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Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine seeks Professor/Senior Lecturer of Evidence Synthesis in Global Health - Liverpool, UK
Location: Liverpool, UK
Contract type: Permanent / Full Time
Closing date: Monday 17 October
This leadership role is for a highly experienced scientist in evidence synthesis who will lead the further development of evidence synthesis, as part of the Global Health Trials and Synthesis Unit, and across the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and its partners.
The Department of Clinical Sciences is a global leader in evidence synthesis providing an excellent platform for translational research from concept through discovery and clinical trials to evidence synthesis, teaching, policy change and eventual health impact.
Why join the department of clinical Sciences in this leadership post?
The post arises with the retirement of the Director of the Evidence Synthesis in Global Health Centre. It provides a great opportunity for an academic with experience in the area to develop and shape their own portfolio of methods, reviews and collaborative links with researchers and policy personnel. There is an existing infrastructure, with high quality and experienced grant managers, search specialists, a statistician, and post-master staff, and has funds and programmes of work running to April 2024.
The Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group enabled pivotal reviews that led the evidence-base underpinning impregnated mosquito nets, artemisinin-based combination treatments, and a change in the formulation or oral rehydration salt solution. The work has been conducted as part of global collaboration within Cochrane and our own emerging evidence ecosystem.
Cochrane joins the World Rehabilitation Alliance – come to the launch on 13 September
Around 2.4 billion people globally are estimated to live with a health condition that could benefit from rehabilitation. Yet despite this high need, many people around the world are currently unable to access appropriate services.
Recognising this challenge, Cochrane has joined the World Rehabilitation Alliance (WRA), a World Health Organization (WHO) global network of stakeholders which aims to support the implementation of the Rehabilitation 2030 initiative by jointly advocating.
Cochrane Rehabilitation will lead our involvement in the WRA, given the team’s longstanding work in this topic area, and will contribute primarily to the research workstream.
Dr Carlotte Kiekens, Co-Director of Cochrane Rehabilitation, says:
“In order to strengthen and upscale rehabilitation in health systems worldwide, it is of utmost importance that rehabilitation interventions are based on evidence. The best available evidence on rehabilitation must be available and accessible in appropriate formats to all who need it.”
Cochrane Rehabilitation has collaborated with WHO to support the development of a robust evidence base to assist health policymakers for several years. They do this by providing synthesis and helping identify evidence gaps where high-quality research is needed. You can read more about their joint work in this interview with Cochrane Rehabilitation Director Professor Stefano Negrini.Join the launch event – Tuesday 13 September, 14:00-15:00 CET
The WRA will formally launch during a virtual event on Tuesday 13 September. The event, which is free to attend and open to all, will introduce the WRA and why it has been established, and highlight some of the activities planned.
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A new open access journal for Cochrane: Cochrane Evidence Synthesis and Methods
Cochrane’s first open access journal, Cochrane Evidence Synthesis and Methods, has opened for submissions! Working in conjunction with our publisher, Wiley, this journal strengthens Cochrane’s ability to meet our stakeholders’ needs and publish different types of evidence synthesis beyond systematic reviews. It will also include methods research evaluating how evidence syntheses is planned, produced and disseminated, and research articles on critical areas for evidence synthesis, such as, priority setting, consumer involvement, and research integrity.
Cochrane has over 100,000 members and contributors across an established global network who publish their systematic reviews in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. This new journal opens up opportunities for these members, and researchers new to Cochrane, to publish research outputs that go beyond Cochrane systematic reviews, which reflects the interests, talents and expertise of this global network and beyond. The journal aims to further develop the evidence base for how we produce and publish evidence synthesis, share best practice, case studies and commentaries.
Michael Brown, Editor, Cochrane Evidence Synthesis and Methods (responsible for the content and development of the journal), and Professor at Michigan State University, USA, explains, “The agility involved means we can collaborate more closely with guideline developers, decision makers and funders through publication of evidence syntheses directly relevant to their specific interests. We hope the community is as excited as we are to be able to publish this range of research relevant to evidence synthesis in a journal with Cochrane’s philosophy for transparency, integrity, and independence.”
Karla Soares-Weiser, Editor-in-Chief, Cochrane, adds, “This is an exciting milestone for Cochrane as Cochrane Evidence Synthesis and Methods allows us to publish a wider range of evidence products that meets a more diverse range of stakeholder needs. It will enable Cochrane to better respond to important global health and social care needs and influence health decisions that go beyond the remit of systematic reviewing alone.”
Ella Flemyng, Editorial Product Lead, Cochrane, explains why this new journal is important for the field, “Cochrane Evidence Synthesis and Methods welcomes innovative ideas and is not afraid to trial new ways of publishing. This includes showcasing practices that support research integrity, embedding consumer involvement within the journal, piloting how to better visualise research, and improving peer review - as a few examples.”
For more information visit:
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How systematic reviewers can bring attention to fraudulent studies, writes Lisa Bero in The Conversation US
While medical research is the best source of information on which to guide treatment of health issues, fraudulent studies are an issue. Such research can skew the evidence base and even lead to harm, as well as damage trust in the scientific process.
Our Senior Research Integrity Editor, Lisa Bero, has recently written about this phenomenon in The Conversation US. In the article, she describes how systematic reviewers can be part of the solution and help to find such problematic studies. She also discusses research which she, Stephanie Boughton of the Cochrane Research Integrity team, and others have carried out about this.
“Cochrane is actively involved in research and advocacy to promote independence, transparency, and integrity in healthcare research. While most research follows rigorous standards, studies with fake or fatally flawed findings are sometimes published. Cochrane and other systematic reviewers are in a unique position to be able to find and draw attention to these types of studies.”
What is Cochrane doing about this issue?
Cochrane has a policy in place that helps our reviewers spot problematic studies and decide what research to include and what to exclude in new reviews. When problems with medical research are so serious that the studies have to be withdrawn from publication, Cochrane also encourages our reviewers to go and back and mark where these studies have been included in reviews and, where necessary, update, amend or even withdrawn the review.
Cochrane Library Editorial: Low sodium salt substitutes
A new Cochrane Library editorial has published titled 'Low sodium salt substitutes: a tool for sodium reduction and cardiovascular health.'
The World Health Organization has a target of reducing global population salt intake by 30% by 2025. This has made Cochrane’s new systematic review on the efficacy and safety of low sodium salt substitutes (LSSS) timely. The Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis examines the evidence regarding the use of LSSS on cardiovascular health in adults and children and included blood pressure as a primary outcome.
Rachael McLean, from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand, discusses the latest Cochrane evidence and how it can support policymakers in their efforts to reduce sodium intake and how applicable the evidence may be in different settings and populations.
Rachael McLean explains:
“In some countries, more than 50% of the salt intake comes from salt used in the home. Cochrane’s review of the evidence on low sodium salt substitutes is valuable for policy makers looking to make substantial impacts for cardiovascular health and in directing researchers where further studies are urgently needed.”
Thursday, August 18, 2022
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Preterm birth delay drugs safe for global reduction in neonatal death
Women around the world should be able to access the best medical treatments that help to delay preterm births and improve neonatal outcomes, updated Cochrane network meta-analysis suggests.
Cochrane is a global, independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making vast amounts of research evidence useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by synthesizing research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm, and where more research is needed. Our work is recognised as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.
A new Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth paper published in the Cochrane Library looked at data from 122 clinical trials to create a league table of drugs that delay birth, called tocolytics, about their effectiveness and side effects. Researchers from the University of Birmingham and World Health Organization reviewed 122 randomised trials, published between 1966 and 2021, involving 13,697 women and conducted in 39 countries including high, middle and low-income states.
Women benefitted from all preterm delay treatments included in the meta-analysis of studies, although the research team noted that the effectiveness of different drugs was less clear in some of the studies considered. The team also looked at the side effects of different drugs and combinations, including the likelihood of having to stop treatment.
The team have bought together the evidence on the benefits as well as the harms of these treatments (compared to no treatment or placebo), to arm clinicians and policy makers around the world with the information to decide upon the best treatment for the women in their care in their specific setting.
Dr Amie Wilson, Research Fellow Global Maternal Health at the University of Birmingham said:
The findings show that the benefits of these drugs outweigh any risks associated with unwanted side effects. These treatments are leading to a significant reduction in the number of deadly preterm births, and we now need to further understand the effectiveness of tocolytics for specific groups depending on pregnancy length.
Our previous research has led to the improvement of guidelines for use of tocolysis drug use to delay preterm birth in the UK. Knowing that this paper helped to inform the forthcoming recommendations of the World Health Organization on the use of tocolytics, we hope that many more women around the globe will have access to these drugs, and have healthier births.
Dr Victoria Hodgetts Morton, NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics at the University of Birmingham and co-author of the paper said:
Preterm birth is the most common reason why a newborn baby may die, and the leading cause of death in children under five years of age.
Tocolytics aim to delay preterm birth and allow time for the women to receive medicines that can help with baby's breathing and feeding if born preterm, and medicines that lower the chance of cerebral palsy of the infant. Crucially, a short delay in preterm birth can enable women to reach specialist care.
Full citation: Wilson A, Hodgetts-Morton VA, Marson EJ, Markland AD, Larkai E, Papadopoulou A, Coomarasamy A, Tobias A, Chou D, Oladapo OT, Price MJ, Morris K, Gallos ID. Tocolytics for delaying preterm birth: a network meta-analysis (0924). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2022, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD014978. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD014978.pub2