Cochrane News

Cochrane International Mobility - Themis Paraskevas

2 weeks 2 days ago

Cochrane is made up of 11,000 members and over 67,000 supporters come from more than 130 countries, worldwide. Our volunteers and contributors are researchers, health professionals, patients, carers, people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.

Getting involved in Cochrane’s work means becoming part of a global community. The Cochrane International Mobility programme connects successful applicants with a placement in a host Cochrane Group, learning more about the production, use, and knowledge translation of Cochrane reviews. The prgramme offers opportunities for learning and training not only for participants but also for host staff.

In this series, we profile those that have participated in the Cochrane International Mobility Program and learn more about their experiences.

Name: Themistoklis Paraskevas
Location: Greece
Cochrane International Mobility location:
Cochrane Sweden

How did you first learn about Cochrane?
I first learned about Cochrane during my postgraduate studies, but I got to know the organization better when I participated in an entry-level seminar co-hosted by Cochrane Sweden and Cochrane South Africa in Spring of 2022.

What was your experience with your Cochrane International Mobility?
I consider this experience to have been crucial for my future career in Medicine and Research Synthesis. Since I first contacted Matteo and Martin, they have been nothing but helpful both in academic matters as well as smaller problems during the mobility period.

What are you doing now in relation to your Cochrane International Mobility experience?
Right now, we have just finished two Cochrane projects, a  Systematic Review of Interventions and an Overview. Additionally, I am collaborating with an amazing international team in a challenging methods review.

Do you have any words of advice to anyone considering a Cochrane International Mobility experience?
Do not hesitate to contact Cochrane teams, as they can provide a suitable environment to enter the field of Systematic Reviews and Methodology. Also, take advantage of the plethora of available Cochrane modules online and especially the Cochrane Handbook.

 

 

Monday, November 21, 2022
Lydia Parsonson

International Volunteer Day: messages of thanks to all Cochrane volunteers

2 weeks 6 days ago

On International Volunteer Day, 5 December, we would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to our incredible global community. Thank you to thousands of Cochrane Supporters and Members who volunteer in so many ways to help bring trusted health evidence to the people who need it, all over the world.

Cochrane couldn’t have such a big impact without our volunteers. Volunteering is good for us – and good for our volunteers too! They can learn new skills and feel part of a global community working together to achieve better health for all. We value our volunteers and we are pleased to announce on International Volunteer Day our updated guidance on how you can look after the volunteers you work with.

The ways in which people volunteer at Cochrane is vast. Our citizen science volunteers in Cochrane Crowd help to classify evidence. People with lived experience from our Consumer Network peer review our evidence and provide feedback. We have translation projects around the world that work with dedicated volunteers to translate our evidence into 15 languages. 

There are many other volunteer roles in Cochrane and we are grateful to volunteers who make up our Board and Council, and anyone who helps promote Cochrane evidence  - whether they’re doing  by sharing on social media, blogging in Students4BestEvidence, updating Wikipedia articles, or creating Cochrane evidence podcasts.

Cochrane recently launched our volunteer hub, Cochrane Engage. This is the first stop for anyone who wishes to support our work by volunteering in any capacity- we invite you to check it out! 

Thank you again to our many Cochrane volunteers! 

Visit our volunteer platform, Cochrane Engage

Learn more about how Cochrane works with patients and carers


Watch this video in French

Learn more about the Cochrane Wiki project


Get social with Cochrane

Learn more about translating Cochrane evidence

Visit the Cochrane China website

Visit the Cochrane France website

Visit the Cochrane Japan website


Visit the Cochrane Malaysia website

Video also available in Portuguese

Watch this video in Russian

Video also available in Taiwanese Mandarin 

Video also available in Thai

 

Monday, December 5, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane’s updated volunteer hub, Cochrane Engage

2 weeks 6 days ago

Cochrane is pleased to announce the launch of Cochrane Engage, Cochrane’s one-stop-shop for those who want to get involved and volunteer in Cochrane.

Formerly Cochrane TaskExchange, the platform had outgrown its name and look, and it is now being used for much more than review tasks. The new name was chosen through conversations with members of the Cochrane Community.

Cochrane Engage is a place where anyone working in evidence-based health research can come to find volunteers to support their work – we welcome tasks posted by Cochrane Groups and any other organisations or individuals in the wider health research community. People can also browse our network of volunteers to find people with the skills they are looking for.

Those who are getting started in health research can build their skills and experience by applying to volunteer on evidence-based health care tasks, such as translating studies and providing consumer peer review. They will also find opportunities to engage with Cochrane Groups and other organisations. Recently we’ve had opportunities such as mentoring programmes, virtual internships, and requests for people to join author teams.

As well as a new name and new look, we have made other improvements suggested by users. Opportunities are now listed with the most recent tasks at the top of the page so you can easily see what’s new. People who post tasks can filter their tasks to find what they need more quickly. We have plans to continue improving the platform; let us know your suggestions.

Catherine Spencer, Cochrane’s CEO, says of the launch, “Cochrane Engage represents what is best about Cochrane; working collaboratively to improve health evidence for all. We thank everyone who has volunteered with us so far. Patients, carers, early career professionals, translators, and researchers – there are a wide range of volunteers and a wide range of tasks for all. I invite you to check out the newly launch Cochrane Engage and join us in improving health decisions globally.”

Could you use a volunteer? Want to get involved in producing health evidence? It’s easy to use Cochrane Engage to engage with a global health evidence community!

Monday, November 28, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Latest Cochrane Review finds high certainty evidence that nicotine e-cigarettes are more effective than traditional nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) in helping people quit smoking

3 weeks ago

A Cochrane review has found the strongest evidence yet that e-cigarettes, also known as ‘vapes’, help people to quit smoking better than traditional nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches and chewing gums.

New evidence published today in the Cochrane Library finds high certainty evidence that people are more likely to stop smoking for at least six months using nicotine e-cigarettes, or ‘vapes’, than using nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches and gums. Evidence also suggested that nicotine e-cigarettes led to higher quit rates than e-cigarettes without nicotine, or no stop smoking intervention, but less data contributed to these analyses. The updated Cochrane review includes 78 studies in over 22,000 participants – an addition of 22 studies since the last update in 2021.

Smoking is a significant global health problem. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2020, 22.3% of the global population used tobacco, despite it killing up to half of its users. Stopping smoking reduces the risk of lung cancer, heart attacks and many other diseases. Though most people who smoke want to quit, many find it difficult to do so permanently. Nicotine patches and gum are safe, effective and widely used methods to help individuals quit.

E-cigarettes heat liquids with nicotine and flavourings, allowing users to ‘vape’ nicotine instead of smoking. Data from the review showed that if six in 100 people quit by using nicotine replacement therapy, eight to twelve would quit by using electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. This means an additional two to six people in 100 could potentially quit smoking with nicotine containing electronic cigarettes.

Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, Associate Professor at the University of Oxford, Editor of the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, and an author of the new publication, said:

“Electronic cigarettes have generated a lot of misunderstanding in both the public health community and the popular press since their introduction over a decade ago. These misunderstandings discourage some people from using e-cigarettes as a stop smoking tool. Fortunately, more and more evidence is emerging and provides further clarity. With support from Cancer Research UK, we search for new evidence every month as part of a living systematic review. We identify and combine the strongest evidence from the most reliable scientific studies currently available.

For the first time, this has given us high-certainty evidence that e-cigarettes are even more effective at helping people to quit smoking than traditional nicotine replacement therapies, like patches or gums.”

In studies comparing nicotine e-cigarettes to nicotine replacement treatment, significant side effects were rare. In the short-to-medium term (up to two years), nicotine e-cigarettes most typically caused throat or mouth irritation, headache, cough, and feeling nauseous. However, these effects appeared to diminish over time.

Dr Nicola Lindson, University Research Lecturer at the University of Oxford, Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group’s Managing Editor, and author of the publication said:

“E-cigarettes do not burn tobacco; and as such they do not expose users to the same complex mix of chemicals that cause diseases in people smoking conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes are not risk free, and shouldn’t be used by people who don’t smoke or aren’t at risk of smoking. However, evidence shows that nicotine e-cigarettes carry only a small fraction of the risk of smoking. In our review, we did not find evidence of substantial harms caused by nicotine containing electronic cigarettes when used to quit smoking. However, due to the small number of studies and lack of data on long-term nicotine-containing electronic cigarette usage – usage over more than two years – questions remain about long-term effects.”

The researchers conclude that more evidence, particularly about the effects of newer e-cigarettes with better nicotine delivery than earlier ones, is needed to assist more people quit smoking. Longer-term data is also needed.

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive at Cancer Research UK, said:

“We welcome this report which adds to a growing body of evidence showing that e-cigarettes are an effective smoking cessation tool. We strongly discourage those who have never smoked from using e-cigarettes, especially young people. This is because they are a relatively new product and we don’t yet know the long term health effects.

While the long term effects of vaping are still unknown, the harmful effects of smoking are indisputable – smoking causes around 55,000 cancer deaths in the UK every year. Cancer Research UK supports balanced evidence-based regulation on e-cigarettes from UK governments which maximises their potential to help people stop smoking, whilst minimising the risk of uptake among others.”

 

 Hartmann-Boyce J, Lindson N, Butler AR, McRobbie H, Bullen C, Begh R, Theodoulou A, Notley C, Rigotti NA, Turner T, Fanshawe TR, Hajek P. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2022, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD010216. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub7

This work was supported by Cancer Research UK [A ref. A29845]

To speak to a team member about this project please contact Dr. Hartmann-Boyce, jamie.hartmann-boyce@phc.ox.ac.uk or Dr. Lindson, nicola.lindson@phc.ox.ac.uk.

Thursday, November 17, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

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

3 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 24, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

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

3 weeks 2 days ago

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

What is non-specific low back pain?

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

What did we want to find out?

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

What did we do?

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

What did we find?

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

Key results

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

What are the limitations of the evidence?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Friday, November 18, 2022
Lydia Parsonson

Cochrane seeks Commissioning Editor

3 weeks 2 days ago

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

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

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

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

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

How to apply

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

Cochrane seeks Evidence Synthesis Development Editor

3 weeks 2 days ago

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

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

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

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

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

How to apply

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

Cochrane seeks Central Editorial Service Information Specialist

1 month ago

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

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

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

Cochrane is a global, independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesizing research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm and where more research is needed. Our work is recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. An understanding of Cochrane’s work and health research more generally is an advantage, but not essential.

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

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

How to apply

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

Cochrane seeks Information Product Specialist

1 month ago

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

Cochrane is a charity and a global, independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. They do this by synthesising research findings to produce the best available evidence on what works. Their work has been recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

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

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

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

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

How to apply

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

Making health decisions: Sarah’s story

1 month 1 week ago

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

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

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

This video is part of a larger webinar on making health decisions, with patients and doctors reflecting on their experiences and some important things to consider when making health decisions. The recording is available here.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 27, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

How to communicate scientific uncertainty: A Lifeology and Cochrane collaboration

1 month 1 week ago

Sometimes science communicators avoid talking about uncertainty in scientific findings…but they shouldn't! What are some ways you can approach communicating about scientific uncertainty?  Explore this and get an introduction with this free course.

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

Lifeology’s tagline is ‘The place where science and art converge’. They offer a platform that brings together scientists, artists, and storytellers to help people better understand and engage with science, health information, and research. One of the main ways they meet their objectives is through beautifully illustrated, evidence-informed, bite-sized ‘flashcard’ courses about science and health-related topics aimed at the general public and students. This is the third collaboration with Cochrane on a course, the first one being ‘What is an infodemic and how can we prevent it?’ followed by ‘How to talk about vaccines when you’re not an expert’.



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



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

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



Paige Jarreau, co-founder of Lifeology, said "At Lifeology, we believe that science communication in any format, including our flashcard courses, is far better when it is the product of collaboration between scientists and professional creatives like storytellers and artists. We were pleased to be able to work closely with people from Cochrane again to create this course on communicating scientific uncertainty.  This latest free course is accessible in its plain language, has empathetic storytelling, and features relatable imagery. We invite everyone to check to it out and are looking forward to seeing this translated in other languages.”

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

Learn more about Lifeology:

Monday, November 28, 2022
Lydia Parsonson

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

1 month 2 weeks ago

Launch of new framework to 2027 will build on existing work leading to consumer involvement throughout the entire process of research and dissemination of Cochrane evidence. 

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

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

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

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

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



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



The framework has five elements:

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

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Lydia Parsonson
Checked
17 hours 54 minutes ago
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