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Updated: 10 hours 57 min ago

Cochrane Infectious Disease Group seeking to fill three research positions - Liverpool, UK

Wed, 27/04/2016 - 10:04

The Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group is seeking to hire three research-related positions at the Group's editorial base at the University of Liverpool. For more information, please read the complete job descriptions available on the University of Liverpool's website:

Clinical Research Fellow (closing date 11 May)

Clinical Research Associate (closing date 13 May)

Research Assistant (closing date 13 May)


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Yoga may have health benefits for people with asthma

Wed, 27/04/2016 - 03:22

A new Cochrane Review, published in the Cochrane Library today, suggests that yoga may have a beneficial effect on symptoms and quality of life in people with asthma, but effects on lung function and medication use are uncertain.

Asthma is a common chronic disease affecting about 300 million people worldwide. The many typical symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.

Yoga has gained global popularity as a form of exercise with general life-style benefits, and recent studies have investigated the potential of yoga to relieve asthma-related problems.

A new Cochrane Review summarizes the results of randomized trials and has found evidence that practicing yoga might be able to improve asthma quality of life and symptoms to some extent. However, researchers also warned that higher-quality studies with more participants would be needed to draw any firm conclusions about the effects of yoga.

The team of Cochrane researchers wanted to find out the effects of yoga in people with asthma.

They found 15 randomized controlled trials which involved 1,048 men and women. Most of the trials were conducted in India, followed by Europe and the United States. The majority of participants had mild to moderate asthma for six months to more than 23 years. Six studies looked into the effects of breathing alone during yoga exercise, whilst the other studies assessed the effects of yoga that included breathing, posture, and meditation.

Most people continued to take their usual asthma medication while participating in the studies.

The studies were conducted over a time period of two weeks to over four years.

The researchers found some moderate quality evidence from five studies that yoga exercise reduces the impact of asthma on people’s quality of life. However, evidence about yoga’s impact on the participants’ lung function is more uncertain because the results varied. The effects of yoga on medication use and any side effects of yoga are also uncertain, because only a few very small studies reported these outcomes.

Lead author, Dr Zuyao Yang from the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care at the Chinese University of Hong Kong commented, “Our findings suggest that yoga exercise may lead to small improvements in asthma quality of life and symptoms. However, it is unclear whether yoga has a consistent impact on lung function, and we don’t yet know if yoga can reduce people’s medication usage, or if there are any side effects of yoga for people with asthma.”

Deputy Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Airways Group Rebecca Normansell added, “At present, we just don’t have enough high quality evidence to determine the effects of yoga as a type of exercise for helping people manage their asthma. Because there is uncertainty about the effects of yoga on lung function and use of asthma medication, it’s important that people with asthma continue to take their medication, as prescribed. The findings of this Cochrane Review will help people make more informed choices about their future treatment options.”

Editor’s notes
Full citation:  Yang Z-Y, Zhong H-B, Mao C, Yuan J-Q, Huang Y-F, Wu X-Y, Gao Y-M, Tang J-L. Yoga for asthma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 2 . Art. No.: CD010346. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010346.pub2

For further information, please contact:

Jo Anthony
Senior Media and Communications Manager, Cochrane
+44(0) 7582 726 634 or

Sarah Sharples
Senior Communications Officer, St George’s, University of London
E P 020 8725 5180

Media spokespeople:  
Zuyao Yang
Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Epidemiology, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China

Rebecca Normansell
Editor, Population Health Institute at St George’s Hospital, University of London
Joint Co-ordinating Editor, Cochrane Airways Group

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.

Find out more at
Follow us on twitter @cochranecollab

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:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Featured Review: Drugs for the acute treatment of migraine in children and adolescents

Mon, 25/04/2016 - 21:26

Cochrane Review provides guidance on what drugs can help kids with migraines

Migraine is a painful and debilitating disorder that is common in children (under 12 years of age) and adolescents (12 to 17 years of age). Common symptoms reported during a migraine attack are headache, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Many treatments for migraine are available, of which the most common are paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen), ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories; and triptans. Not all triptan medications are approved for use in children or adolescents, and approvals vary from country to country.

A team of Cochrane authors based in Canada and the United States worked with the Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group to assess the effects of pharmacological interventions versus placebo for migraine in children and adolescents to find out which treatments were effective at providing pain freedom two hours after treatment and what the side effects were. The review includes 27 randomized controlled trials of drugs compared to placebo, with a total of 7630 children receiving medication in the studies.

Ibuprofen appears to be effective in treating children with migraine, but the evidence is limited to only two small trials. Paracetamol was not shown to be effective in providing pain relief in children, but only one small study was found. Triptans are a type of medication designed specifically to treat migraine and are often effective at providing greater pain freedom in children and adolescents than a placebo. The triptans examined in children included rizatriptan and sumatriptan, while almotriptan, eletriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, and zolmitriptan were examined in adolescents. The combination of sumatriptan plus naproxen sodium is also effective at treating adolescents with migraine. Overall, there is a risk that the triptan medications may cause minor unwanted side effects like taste disturbance, nasal symptoms, dizziness, fatigue, low energy, nausea, or vomiting. The studies did not report any serious side effects.

“Parents of children with migraines are looking for both an effective and safe treatment,” said Lawrence Richer, the lead author of the Cochrane Review. “Ibuprofen is readily available and inexpensive, making it an excellent first choice for migraine treatment. Clinicians may consider the triptan class of medications, as well as sumatriptan in combination with naproxen sodium, as suitable options for children and adolescents with migraine, when ibuprofen has failed to provide pain freedom or headache relief.”

Read the full Cochrane Review

Visit the Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group

Monday, April 25, 2016

DianaHealth portal to improve clinical appropriateness of recommendations

Fri, 22/04/2016 - 20:12

Portal to help with  better decision making concerning patient care and healthcare systems sustainability.

Dissemination of Initiatives to Analyse Appropriateness in Healthcare, or DianaHealth ( was developed to easily identify recommendations which improve clinical appropriateness. The portal was created by the Clinical Epidemiology Service, Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre located at the Hospital of Sant Pau, and by the other groups of the Clinical Epidemiology Programme of CIBERESP (CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública; Biomedical Research Networking Centres of Epidemiology and Public Health), which partially funded it.

This open access portal is available in Spanish and English and allows searching existing recommendations (currently almost 3000), which have been previously identified and classified by speciality, health condition, and initiative. DianaHealth could help physicians and other stakeholders make better decisions concerning patient care and healthcare systems sustainability.

Read more about the portal in a recent PLOS ONE journal article.

Visit DianaHealth in Spanish and English.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Cochrane seeks part-time Human Resources Manager - London, UK

Fri, 22/04/2016 - 16:57

Specifications: part-time (2 vacancies) – up to 22.5 hours per week (permanent job share)
Salary: £35,000-£45,000 pro rata
Dependant on experience
Application closing date:
22 May 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 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.

We are looking for exceptional candidates to work collaboratively in a permanent job share. The main purpose of the role is to assist the Head of Finance and Core Services in providing an effective, efficient, and comprehensive Human Resources service in order to support the strategic aims and operational activities of the organization.

This is a challenging and varied role and requires the post holder to be comfortable with managing and supporting concurrent projects and activities. The successful candidate will need to be extremely well organized to manage a high workload as well as having a sound understanding of employment law. We are looking for a service-focused professional with a proven collaborative approach.  

Key accountabilities include:

  • Provide HR support and advice to the Chief Executive Officer, Head of Finance and Core Services, CEO of Cochrane Innovations (Cochrane’s commercial trading company), other senior managers and Central Executive staff so that Cochrane policies are followed and good practice and legal obligations are met.
  • Develop and maintain good employee relations within Cochrane through a thorough knowledge of the whole organization and understanding its objectives.
  • Provide leadership and project management for HR-related projects in order to improve the general HR service and to meet individual and organizational objectives.
  • Oversee and coordinate the recruitment and selection process to ensure that best talent is recruited in order to meet organizational resourcing needs.
  • Liaise with the external payroll providers in the UK, Germany, and Denmark and deal with any pay-related queries.
  • Manage the pension scheme to ensure the monthly payments are made and deal with any queries.
  • Ensure that employment policies and procedures, including Health & Safety, comply with legal requirements and good practice and are implemented to a high standard.
  • Meet with the Chief Executive, Head of Finance and Core Services, and CEO of Cochrane Innovations as and when required, provide them with strategic reports, and discuss and update them on any employee/business issues.
  • Provide advice to entities on HR related issues as and when required.
  • Liaise with HR legal and other consultants and external bodies as and when required.
  • Promote equality and diversity as part of the culture of the organization.
  • Analyze training needs in conjunction with departmental managers following annual appraisals.
  • Undertake other duties that may be considered appropriate.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • CIPD qualification
  • Previous generalist HR experience
  • Current working knowledge of employment legislation
  • International payroll/contract experience
  • Intermediate level IT skills, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook
  • Ability to prioritize and manage own workload
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Ability to communicate confidently with people at all levels

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV quoting “HR Manager” in the subject line, along with a supporting statement or cover letter to The supporting statement/cover letter 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 that you feel are relevant to the post.

Deadline for applications: 22 May 2016 (12 midnight GMT)

Friday, April 22, 2016 Category: Jobs

Making a difference in policy conversations about food consumption

Fri, 22/04/2016 - 16:53

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 Review, 'Portion, package or tableware size for changing selection and consumption of food, alcohol and tobacco' published in September 2015 from the Cochrane Public Health group found significant evidence that people consume more food or non-alcoholic drinks when offered larger sized portions or when they use larger items of tableware.

Since then this Cochrane review has had a significant impact, and has been one of the most important public health stories of 2015, globally.

Author, Ian Shemilt, based at the University of Cambridge, UK tells the story for this Cochrane Review, so far…

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Cochrane seeks Financial Controller - London, UK

Fri, 22/04/2016 - 16:47

Specifications: Full Time 37.5 hours per week
Salary: £35,000-£45,000 pro rata
Dependant on experience
London, UK
Application Closing Date:
22 May 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 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 main purpose of this role is to support the Head of Finance and Core Services in providing an efficient and effective finance function for Cochrane and Cochrane Innovations.

This is a challenging and varied role and requires a pro-active, hands on approach as the post holder will need to be managing and supporting concurrent projects and activities. We are looking for a service-focused professional with a proven collaborative approach.  

Key tasks:

  • To manage and support two part-time book-keepers, including providing cover for the book-keepers during holiday periods.
  • To oversee the management of the financial ledgers for four entities: Cochrane, Collaboration Trading, Cochrane Innovations, and Cochrane IKMD, ensuring all transactions are accurate, processed, and dealt with in line with agreed terms and conditions.
  • Work with the book-keepers to produce a monthly finance pack to include management accounts and control account reconciliations (including bank accounts) with an awareness of restricted funding and project accounting for both Cochrane and Cochrane Innovations.
  • Work with the HR manager to ensure two UK and two overseas payrolls are completed and sent to payroll bureaus on a monthly basis and all contractors are paid in line with agreed contractual terms and conditions.
  • With the HR manager, develop effective partnerships with third-party local providers of payroll and financial accounting in Denmark and Germany.
  • Monitor and manage the cost of foreign exchange transactions.
  • Provide support to managers for partnership funding applications and assist with the production of ongoing monitoring reports and information.
  • Be the point of contact for colleagues in relation to financial issues, including budget queries, project cost allocation, and payment enquiries.
  • Work with the Head of Finance and Core Services to ensure the contracts database is reflective of ongoing financial commitments, and the grants database is maintained to ensure timely payments of contractual arrangements.
  • Oversee the preparation and submission of quarterly VAT returns.
  • Act as authorized signatory on bank accounts.
  • Support the annual audit process.
  • Support the annual budgeting process.
  • Work with the Head of Finance and Core Services to collate financial monitoring information from Cochrane Groups.
  • To support the development of the Finance function and implement standard operating procedures alongside improvements to controls, making full use of IT wherever possible.
  • Ensure compliance of all financial matters with that of statutory bodies and relevant regulations through integrated standard operating procedures.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Part/qualified CIMA 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 prioritize 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


  • Experience of healthcare charity sector

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV quoting “Financial Controller” in the subject line, along with a supporting statement or cover letter to  The supporting statement/cover letter 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 that you feel are relevant to the post.

Deadline for applications: 22 May 2016 (12 midnight GMT)

Friday, April 22, 2016 Category: Jobs

Seoul Colloquium news

Fri, 22/04/2016 - 13:32

We are pleased to announce that early bird registration is now open for the 2016 Cochrane Colloquium – please see the registration information page for guidelines, key dates, and more.

Abstract and workshop submission closed as of Thursday, 21 April. Colloquium organizers will be notifying presenters of decisions by 1 June.

For complete information, please see the Colloquium website.

Look forward to seeing you in Seoul in October!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Giving healthcare consumers a platform to be heard

Wed, 20/04/2016 - 06:00

Cochrane Consumer Network (CCNET) supports the learning of evidence-based healthcare principles, including how to use Cochrane’s systematic reviews, and encourages consumers throughout the world to work collaboratively with healthcare providers and researchers in over 50 areas of disease-based health care to ensure that evidence is accessible to the general public.

Our annual meeting, called the Cochrane Colloquium, provides an opportunity where consumers from a variety of countries can meet. A number of meetings and workshops are organized that provide consumers with a better understanding of Cochrane and how they contribute. Last year’s Colloquium, held in Vienna Austria, we awarded ten stipends for consumers to attend.

Catherine Hofstetter from Canada:

“I have been working with the Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group and the Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group for the last few years as a consumer reviewer. I was privileged to attend the Cochrane Colloquium in Vienna in October.  The Colloquium was very well organized, with plenary sessions to start each day.  I presented at one of the rapid oral presentation sessions and found the sessions I attended to have good audience interaction.”




Helen Bulbeck from UK:

“I run a national brain cancer charity, Braintrust, and this was my first Cochrane Colloquium. I share the same ultimate objective with Cochrane – to improve outcomes for patients. Engagement with patients is fundamental to the work that we both do, so attendance at the Colloquium broadened my reach and understanding of these key aspects of my work.

We’re now exploring how we can use cancer registry data in new ways to address important questions for the brain tumour community. Thank you Cochrane for being the green shoots. I wouldn’t have done this if I hadn’t attended the Colloquium. This enabled me to continue to 'close the circle' between patient-centred care, so that I can continue to position Bainstrust as the voice of brain cancer patients and to add a wider, patient-centric viewpoint where we can."

 If you are already a consumer actively involved in Cochrane, you may wish to apply for a Consumer Stipend to cover the travel costs and other expenses associated with attending our annual Colloquium. The Colloquium this year will be held in Seoul, Korea, 23-27 October. More information about the Consumer Stipend can be found here - deadline for applications is 8 June, 2016.

If you are a consumer that is interested in being involved in Cochrane: We invite all patients, care-givers, or patient advocates to join CCNet at whatever capacity of involvement they are interested in - receiving our monthly newsletters, leaning about Cochrane and evidence-based health care, participating in discussions about consumer issues, or working with Cochrane healthcare groups in your area of interest. Just fill out this survey and let us know a bit more about yourself and how you want to be involved. We look forward to working with you and perhaps meeting you in person at a future Colloquium!

Visit the Cochrane Consumer Network website.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Special Collection: the health of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe

Fri, 15/04/2016 - 18:13

Guest post by Kevin Pottie, Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada

A new Cochrane Library Special Collection, developed in conjunction with Evidence Aid, brings together Cochrane Reviews addressing health conditions relevant to refugees and asylum seekers.

Migrant health crises require a range of planned and coordinated interventions, and, as this collection highlights, a foundation of relevant evidence. Systematic reviews are needed to inform the development of community programs, clinical and public health guidelines, and national and international polices. Equity methods are being used to identify disadvantaged migrant groups that may face health inequities in a humanitarian emergency, and systematic reviews can help to prevent unintended harms and consequences of interventions. The Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group has established a migrant health subgroup aiming to address unfair and unjust health outcomes among migrant populations.

The current European migrant crisis has seen the arrival of a large numbers of asylum seekers and refugees, amid concern about their integration into societies and health systems. The International Organization for Migration predicts that global international migration (people seeking a new life in another country) will double from 215 million to more than 400 million by 2050. Without effective integration or resettlement, many fear long-term social and health problems.

A robust, high-quality evidence base can help marshal political will and strengthen policy-making capacity and service delivery. Systematic reviews may also help build provider capacity to ensure effective service provision, and they may help improve collaboration among nongovernmental organizations.

The field of migrant health research has grown rapidly over the last 15 years. Social science researchers have studied the impact of migration on a range of social outcomes, and psychiatrists and anthropologists have studied how trauma and differences in culture and values may impact mental health. Infectious disease specialists have identified the conditions that may begin or emerge in the migration process, such as tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, varicella, and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

This Special Collection presents systematic reviews on health conditions relevant for migrating populations, most notably migrants who are affected by conflict, poverty, and forced migration. The reviews focus on conditions relating to the transit or the particular population involved, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, skin infections, sexual and physical violence, tuberculosis, and vaccine-preventable diseases.

Read the Special Collection

Monday, April 18, 2016

Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth launches infographic series

Thu, 14/04/2016 - 01:34

The Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Review Group has begun developing infographics to make results of key Cochrane Reviews more accessible and usable. To see the first three infographics in the series, please visit the ‘What’s new’ page on the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth website.

As this is a new model of delivering review findings, the Pregnancy and Childbirth team are very interested in hearing feedback – information on how to provide this is available alongside the infographics listing.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cochrane evidence plays key role in evidence-based medicine for better health

Wed, 13/04/2016 - 20:35

A Round Table on "Evidence-based medicine for better health of the nation" was held on March 23, 2016, at the National Centre of Culture Kazan. It was co-organized by the Committee on Social Policy of the State Duma of the Republic of Tatarstan, the civil society movement Tatarstan New Century, and Cochrane Russia based at the Department of the Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology of the Kazan Federal University.

Among the participants of the Round Table there were deputies of Tatarstan State Council, representatives of the Federal Service on Surveillance in Healthcare and Social Development, as well as for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare in the Republic of Tatarstan, the Human Rights Commissioner in the Republic of Tatarstan, the members of the Russian branch of the North Cochrane Centre – Cochrane Russia, Russia's leading experts in the field of evidence-based medicine, the representatives of the Republic of Tatarstan Ministry of health, medical and educational institutions, science, as well as doctors, environmentalists, representatives of the media.

Cochrane Russia made a presentation of the evidence for effective and safe methods of treatments. Participants discussed possibilities of improving quality of healthcare by reducing costs and waste. Having taken into consideration the need of the national health care system to prioritise the questions of the health of the nation over the interest of short-term gains and profits of manufacturers of medicinal products and equipment, the Round table participants adopted the resolution with recommendations addressed to the government authorities, public health leadership, educational institutions, and public organizations. It was agreed that this could be costs and wastes as well as more effective and safer treatments could be achieved by choosing and using medicines and other therapies which the effectiveness is proven by Cochrane Reviews. 

News of this Round Table and outcomes of this meeting made front page news in various papers and was covered in national news broadcasts.

Visit Cochrane Russia’s website

View Cochrane evidence in Russian

Selected News coverage:

Russian 1 TV channel

Russian news  article on TNVROD

Front page story on RT, the number one newspaper in Tatarstan.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Extended: Call for applications: Cochrane Innovations Board members

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 21:01

Closing date for applications: 28 April 2016, 23:59 BST

Cochrane Innovations is a recently established trading subsidiary of Cochrane, with a remit to identify and develop new products, services, and business opportunities that support evidence-informed health decision making. The Board works closely with the Chief Executive Officer to shape product development which includes both upstream evidence production services and tools, and downstream evidence dissemination products. Cochrane Innovations works on a commercial basis, with profits returned to Cochrane to support its financial sustainability and implementation of its Strategy to 2020.

Cochrane Innovations is seeking to attract a number of new Board Members who can demonstrate a commitment to Cochrane Innovations' mission and strategy, to guide future growth and revenue diversification. Expressions of interest are particularly sought from individuals who understand the complexities of working in challenging and competitive environments and have skills and experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • board membership or other senior leadership of a large commercial or not-for-profit organization
  • financial management and business development expertise, including both startup and corporate experience
  • senior role in a healthcare organization
  • digital publishing experience
  • evidence-informed health care or policy
  • organizational operations across an international network

Membership is non-remunerated and would require that individuals attend meetings of the Board around five times per year (four by teleconference and at least one face-to-face meeting in London during September).  Teleconference times may be late evening or early morning to accommodate global location of board members. Relevant expenses would be reimbursed.

For more information on this opportunity and the application process, download the complete role description.

Friday, April 8, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane Steering Group announces appointment of two external members

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 12:41

Cochrane is delighted to announce the appointment of the first two external members of the Cochrane Steering Group (CSG): Marguerite Koster and Catherine Marshall. The CSG has undertaken these appointments within its existing powers to co-opt external members as required, and potentially as the first step in Cochrane’s proposed re-structure of the CSG into the Cochrane Board. The governance re-structure is undergoing consultation with the Cochrane community during 2016, and Cochrane Groups will have the final vote on the proposal at the 2016 Annual General Meeting, during the Cochrane Colloquium in Seoul. For more information on this project, please see the Governance re-structure project pages on our Community site.

Marguerite A. Koster, MA, MFT
Marguerite Koster, MA, MFT is the Senior Manager of the Evidence-Based Medicine Services Unit within the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, a partnership of physicians which contracts exclusively with the non-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan to provide medical services for more than 4.1 million members in Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California Region. In this position, she manages a staff of 11 evidence specialists who systematically review and critically appraise scientific evidence in support of Kaiser Permanente’s clinical practice guideline, medical technology assessment, and health system implementation programs. For the past 20 years, Ms. Koster has been actively involved in the advancement of evidence-based medicine and methodology standards for guideline development and technology assessment at Kaiser Permanente’s national and regional levels, and she has a long history of collaboration with other healthcare organizations, medical and professional societies, systematic reviewers, accreditation bodies and public policy groups. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee on Standards for Systematic Reviews of Comparative Effectiveness Research which published the report, Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews, and a reviewer of the IOM Report, Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust.  She is also the Immediate Past Chair of the Guidelines International Network/North America (G-I-N/NA) community, as well as a member of the Guidelines International Network. In addition, she has served on expert panels for The Joint Commission (Osteoporosis) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, including the PCORI Dissemination and Implementation Toolkit, Integrating Multiple Data Sources for Meta-Analysis to Improve Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (MUDS); and By Consumers, for Consumers: Building Capacity and Partnerships to Enhance Patient-centeredness.  A long-time supporter of Cochrane initiatives and products, her major professional interest areas include systematic and rapid review methodology, methods for synthesizing evidence, evidence grading systems, collaborative guideline development and implementation, health technology assessment, knowledge  translation in the clinical health care setting, and integration of evidence-based clinical content into electronic health systems.

Catherine Marshall
Catherine Marshall is an Independent Guideline Adviser and Health Sector consultant based in a small rural community in NZ. Her interests include evidence-based health care, consumer empowerment,  guideline development and implementation, integrated primary care services, poultry wrangling, and growing vegetables.

Between 2001-2006 Catherine was the inaugural Chief Executive of the New Zealand Guidelines Group, a not-for-profit organization set up to develop guidelines and promote evidence-based practice in NZ. Catherine has been actively involved in the development of the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) and is an Honorary Patron of the Network. Catherine was involved with the G-I-N Board as a Trustee for nine years. Catherine has provided consultancy advice and training on guideline implementation in New Zealand (NZ), Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, Singapore, and Canada, as well as for G-I-N and Cochrane. Catherine has also conducted a reviews of  guideline programmes run in NZ and Australia, provided advice to a range of Australian government agencies on standards for guidelines,  reviewed Australian guidelines, developed plans for implementing guidelines and establishing a national program of priority guideline topics. In addition to her guideline work Catherine has been closely involved in the Stronger Consumer Voice activities in NZ, the Consumer Collaboration of Aotearoa. She is also a Trustee of a small rural primary health care nurse-led service and a member of the NGO Council - an agency established to encourage and support not-for-profit health agencies in NZ.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Cochrane Canada comes home to McMaster University

Fri, 01/04/2016 - 17:50

We are delighted to announce today that Cochrane Canada has returned to McMaster University in Hamilton.

Cochrane Canada’s return to McMaster University will be led by a new Director, Holger Schünemann. He says this is an exciting announcement: “The relocation of the Canadian centre is important to McMaster. I would like to thank Jeremy Grimshaw, the outgoing Director, for his dedicated leadership of Cochrane Canada. The best available information on health is critical for both clinicians and patients in every part of the world, including Canada, to make the most informed choices. The centre will consider the evidence ecosystem by integrating different types of evidence to facilitate transfer of trustworthy research from bench to bedside to policy. This will include conduct of systematic reviews and provide technology solutions to inform healthcare recommendations and decision-making to serve Canadians and citizens of the world. Collaboration with Canadian and international partners will be a pillar of the centre’s work. Recently approved by the University, our centre will be named shortly after a benefactor whose support made this move possible.”

Krista Connell, Chair of Cochrane Canada’s Advisory Board, says that this move is a great opportunity for Cochrane Canada: “Our long-term funding at this stage is still uncertain, but this transition back to McMaster University is a key indication of our confidence for the future. I look forward to working more closely with Holger and thank Jeremy for his tireless service.”

Outgoing Centre Director Jeremy Grimshaw expressed his own delight at the news: “ I became the Director of Cochrane Canada in 2005 and have had a good run. I am proud of all the achievements of our Cochrane Canada community over the last 11 years, especially the increase in Canadian authors (from 600 in 2005 to over 2200 currently) and of our Canadian Institute of Health Research Knowledge Translation Award in 2013. Cochrane Canada is a vibrant community dedicated to undertaking and promoting high-quality reviews relevant to the needs of stakeholders in Canada and globally; it is a key element of the knowledge infrastructure needed to support evidence-informed decisions by citizens, patients, healthcare professionals and managers, and policy makers. ” 

Visit the Cochrane Canada website

Friday, April 1, 2016

Evidence Aid seeks Office Administrator - Oxford, UK

Tue, 29/03/2016 - 23:51

Evidence Aid seeks Office Administrator (PT)
Location: Oxford, UK
Closing date: Friday, 15 April 2016, 17:00 BST

Evidence Aid ( has been championing the evidence-based approach in humanitarian action since 2004 when it was established by members of Cochrane ( Evidence Aid is now an independent charity, registered in the UK, which aims to inspire and enable those guiding the humanitarian sector to apply an evidence-based approach in their activities and decisions. Our focus is on activities related to health outcomes in humanitarian crises and disaster risk reduction (DRR), but we also support the general advancement of a more evidence-based approach in humanitarian action and DRR across the sector. Evidence Aid has reached a pivotal point in its development, set to grow in scale and influence over the next 5 years, in line with the newly developed vision and strategic plan.

Role objective
To provide excellent administrative, financial and communications support to Evidence Aid as instructed by the line manager, while contributing to the projected growth and effective and efficient running of the organisation.

Initially this role will be 15 hours per week but there is the opportunity for this to increase as the role develops and the organisation grows. In consultation, there is flexibility around when the hours are worked.  

A full job description is available on request from Claire Allen (

Person specification
The successful candidate will be flexible, organised and a self-starter. Ideally, s/he will have experience of running a small office and establishing robust business systems, including ICT. S/he will be enthusiastic about working as part of a small and often remote team, and independent enough to thrive with a varied role, responding to needs as they arise. S/he will be friendly, approachable, helpful, assertive, calm and able to learn on the job.

This post will suit an applicant who is calm under pressure, motivated by being part of a growing organisation and who is committed to Evidence Aid’s mission. Ideally, the postholder will have a genuine interest in and commitment to the humanitarian principles and action.

Key day to day responsibilities
Financial support
relating to general bookkeeping, invoicing, accounting system (ClearBooks), and reporting.

Administrative support relating to implementation, upkeep and development of processes and policies, reporting requirements relating to milestones and deadlines, upkeep of databases, management of documents and collating and producing information for reports.

Communications relating to supporting activities, mailing lists, newsletters, website, blogs, and social media.

Coordination to ensure that effective office and IT systems are developed, implemented and kept up to date, provide appropriate support for remote working, support and relationship development for and with staff, volunteers, vendors, service providers and landlord.

Supporting team members and Trustees with all aspects of administrative support including diary management, travel bookings, minute taking at Trustee meetings, co-ordination of meetings and events, and office management issues related to facilities.

 Key skills

  • Proven office management, administrative, or assistant experience.
  • Proven experience of implementation of office management systems and procedures.
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to multi-task and prioritise work.
  • Attention to detail and problem solving skills.
  • Able to work alone or as part of a group.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organisational and planning skills.
  • Proficiency in MS Office, social media and cloud-based collaboration tools (desirable: Wordpress).
  • Experience in working for charities (desirable).


  • Location: Oxford.
  • Salary range: £21,000 - £24,000 FTE equivalent. (In addition, Evidence Aid will make a pension contribution of 6% of salary.)
  • Hours: 2 days/week (40% FTE) with the option to increase to 2.5 days/week (50% FTE). In consultation, there is flexibility around when the hours are worked.
  • Responsible to: Director.
  • Management responsibility: No line management, only process management and coordination with suppliers and volunteers.

To apply
Please send a covering letter or e-mail along with your CV, demonstrating how you meet the criteria above, to Claire Allen ( with the subject heading “Office Administrator application” no later than 17.00 BST on Friday 15 April 2016. You will be informed if you are invited to interview on Thursday 21 April 2016. Interviews will be held on 28 April 2016.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 Category: Jobs

Featured Review: Aquatic exercise for the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis

Sat, 26/03/2016 - 22:52

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease characterized by joint pain, tenderness, and limitation of movement. At present, no cure is available, so only treatment focused on symptoms or on preventing further development of the disease are possible. Aquatic exercise is physical exercises taking place while the participant is immersed in water, typically water with a temperature between 32°C to 36°C.

A team of Cochrane authors based in Denmark and Norway worked with Cochrane Musculoskeletal to investigate the effects of aquatic exercise for people with knee or hip osteoarthritis, or both. The Cochrane Review includes 13 trials with a total of 1190 participants. The authors rated the evidence to be of moderate quality. Most participants were female, with an average age of 68 years. Osteoarthritis duration was 6.7 years, with a great variation of the included participants.

A treatment course was up to 12 weeks of aquatic exercise. Those who completed an aquatic exercise programme rated their pain and disability afterwards as five points lower on a 0 to 100 scale compared with people who did not receive aquatic exercise. They also rated their quality of life as seven points higher on a 0 to 100 scale. There were no serious side effects reported with relation to participating in aquatic exercise.

“Aquatic exercise for people with knee and hip osteoarthritis will probably improve pain, disability slightly, and may improve quality of life slightly immediately after completion of a treatment course, ” said Else Marie Bartels, the lead author of the Cochrane Review. “Given that there were no serious side effects and that there is currently no cure available for osteoarthritis, trying out an aquatic exercise program in addition to regular care may be an option for clinicians to recommend and for patients to consider."

Read the full Cochrane Review

Visit the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group website

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Cochrane seeks Executives’ Support Officer - Flexible location

Tue, 22/03/2016 - 20:27

Specifications: Part Time (up to 14 hours per week)
Dependant on experience
Flexible Location
Application Closing Date:
18 April 2016
April 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 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:  The Cochrane Executives’ Support Officer role will be a fixed-term contract of one year’s duration in the first instance. The core administrative component will involve working closely with the convenors and members of the three Cochrane Review Group Executives, and liaising with the staff of the Cochrane Central Executive.  The role will require a time commitment of up to 14 hours per week, however some degree of flexibility will be required.

The organizational and administrative functions:

  • Organize international telephone conferences (approximately six per year for each of the Managing Editors’ and Information Specialists’ Executives).
  • Organize face-to-face meetings at the organization’s annual conference, at the annual mid-year meeting, and at other times as required.
  • Liaise with Executive Convenors to ensure meeting priorities and set draft agendas.
  • Take action item minutes of Executive meetings, and manage the dissemination and follow-up of action items.
  • Co-ordinate communication between the three Executives and with other stakeholders.
  • Administer information management tasks on Cochrane’s online systems, help to keep the contacts database and online document management up to date on behalf of the Executives.
  • Administer the Executives’ budgets, including agreeing budget allocation with convenors, monitoring expenditure, processing expense claims ready for payment, and liaising with the accounting department to resolve queries.
  • Other relevant tasks, as required.

The full job description is available here.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to Cochrane Human Resources at with “Executives’ Support Officer” 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.

Further information: For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Vicki Pennick,

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 Category: Jobs

Featured Review: Vaccines for preventing herpes zoster in older adults

Mon, 21/03/2016 - 20:36

Vaccine helps prevent shingles in older adults for at least three years

 The varicella zoster virus causes chickenpox and can remain dormant inside nerve cells. After many years, it can reactivate and travel through the nerve to the skin, causing itching, numbness, tingling or local pain, and then blisters along the nerve path. These blisters are often accompanied with inflammation of the nerves and severe pain, which can affect quality of life. This is called herpes zoster or shingles. As time goes by, the specific immunity against varicella zoster virus decreases making the elderly peculiarly susceptible. There are about 5.22 episodes of shingles for every 1000 older people. This is increasing, in part because people are living longer.

A team of Cochrane authors based in Brazil worked with the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group to investigate effectiveness and safety of vaccination for preventing shingles in older adults. Their review includes 13 studies, with a total of 69,916 participants. All included studies were conducted in high-income countries and included only healthy elderly Caucasians (> 60 years) without any immunosuppressive problems.

The evidence indicates that the herpes zoster vaccine is effective in preventing shingles, and that this protection can last three years. In general, the vaccine is well tolerated. It produced few adverse events and injection site adverse events of mild to moderate intensity.

“Herpes zoster is more frequent among elderly individuals than in other adults, and its main clinical feature is pain; therefore prevention of this disease is desirable,” said Anna MZ Gagliardi, the lead author of the Cochrane Review. “There is a clear benefit in vaccinating persons 60 year of age and more with the zoster vaccine, as it can reduce the incidence of shingles for at least three years.”

Read the full Cochrane Review

Visit the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections website


Monday, March 21, 2016