quality and relevant to health problems in developing countries.

The 2016 winner is Ravindra Prabhu
for 'Interventions for dialysis patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection'.

The Chris Silagy Prize is awarded to an individual who has made an "extraordinary" contribution to the work of Cochrane - one which would not be recognized outside the scope of this prize.

The 2016 winner is Anne Eisinga from Cochrane UK.

The Bill Silverman Prize is awarded to acknowledge explicitly the value of criticism of Cochrane, with a view to helping to improve its work, and thus achieve its aim of helping people make well-informed decisions about health care by providing the best possible evidence on the effects of healthcare interventions.

The Prize Committee was unable to award a prize for 2016, as there were no eligible submissions received.

The Anne Anderson Award is awarded to a female member of Cochrane who has made a significant contribution to the enhancement and visibility of women's participation within Cochrane.

The 2016 winner is Nicky Cullum, Co-ordinating Editor of Cochrane Wounds. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Effectiveness of paracetamol as a treatment for acute or chronic pain conditions

Cochrane News - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:49

Low back pain (LBP) is a common condition, widely reported as a major health and socioeconomic problem associated with work absenteeism, disability, and high costs for patients and society. Paracetamol is widely recommended for a variety of acute and chronic pain conditions, but a Cochrane Review published in June 2016 called its effectiveness into question.

Related resources and media coverage

Paracetamol for low back pain

"Paracetamol: widely used and largely ineffective", Evidently Cochrane

"What's the point of paracetemol?", The Conversation

"Paracetamol is often ‘NO better than placebo – only easing headaches for 1 in 10 of us’", The Sun

"Should YOU be taking paracetamol? Expert claims the common painkiller is 'often no better than a placebo'", Daily Mail

"What’s the point of paracetamol?", Sydney Morning Herald

"What should I take paracetamol for?", The Guardian Online Life and Style Blog

 

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Cochrane Community responds to Strategy to 2020

Cochrane News - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 13:27

Cochrane's Strategy to 2020 aims to put Cochrane evidence at the heart of health decision-making all over the world. It defines how we intend to accomplish this and provides a framework for Cochrane’s future decision-making, helping us respond to the strategic opportunities and challenges that we face in the next decade and beyond. It is the result of a collaborative process undertaken by our global network of contributors; and represents the collective vision of the organization to 2020 that relies on those contributors to ensure its success.

Cochrane's 2016 Annual General Meeting, held in Seoul during our annual Colloquium, included a Special Session where the Cochrane Community had the opportunity to share their stories of responding to the challenges of Strategy to 2020. As well as live presentations from a selection of Cochrane Groups from around the world, the session included this video highlighting just a few stories among many of what Strategy to 2020 means to Cochrane Groups and their work within local contexts.

Monday, November 7, 2016 Category: Making a Difference

Cochrane seeks Financial Controller - London, UK

Cochrane News - Fri, 11/04/2016 - 19:08

 Salary: Competitive (22.5-30 hours per week)
 Location: London, Greater London
 Job Type: Part-time
Application closing date:
25 November 2016
 
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.

The Role:
We are currently looking for a part-time Financial Controller to support the Head of Finance and Core Services in providing an efficient and effective finance function for Cochrane and Cochrane Innovations.

Required skills:
Essential

  • Qualified accountant
  • Good all round knowledge of current accounting practice, the charity SORP, VAT, the requirements of charity taxation and charity and company legislation.
  • Experience of using Xero
  • Experience of foreign currency transactions
  • Advanced Microsoft Excel skills
  • Ability to prioritise multiple tasks within a project using project management skills
  • Experience of working in cross functional teams
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to build relationships across the business
  • Have the proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to accomplish projects with little supervision
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines
  • Can demonstrate strong problem solving skills and think widely and deeply when faced with new problems
  • Relevant experience of preparing management accounts and budgets
  • Proven experience of funder reports and audit files
  • Experience of costing models and accurate budgets relating to bids for new funding
  • Proven experience of building productive working relationships, both internally and externally in an international environment
  • Ability to communicate clearly with non-finance employees about financial matters, and to deliver effective finance training where necessary
  • Awareness of agile/remote working
  • Commitment to Cochrane’s mission and values

Desirable

  • Experience of healthcare charity sector

For more information, please see the full job description.

Application:
If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV in English along with a letter of motivation to recruitment@cochrane.org with “Financial Controller” in the subject line. The letter of motivation 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.

Friday, November 4, 2016 Category: Jobs

The impact of Cochrane evidence on tranexamic acid for acute traumatic injury

Cochrane News - Wed, 11/02/2016 - 23:57

For more than 20 years, Cochrane has produced systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy. We are internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based healthcare resources. The Cochrane Making a Difference series focuses on stories of how Cochrane evidence has made an impact on real-world health decision making and outcomes.

More than four million people worldwide die of injuries every year, often because of extensive blood loss. Antifibrinolytic drugs, including tranexamic acid (TXA), promote blood clotting. The Cochrane Review 'Antifibrinolytic drugs for acute traumatic injury', published in May 2015 from the Cochrane Injuries Group, found evidence that using TXA safely reduces mortality in trauma patients with bleeding without increasing the risk of adverse events.

The review includes high-quality evidence gathered from more than 20,000 patients in 40 countries. As a result of these findings, TXA is now being used as an intervention for traumatic injuries by armed forces and ambulance services around the world, and has been added to the WHO Essential Medicines list.

Review author Ian Roberts tells us more about this important review and its impact on practice:

Thursday, November 3, 2016 Category: Making a Difference

Cochrane in the news: November 2016

Cochrane News - Wed, 11/02/2016 - 19:21

A round-up of selected recent coverage citing, discussing, and presenting health evidence - updated throughout the month.

The Last Tuesday Project names Cochrane as ‘one of the most reliable resources of healthcare information’ and a ‘health researcher’s dream’. In their blogpost they explain why they find Cochrane reliable and how to best use Cochrane as a resource.

Struggling to explain why not all health research (or all health news) is equally credible or useful? Vox has created 'The one chart you need to understand any health study' - with systematic reviews and meta-analyses described as 'the king of all evidence' and including a mention of the Cochrane Library.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Director of Cochrane South Africa honoured

Cochrane News - Tue, 11/01/2016 - 18:48

Jimmy Volmink recognized for his contribution to evidence-based healthcare

The South African Medical Research Council (MRC) called Prof Jimmy Volmink, Director of Cochrane South Africa the African’s regions ‘father of evidence-based healthcare. Volmink, also the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University was presented with the MRC Recognition Award for “Outstanding Achievements in Contributions to Evidence-based Healthcare in Africa.”

Volmink is the founding Director of the first Cochrane Centre on the African content, Cochrane South Africa, and an internationally acclaimed researcher in health sciences. "His work was underscored by the mission of Cochrane South Africa which stated that health care decision-making on the African continent should be informed by best-available evidence. He has supported many researchers to conduct high-quality research and assisted policymakers in South Africa and the region to build the necessary skills to use research evidence effectively," said MRC in their commendation statement.

Visit the Cochrane South Africa website

Friday, November 11, 2016

Cochrane seeks German translation and dissemination officer - Freiburg, Germany

Cochrane News - Wed, 10/26/2016 - 15:30

Specifications: Part-time (50-70%), 12-month fixed-term contract

Location:
Freiburg, Germany preferred

Application closing date:
18 November 2016

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 recognized 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.

The role:
We are looking for a German-language translation and dissemination officer to join our Communications team, preferably based in Freiburg, Germany. Remote working will be considered for the right candidate. This role will be a 50-70% part-time position, for a 12 months fixed term contract.

Required skills:
The successful candidate will be a native German speaker with an excellent command of English. They should be well organized, an excellent communicator, and possess strong attention to detail. We are looking for someone with previous experience in a communications or translations role, ideally with a background in health or science. For more information, please see the full job description.

Application:
If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV in English along with a letter of motivation to recruitment@cochrane.org with “German translation officer” in the subject line. The letter of motivation 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.

The deadline for applications is Friday 18 November 2016, and interviews will be held in the week commencing 28 November.

For further information, please contact Juliane Ried, jried@cochrane.org, Translations Co-ordinator.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks backend developer and tester - Western Europe location

Cochrane News - Wed, 10/26/2016 - 14:04

Location: any Western Europe location considered (Copenhagen, Denmark or Freiburg, Germany, preferred) or location with significant working hours overlap with Western Europe.

Person specification
You are an organised and collaborative developer who will strive for quality and can work independently. You have extensive experience building and testing RESTful web APIs using Java EE and SQL databases, and can quickly familiarize yourself with a complex project and code base.

Essential qualifications

  •  Degree in computer science or related field or equivalent knowledge and experience
  • 2 years’ experience in development and deployment of large-scale web and software applications
  • 5 years’ experience with REST APIs, Java EE, JSON, XML, and SQL databases
  • 2 years’ experience with unit testing, automated test tools, and stress testing
  • Ability to work independently and to a high standard of quality
  • Fluent in English

Preferred

  • Knowledge of Cochrane and systematic reviews
  • Experience using version control software, preferably Git
  • Experience using dependency management tools, e.g. Maven, bower, or npm
  • Willingness to travel as required

Statement of Work
You will be responsible for completing work on Cochrane’s ReviewDB and ensuring that it functions and performs as expected. ReviewDB is Cochrane’s new backend system for managing the content of over 6,000 systematic reviews through the “RevMan” Angular frontend app, as well as the integration point for a number of partner systems. Deliverables:

  1. Complete work on the “round trip” test of our existing reviews from our legacy XML format into ReviewDB and back (week 1).
  2. Extend the permission checking system to allow appropriate access to published versions of reviews. Requires interfacing with our editorial management system, Archie (week 1).
  3. Create an automated test suite for the REST API that covers the key endpoints and use cases for ReviewDB (week 4).
  4. Implement according to specification of a notification system based on WebSockets and the WAMP protocol, so that the RevMan Web client can flag when a resource being viewed has been changed by another user. Apply the same mechanism for cache invalidation, adapting the current eTag system. (week 9)
  5. Create and run stress test scenarios that enable us to assess the performance of ReviewDB and estimate resource needs for the production system, and identify performance hot spots and address key issues where prudent / feasible. (week 12)
  6. Implement request logging. (week 12)

Timelines and reporting structure
The complete work package is expected to be completed in 12 working weeks (60 working days). Work shall start as soon as possible, and completed no later than 24 February 2016.

You will report to Gert van Valkenhoef, Cochrane’ IT Development Manager, who will sign off on deliverables. You will liaise with Cochrane’s development team on technical issues as needed.

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 “Backend 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  contact Gert van Valkenhoef, gvanvalkenhoef@cochrane.org, IT Development Manager.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Category: Jobs

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Cochrane Brazil

Cochrane News - Mon, 10/24/2016 - 14:19

Established in 1996, this month Cochrane Brazil (Centro Cochrane do Brasil) is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Over the past two decades, Cochrane Brazil has supported authors from different regions of the country, and produced more than 300 Cochrane Reviews for the Brazilian Ministry of Health. Some of these author teams are now in a position to lead the production of Cochrane work in their own regions.

Earlier this year, Cochrane was delighted to announce the launch of its first national Cochrane Network, consisting of the Brazilian Cochrane Centre (located at the Centro de Estudos em Medicina Baseada em Evidências e AvaliaçãoTecnologica em Saúde in São Paulo) and five new Affiliates, located in the cities of Fortaleza and João Pessoa (in the Northeast region of Brazil), in Belém (in the Amazon region), in Petrópolis (in the Southeastern region, near Rio de Janeiro) and in Muriaé (in the Central West region).

To mark their 20th Anniversary celebrations, Dr. Alvaro Atallah, Director of Cochrane Brazil, tells us more about their achievements.


Dr. Alvaro Atallah, how does it feel to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Cochrane Brazil?
We feel honored for the opportunity to have contributed to the uptake and use of evidence-based health care (EBHC) in many different settings of Brazil. We feel happy with our educational achievements and the training of thousands of Brazilian health professionals, teaching them how to produce and use high-quality synthesized evidence. We feel proud to have contributed with health authorities to help establish national policies regarding evidence-based health care.

 Can you share with us, in your own words, how it all began?
In 1988, Doctors Richard Peto and Rory Collins invited me to help design a randomized trial on aspirin to prevent pre-eclampsia. I went to the Clinical Trials Services Unit in Oxford University where I met Professor Iain Chalmers, with whom I established strong professional and personal bonds which last up to this date. I was invited to participate in the meetings that resulted in the creation of the Cochrane Collaboration in 1992.

Soon after, Iain encouraged us to found the first Cochrane Center in a developing country. Iain was our patron and inaugurated our Centre in October 1996, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, within Sao Paulo Federal University. 

 Looking back over the last 20 years, what have been the highlights for you?
In the late 1990s, we created a strong partnership with Sao Paulo Federal University through which we trained hundred of undergraduate students and residents, as well as 260 post-graduate students (masters, PhD and post-doc) in the principles of evidence-based health care and systematic reviews. The work of Cochrane Brazil led to the creation of the first post-graduate course in in the country and the first undergraduate course in evidence-based health care for medical students in Brazil. 

In 2003 our team started to train strategic technical officers of the Brazilian Ministry of Health. This initiative resulted in savings of approximately 5 to 10 billion dollars per year in the budget of the public health system in Brazil. In 2011, thanks to this continued work, the President of Brazil created a federal law (number 12401) which mandated the use of high-quality health technology assessments, using Cochrane Reviews as the gold standard in health research, to incorporate any new technology in the national health system.

We have produced more than 300 Cochrane Reviews. Three of the team members of Cochrane Brazil rank among the top 10 authors who have produced the largest numbers of publications in the area in the country. 

We have invested in the dissemination of the “culture of evidence-based health care” all over the country, using distance courses and approximately 1500 TV programs broadcast in open channels prime time with the support of important partners like the Sao Paulo Medical Association. These initiatives continue up to this date.
In 2007, the president of Brazil (Lula), along with several ministers and authorities, visited Sao Paulo Federal University to launch a national family program and to acknowledge and recognize the work of the Brazilian Cochrane Center in the country. 

In 2007 we held the XV Cochrane Colloquium in Sao Paulo, with approximately 1000 participants. Alongside the intense scientific program, the social activities of this Colloquium were very successful and created new friendships. The activities included a soccer match between Cochrane participants and famous (retired) Brazilian players (such as Socrates, Rivelino, Ademir da Guia, Raí, Edu and many others), as well as samba classes. The farewell party of this Colloquium was one of the most popular ever!

In 2013, thanks to our work within the Education and Health Ministries, we helped to create an evidence-based health care site with thousands of evidence syntheses and health technology assessments freely available to all Brazilian healthcare professionals.

 Why are these the most important to you?
At the beginning, we faced a strong resistance in relation to EBHC and the relevance of the Brazilian Cochrane Center by many investigators, institutions, and university professors. Over time, we managed to overcome these barriers and obtain the recognition and even endorsement of universities, professional associations, and the Ministry of Health for our work. Recently, we have also gained the respect of regional and Supreme Court judges and journalists for our work. 

What are the priorities for you and Cochrane Brazil in the forseeable future?
We want to keep on investing in developing and expanding the culture of evidence-based health care - not only in the health field, but also in other areas such including law, journalists, librarians, and consumers in general. We are also developing a network of Affiliate Centers within the country, as part of the first national Cochrane Network.

How are you celebrating the 20th anniversary?
We are preparing a celebration ceremony that will include awards to all those who have helped us over the years such as Health Ministers, Deans, Co-ordinators of the post-graduate courses, colleagues who helped us to found and run the Center, authorities of the Brazilian legal system, and national and international pioneers of the Cochrane Collaboration.

What’s your message to health decision makers in Brazil at this special time for Cochrane Brazil?
We are very happy with the progress that health decision makers have made over the years in Brazil and for their continued support for our work. We hope that they will continue to endorse our work and help to disseminate the concepts of evidence-based health care to the new generation.



Cochrane Brazil celebrate their 20th Anniversary on 31st October 2016.

Visit the Cochrane Brazil website

Monday, October 24, 2016

Featured Review: Nasal decongestants in monotherapy for the common cold

Cochrane News - Fri, 10/21/2016 - 18:26

Do nasal decongestants used alone relieve cold symptoms?

Colds, although not serious, are common illnesses responsible for many visits to family doctors and days lost from work and school. Cold symptoms may last up to two week and include runny nose, sore throat, and sneezing. There is no cure for colds; treatments only ease the symptoms. Many people use over-the-counter medicines such as nasal decongestants to treat cold symptoms.

A team of Cochrane authors based in Australia and Belgium worked with Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections to investigate if nasal decongestants help ease congestion caused by colds. 15 trials with 1,838 participants were included; 14 included only adults aged 18 years or over. Six studies used a single-dose nasal decongestant and measured the effects on the day it was administered. Nine studies used multiple doses and the effects were measured between one and 10 days after first administration. Eleven studies used tablets or syrup and four studies used nasal sprays. Nine studies were funded by drug manufacturers or agencies with commercial interests in the study results. Funding sources were unclear in six studies. The quality of evidence was assessed to be low.

The Cochrane Review was unable to draw conclusions about single-dose nasal decongestants. There was a small benefit in the relief of nasal congestion from multiple doses, but it was unclear if this was beneficial for patients. No studies reported overall patient well-being. There was no difference in the numbers of adverse events between people who used a nasal decongestant and those who did not. It was not possible to determine if there was a difference in effects between decongestant tablets and nasal sprays. The results relate to adults; there was no evidence on the effectiveness or safety of nasal decongestants for children.

“Nasal decongestants, available as tablets, nasal sprays, or drops, are available over-the-counter without restrictions. Given how uncomfortable cold symptoms can be, many turn to nasal decongestants but just how effective and safe they are was unclear,“ says Dr. Laura Deckx  from The University of Queensland and lead author of the Cochrane Review. “Given the high consumption of nasal decongestants it was surprising that so little evidence is available. Based on the current limited evidence, we were unable to draw conclusions if using just nasal decongestants was effective and safe for adults – this is something consumers should consider when at the drug store looking to relieve their common cold symptoms.”

Read the full Cochrane Review
Visit the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections website

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What is Cochrane?

Cochrane News - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 16:11

Cochrane exists so that healthcare decisions get better.

Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health. Many of our contributors are world leaders in their fields - medicine, health policy, research methodology, or consumer advocacy - and our groups are situated in some of the world's most respected academic and medical institutions.

Cochrane contributors - 37,000 from more than 130 countries - work together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. We gather and analyze the  best available evidence to help people make informed decisions about health and health care.

We do not accept commercial or conflicted funding. This is vital for us to generate authoritative and reliable information, working freely, unconstrained by commercial and financial interests. Our work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.


The need for Cochrane's work is even greater than it was when we started 20 years ago. As access to health evidence increases, so do the risks of misinterpreting complex content; meanwhile the likelihood of any one person getting a complete and balanced picture decreases. Our mission to provide accessible, credible information to support informed decision-making has never been more important or useful for improving global health.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

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