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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 Cullium, 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

Cochrane seeks Java Developer - Western Europe location

Cochrane News - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 13:35

Specifications: Full Time, permanent position
Location: any Western Europe location considered, Copenhagen, Denmark or Freiburg, Germany, preferred
Application Closing Date: 18 November 2016

This is a challenging and interesting opportunity for an experienced 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 have primary responsibility for web services for Cochrane systematic review production software. These web services are central to Cochrane’s new review production ecosystem, linking several applications from Cochrane and partners.

Requirements: The job requires experience with web service technologies (particularly RESTful APIs), Java EE (JMS, EJB, JPA, JTA), SQL databases, XML, and JSON. We also expect you to have experience with automated testing, and help us improve our test infrastructure and processes. We are looking for a thorough, organised and collaborative team member who will contribute to good practice standards and strive for quality.

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 “Systems 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 see the full job description or contact Gert van Valkenhoef, gvanvalkenhoef@cochrane.org, IT Development Manager.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks Web Application Developer - Western Europe location

Cochrane News - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 13:15

Specifications: Full Time. Contract until 27 December 2017
Location: any Western Europe location considered, Copenhagen, Denmark or Freiburg, Germany, preferred
Application Closing Date: 18 November

This is a challenging and interesting opportunity for a front-end 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 have key responsibility for our browser based review writing software: a modern web application being built on AngularJS, and the centre piece to Cochrane’s new review production ecosystem.

Requirements: We are looking for a solution-focused individual with experience developing front-end web applications in JavaScript using AngularJS or similar frameworks. Experience developing performant cross-browser and cross-device applications using responsive design is strongly preferred. Our ideal candidate also has experience in unit-testing front-end code and is aware of user experience best practices.

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 “Web Applications 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 see the full job description, or contact Gert van Valkenhoef, gvanvalkenhoef@cochrane.org, IT Development Manager.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane seeks members for its inaugural Scientific Committee

Cochrane News - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 18:42

Cochrane is looking for skilled and experienced methodologists, researchers, and editors to form a Scientific Committee - an independent forum providing guidance to the Editor in Chief to ensure that Cochrane Reviews always represent the best methodological practice in evidence synthesis.

Cochrane Reviews are used to inform healthcare and health policy internationally. It is therefore imperative that they consistently and reliably use the most appropriate and scientifically validated methods. In the fast-moving field of evidence synthesis, Cochrane needs to identify and assess new methods and related developments, such as the rise in the use of technology to perform core tasks. The Scientific Committee will receive the support of the Cochrane Library Editor in Chief, along with other Cochrane Groups and committees.

For further information on the role of the Scientific Committee and membership criteria, please see the application form. Deadline for applications is Friday 25th November 2016. A selection panel with both Cochrane and non-Cochrane members will choose the most appropriate people and create a balanced Committee structure to fulfil its remit.  

For further information or informal enquiries please contact Jackie Chandler (Methods Co-ordinator) jchandler@cochrane.org

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 Category: Jobs

Featured Review: Interventions for patients and caregivers to improve knowledge of sickle cell disease and recognition of its related complications

Cochrane News - Mon, 10/17/2016 - 20:53

Positive effects of educational interventions on improving patient knowledge of sickle cell disease and reducing depression

Sickle cell disease is a lifelong, inherited disorder which can cause a number of complications throughout an individual's life. It may cause a huge burden on both the patient and their family, including frequent visits to healthcare facilities. The illness causes not just physical complications such as painful crises and strokes, but may have many other effects such as depression, poor quality of life, coping issues, and poor family relationships. When people with a chronic illness have better understanding about their illness, they manage their illness better and can improve their quality of life.

A team of Cochrane authors based in Barbados and Jamaica, supported by Cochrane Caribbean,  worked with Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders to determine if any educational interventions have helped people with sickle cell disease and their caregivers to improve their understanding of the disease, recognize its complications, improve their adherence to treatment, affect how they utilize health care, and improve other social and psychological problems that they might face. Their review includes 12 trials involving a total of 563 people with the disease, aged 6-35 years of age.

Educational programs and other interventions resulted in improvements in both patients’ and their caregivers’ knowledge or understanding of sickle cell disease, and a decrease in the patients’ levels of depression. Effects on patients' knowledge were maintained for longer than for caregivers. The interventions studied showed no effect on patients' utilization of health services, relationships between families, caregiver or patient skills, coping, or health-related quality of life of the patient. No comparative data were reported for patients or caregivers (or both) recognizing signs and symptoms leading to self-management. No trials assessed adherence to treatment.

“This review identifies important positive effects of educational interventions on improving patients’ knowledge of their sickle cell disease and reducing their depression. Improvements in patients' knowledge were maintained for longer than for caregivers. The effect on knowledge was significant but small, and whether it offers any clinical benefit is uncertain,” says Dr. Monika R Asnani (an author with Cochrane Caribbean) of the Sickle Cell Unit at the Caribbean Institute for Health Research, University of the West Indies and co-lead author of the Cochrane Review. “Significant factors limiting these effects could be trials recruiting low numbers of participants and there was much variation between studies. To better study effects on outcomes, further controlled trials are needed with rigorous attention given to improving recruitment and retention and to decrease bias.”

Read the full Cochrane Review

Visit the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group website

Visit  the Cochrane Caribbean website

Monday, October 17, 2016

International Infection Prevention Week 2016

Cochrane News - Mon, 10/17/2016 - 17:50

 The International Infection Prevention week is the 3rd full week in October every year - a good time to share some of our relevant Cochrane evidence.

Blogs

Central venous catheters: latest evidence for nursing practice on Evidently Cochrane

Replacing peripheral venous catheters: have you ditched the routine? on Evidently Cochrane

Getting evidence into nursing practice: replacing the routine on Evidently Cochrane

Vaccines for Preventing Rotavirus Diarrhoea: Vaccines in Use on  Cochrane Child Health blog


Tweetchat

There is a @WeNurses chat on Thursday 20th October at 8pm BST on the use of gloves & aprons for infection prevention & the (lack of) evidence. It’s guest hosted by two infection specialist nurses and will use the hashtag #wenurses. Details here.

Blogshots

Click on the title or image to go to the full Cochrane Review.

Vaccines for preventing rotavirus diarrhea: vacines in use

Gloves for preventing percutaneous exposure injuries in healthcare workers

Personal protective equipment for preventing infection in healthcare workers

 Hand washing for preventing diarrhoea

 Dressings for central venous catheters

 How often should central venous access device dressings be changed?

 Gloves, gowns and masks for preventing transmission of MRSA in hospital

 Pre-operative showering or bathing

Antimicrobial dressings for newborns with CVCs

When to replace peripheral venous catheters

Antimicrobial coated central venous catheters to reduce infections

Timing of IV prophylactic antibiotics for women having caesarean delivery

 Skin preparation for preventing infection following caesarean section

Antibiotic prophylaxis versus no prophylaxis for preventing infection after cesarean section

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cochrane announces the Cochrane-REWARD prize for reducing waste in research

Cochrane News - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 17:34

The 2009 Lancet series on adding value and reducing waste in research has documented that much research is wasted because its outcomes cannot be used [1]. The waste occurs during 5 stages of research production: question selection, study design, research conduct, publication, and reporting [2,3]. For each of design, publication, and reporting there is a "loss" of around 50%, which implies a total waste of at least 85%. This translates into an estimated global loss of around $170 billion per year. Much of this waste appears to be avoidable or remediable, but there is little recognition of the need to develop and implement the needed remedies.

The Cochrane-REWARD prize will highlight both underused "remedies" and the need to invest in research to identify problems and solutions to them. Cochrane is now calling for nominations for the 2017 prize.

More information on the prize and how to submit a nomination

  1. Chalmers I, Glasziou P. Avoidable waste in the production and reporting of research evidence. Lancet. 2009 Jul 4;374(9683):86-9.
  2. Macleod MR, Michie S, Roberts I, et al. Biomedical research: increasing value, reducing waste. Lancet. 2014 Jan 11;383(9912):101-4.
  3. Glasziou P, Altman DG, Bossuyt P, et al. Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research. Lancet. 2014 Jan 18;383(9913):267-76.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cochrane is looking for a new home for Fertility Regulation reviews

Cochrane News - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 13:50

Following the loss of funding in support of their work, Frans and Anja Helmerhorst have decided to retire from their roles as the Co-ordinating and Managing Editors of the Fertility Regulation Group. We thank them for their contribution to Cochrane over many years and wish them both well in their retirement.

We are therefore looking for a new home for the Fertility Regulation Group: covering systematic reviews of contraception and abortion. The current portfolio of the
Group includes 77 completed reviews, 13 published protocols and 4 titles. Information on the work of the group can be found on its website: http://fertility-regulation.cochrane.org. Carol Manion, who is currently the group’s Trials Search Co-ordinator is willing to stay on in support of the group.

We will accept application from within existing Cochrane groups and beyond, but applicant groups should be aware of the following requirements:

  1. The group should be led by someone who has experience of authoring and editing Cochrane Reviews and also has relevant content expertise,
  2. The group will need to demonstrate that it has secure funding for its activities for at least 3 years, or a high prospect of being able to secure this.
  3. Core members of the team will include one or more lead editor (“Co-ordinating Editor”), Managing Editor (ME) and Trials Search Coordinator (TSC). Both the ME and TSC should either have relevant skills and expertise, or experience of working in these roles within a CRG, or preferably both (see here).  
  4. The Co-ordinating Editor and her/his institution will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Cochrane, and will need to be able to demonstrate capacity to deliver at least 0.1 FTE availability / week, and preferably more.
  5. The ME and TSC will need to be able to contribute at least 0.5 FTE availability per week each, and must both be funded for their Cochrane activities.
  6. The group will need to develop an editorial board, but current members of the board may be willing to continue in the role, on request (see here).

Guidance on setting up a CRG can be found in the Cochrane Organisational Policy Manual but please note that this content is currently being updated.

Potential applicants should familiarise themselves with Cochrane’s commercial sponsorship and conflict of interest policies  and the current core activities of a Cochrane Review Group.

Individuals or groups who are interested to explore this are welcome to speak with Frans Helmerhorst, outgoing Co-ordinating Editor (f.m.helmerhorst@lumc.nl) or David Tovey, Editor in Chief (dtovey@cochrane.org).

To apply please send a cover letter detailing the responses to the numbered bullet points above, and a short Curriculum Vitae of prospective Co-ordinating Editors, Managing Editors and Trials Search Coordinators to David Tovey. The closing date for applications is 30th November 2016.

Friday, October 14, 2016 Category: Jobs

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