The Official Cochrane Newsletter, Issue # 49
Cochrane Prizes Announced at Keystone Colloquium
Chris Silagy Prize
Chris Mavergames was the recipient of the 2010 Chris Silagy Prize, which was awarded to him by Kate Cahill at the Keystone Colloquium.
Bill Silverman Prize
Alexander Ford received the Bill Silverman Prize for the article, ‘Errors in the conduct of systematic reviews of pharmacological interventions for irritable bowel syndrome’, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2010; (105):280-88. Alex’s co-authors were Gordon Guyatt, Nicholas Talley and Paul Moayyedi. As Alex was not able to attend the Keystone Colloquium, Cindy Farquhar, chair of this year’s selection panel, announced him as the recipient and Gordon Guyatt stepped up to receive congratulations on Alex’s behalf.
Kenneth Warren Prize
Dr Marilla Lucero, chair of the 2009 selection panel for the Kenneth Warren Prize, kindly presented both the 2009 and 2010 Kenneth Warren Prizes at the Keystone Colloquium.
Kenneth Warren Prize 2009:
Nandi Siegfried, co-author with Martie M Muller, Jonathan J Deeks and Jimmy Volmink of the Cochrane review, 'Male circumcision for prevention of heterosexual acquisition of HIV in men’, which was published in Issue 4, 2009 of The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, within The Cochrane Library. Dr Siegfried is a Cochrane HIV/AIDS Group contributor.
Kenneth Warren Prize 2010:
Prince Christopher, co-author with Kirubah V David, Sushil M John and Venkatesan Sankarapandian, of the Cochrane review, ‘Antibiotic therapy for Shigella dysentery’, which was published in Issue 1, 2010 of The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, within The Cochrane Library. Dr Christopher is a Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group contributor.
Thomas C Chalmers Award
The Thomas C Chalmers Award committee, chaired by Georgia Salanti, presented the following awards in Keystone:
Best poster presentation: Awarded to Lavinia Ferrante di Ruffano (and her co-authors Clare Davenport, Anne Eisinga, Sue Bayliss, Anne Fry-Smith, Chris Hyde and Jon Deeks), for her review, 'Are test-treat trials as rare as expected? A capture-recapture estimate of numbers published’.
Best oral presentation: Awarded to Jamie Kirkham (and his co-authors Richard Riley and Paula Williamson), for his review, ‘Is multivariate meta-analysis a solution for reducing the impact of outcome reporting bias in systematic reviews?’
Prehospital and Emergency Care Field deregistered
On behalf of the Monitoring and Registration Committee (MaRC), we are writing to inform you that the Prehospital and Emergency Care Field has been deregistered because funding is no longer available.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Frank Archer and Stephen Burgess (and formerly Erin Smith) for their hard work in directing and supporting the activities of the Prehospital and Emergency Care Field since 2004. The MaRC would also like to take this opportunity to thank Frank and Stephen for trying to secure funding; unfortunately this was not successful.
The module will be updated in the next issue of The Cochrane Library to reflect the closure of the Field.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
With best wishes,
Karen New and Hans van der Wouden
Monitoring and Registration Committee
Farewell to Monica Kjeldstrøm
After nearly 18 years with the Collaboration in several different roles, Monica Kjeldstrøm felt it was time for a new challenge, and has left the Nordic Cochrane Centre. Over the years, Monica contributed to the Collaboration firstly as IT Manager for the UK Cochrane Centre, and subsequently as a member of the Steering Group, Treasurer, Review Author, and Trading Company Director. From the UK Cochrane Centre she moved to the Nordic Cochrane Centre as Director of the Collaboration’s Information Management System; in this capacity she came into contact with a very large number of Cochrane contributors, and will be greatly missed. Her colleague Rasmus Moustgaard has taken over as acting Director of the IMS. Monica now works with the Danish National Theatre in Copenhagen: we wish her happiness and success in meeting this exciting new challenge.
Cochrane Collaboration Secretariat
Efforts to aid Japan after Earthquake and Tsunami
People throughout The Cochrane Collaboration have been shocked by the terrible scenes from Japan, and feel great sympathy and solidarity with those who have been affected so badly. As news of the devastating earthquake and tsunami reached us on 11 March, The Cochrane Collaboration's Evidence Aid resources were made as widely available as possible. They can be accessed through www.EvidenceAid.org and www.TheCochraneLibrary.com; and have been shared with Cochrane Collaboration colleagues and others in Japan, and with the World Health Organisation. The current resources provide information on healthcare interventions that are relevant to flooding and injuries. They will be available in Japanese shortly, at http://www.pbh.med.kyoto-u.ac.jp/. The existing resources will be supplemented by a collection on mental health, and information on radiation is being prepared. In partnership with Wiley-Blackwell, Evidence Aid has also made one-click access to the whole contents of The Cochrane Library free to everyone in Japan. Suggestions for improvements to the Evidence Aid resources or offers of help should be sent to EvidenceAid@cochrane.org.
Director, UK Cochrane Centre
Welcome to the Official Blog of The Cochrane Collaboration!
This blog replaces the Collaboration's official newsletter, Cochrane News, as the medium for publishing articles on "news, information, resources and issues affecting The Cochrane Collaboration".
For those who prefer the PDF newsletter format, please use the links on the bottom right to navigate past issues of the newsletter and to download each new quarterly "issue" where you will find all blog posts bundled into a downloadable PDF.
PROSPERO, the first online facility to prospectively register systematic reviews
We are pleased to announce that PROSPERO, the first online facility to prospectively register systematic reviews, was launched by Health Minister Lord Howe.
PROSPERO is a global initiative led by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York. To find out more, click on the link below:
Bias Methods Group
Introducing the Methods Co-ordinator: Jackie Chandler
The Steering Group is delighted to welcome Jackie Chandler as Methods Co-ordinator for the Collaboration. This is a newly created post and is attached to the Cochrane Editorial Unit, although as Jackie lives in Oxford, UK, she will work from the Secretariat. The key focus for this position is to provide support to Methods Groups, the Methods Board and Executive, Handbook Editorial Advisory Panel, and the new Methods Application and Review Standards (MARS) working group. One of Jackie’s priorities will be to assist with the development and implementation of the recently proposed networks between Cochrane Review Group-based individuals with methodological responsibilities and those providing methods support from the Methods Groups. A longer term objective will be to develop a Cochrane Methods website.
Jackie comes from a health services research background and has contributed to a wide portfolio of health and social care projects in UK higher education institutions. She is experienced in mixed-method systematic review methods, and has a particular interest in complexity, complex interventions and implementation science.
Julian Higgins, Methods Group representative on the Steering Group, says, “Jackie's appointment offers a great opportunity for the Collaboration to benefit maximally from a variety of planned and ongoing initiatives to further improve the methodological quality of our reviews. I'm delighted to welcome Jackie to her new role."
David Tovey, Editor in Chief of The Cochrane Library, adds, “I am looking forward to working with Jackie in her crucial role as Methods Co-ordinator. It is vital that the Collaboration provides the support and infrastructure to support and encourage people with methods expertise, ensuring that Cochrane Reviews benefit from their skills and experience.”
Jackie can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the Secretariat by telephone: +44 (0) 1865 310138.
New U.S. Cochrane Centre website and CUE Summit Podcasts
We are happy to announce a new location for our website. Please visit us at:
A. US Cochrane Center: http://us.cochrane.org
B. Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare (CUE): http://us.cochrane.org/consumers-united-evidence-based-healthcare-cue
C. Online course – Understanding Evidence-based Healthcare: A Foundation for Action: http://us.cochrane.org/understanding-evidence-based-healthcare-foundation-action
Also, podcasts of the CUE 2010 Summit presentations in Keystone, Advocacy in the Era of Evidence: An International Summit for Consumer Advocates are available at: http://us.cochrane.org/advocacy-era-evidence-international-summit-consumer-advocates
Nancy K. Fitton
US Cochrane Center
New Collaboration Co-Chair
The Collaboration welcomed Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw as the new Co-Chair, along with Jonathan Craig, at the Cochrane Colloquium in Keystone Collorado in October 2010.
The Alois Community Project
The Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group is running a volunteer recruitment campaign in conjunction with developing a free online course “Making Sense of the Evidence in Dementia”, primarily aimed at caregivers and former caregivers of people with dementia.
This is a year’s Cochrane-NHS Engagement feasibility project funded by the National Institute of Health Research, designed to:
- Improve knowledge and understanding of the Cochrane Collaboration and its work
- Build a community of evidence-savvy, “expert” carers
- Increase confidence and enthusiasm when dealing with clinicians and other medical or social services professionals
- Encourage active engagement with primary research into dementia
- Foster well-informed consumer advocacy at all levels within the NHS
The Volunteer Task
Firstly we are calling for volunteers to help maintain the Group’s online specialized register of dementia studies – ALOIS - http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/alois/. In short, the task involves reading trial reports, extracting key information about the trial, and populating the register for publication.
It is a uniquely flexible type of volunteer task, which can be carried out from home, and is ideally suited to IT-literate carers who may find it difficult to travel away from home for any length of time. It requires a very small time commitment – as little or as much as you wish - an interest, and an internet connection.
Free, Supported, Online Course
Secondly, we are developing a series of online interactive modules both to help support the volunteer task specifically, and also to educate interested laypeople, and health or social services professionals about the evidence in dementia.
Spread the Word
Whilst we would be delighted if existing UK Cochrane consumers would be interested in helping us as volunteers, by definition, they are already “engaged” with Cochrane and the NHS in the UK.
So we would particularly like to encourage all Cochrane contributors to pass information about this volunteering opportunity and the online course, either to clinicians or other medical professionals who have contact with dementia sufferers and their carers, or directly to friends, relations and colleagues who might be interested in getting involved.
Free Workshop for Carers
For volunteers in the Thames Valley area - although anyone from further afield would be very welcome - we will be running a launch workshop for carers and former carers on 17 February 2011 at Kellogg College in Oxford. The workshop promises to be an inspiring and inspirational event, and will be run by Amanda Burls (Director of Postgraduate Programmes in Evidence-Based Health Care, University of Oxford) and Sally Crowe (James Lind Alliance).
Health Economic Evaluations Database (HEED) extended to all Cochrane contributors
We are pleased to announce that free-at-the-point-of-use access to the Health Economic Evaluations Database (HEED) has been extended to all contributors to The Cochrane Collaboration, effective immediately.
Instructions on how to access HEED are posted at the end of this articlel. Please note that you will need to enter your user name and password for Archie (The Cochrane Collaboration's online information management system) in order to access HEED.
Like the NHS Economic Evaluations Database (NHS EED), HEED is a specialist health economics electronic literature database. Alongside NHS EED (>7,000 records of full economic evaluations), HEED is one of the most comprehensive databases in its class (>43,000 records of health economic analyses, including but not limited to full economic evaluations). NHS EED is already published as part of The Cochrane Library and HEED is now accessible, free-at-the-point-of-use, to all Cochrane contributors. Further information about HEED is available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9780470510933
Did you know that the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions recommends that all Cochrane intervention reviews include a search of NHS EED and process these search results?
This recommendation applies equally to HEED, now that it is freely accessible to all Cochrane contributors. NHS EED and HEED can be regarded as complementary resources for use in Cochrane intervention reviews, in terms of both their coverage of health economic analyses and the 'value added' information contained in their respective database records. Even if authors do not plan to subject relevant health economic analyses to the full Cochrane review process, it is proposed that they could draw on such analyses to elaborate 'economic commentary' to be included in the 'Background' and/or 'Discussion' sections of the review - "wrapping the review", in order to increase its relevance and usefulness end users. Further work is planned during 2011 to develop this approach and support its application, in consultation with Co-Eds, MEs and TSCs.
Finally, on behalf of the Campbell and Cochrane Economics Methods Group, I would like to thank the following people for supporting the initiative to extend access to HEED: David Tovey (Editor in Chief of The Cochrane Library) and his colleagues in the Cochrane Editorial Unit; Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (Managing Editor, The Cochrane Library), Pauline Howarth (Editor, Health Economic Evaluations Database) and Peter Phillips (Knowledgebase Coordinator) at Wiley; Nick Royle (CEO, The Cochrane Collaboration); Chris Mavergames (Web Operations Manager, The Cochrane Collaboration) and his colleagues in the web team; and Monica Kjeldstrøm (Director, Cochrane Information Management System) and her colleagues in the IMS team.
Campbell & Cochrane Economics Methods Group
**INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO ACCESS HEED - 3 OPTIONS**
OPTION 1: Go to http://www.cochrane.org/intranet/resources-databases/health-economics-evaluation-database-heed > Enter your Archie user name and password and click on 'Log in' > Click on 'Go to HEED: Health Economic Evaluations Database'
OPTION 2: Go to http://www.cochrane.org > Click on the 'Intranet' tab > Enter your Archie user name and password and click on 'Log in' > In the top left 'Intranet' menu, click on 'Resources & databases' > Click on 'Health Economic Evaluations Database (HEED)' > Click on 'Go to HEED: Health Economic Evaluations Database'
OPTION 3: It is planned to provide a link to access HEED from The Cochrane Library web pages. However, this option is not yet implemented. Instructions for using this option will be posted to CCInfo and this e-mail list once it has been implemented.
Do you have a question you've always wanted to ask about The Cochrane Collaboration?
Do you have a question about partnership strategies, Cochrane Review presentation or succession planning, for instance? Well, now is the time to ask!
Taking advantage of the opportunity to create discussion forums on the new internal area of the Collaboration's website, www.cochrane.org, the Steering Group, Editor in Chief and Chief Executive Officer have created a discussion forum where any Cochrane contributor can post any question at any time, about any aspect of the Collaboration or The Cochrane Library. All questions will receive a response.
The forum is an extension of the Question and Answer session at last year's Annual General Meeting (AGM), in Keystone, USA. You can read the questions posted for the AGM and listen to the answers recorded live at the meeting on the discussion forum, here:
Cochrane Justice Health Field becomes registered entity
The Cochrane Justice Health Field became a registered entity with The Cochrane Collaboration on 7 September 2010.
Contact details for the Justice Health Field are as follows:
Dr Catherine Gallagher
Convenor, Cochrane Justice Health Field
+1 301 938 4146
Catherine is co-ordinating the Field alongside Stuart Kinner (email@example.com) from the Burnet Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and they are both being ably assisted by Adam Dobrin who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Austrian Branch
The Austrian Cochrane Branch was officially opened on 14 December 2010.
Cochrane Editing Skills Workshop
The first Cochrane Editors' training workshop was held in Cape Town, South Africa, in September 2010. The workshop included participants from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, The Gambia, Cameroon and South Africa. Fourteen experienced Cochrane authors , nominated by Cochrane Review Groups, spent three days on intensive training in editing skills through a course developed and facilitated by staff from the South African Cochrane Centre, the South Asian Cochrane Centre, the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group and the Cochrane Editorial Office. Topics covered included good editorial practice; current key methodological debates in risk of bias, GRADE and structuring of complex Cochrane Reviews; navigating the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions; and enhanced writing and editing skills. The course was designed to build up the skills of these existing authors to be able to take on an editorial role within The Cochrane Collaboration. The course was well-received and participants particularly liked the interactive and practical nature of the sessions. One participant commented, “My intellectual base has been greatly enriched beyond words. I hope to translate the knowledge garnered at the workshop into meaningful and visible use.” Cochrane entities can draw on our experience to convene similar workshops to strengthen editorial capacity.
The workshop was supported by grants from the Cochrane Opportunities Fund, Effective Health Care Research Programme Consortium, Reviews for Africa Programme, Nuffield Foundation and Wiley Publishers for the donation of Cochrane Handbooks and Publication Ethics booklets.
South African Cochrane Centre
Call for papers: Cochrane Nursing Care Field
The Journal section for the Cochrane Nursing Care Field contains up-to-date news, transcripts of podcasts, and free papers, including overviews of reviews, theoretical papers, a regular series on understanding statistics related to systematic reviews. It invites papers on research projects, systematic reviews and clinical practice projects where doing or using Cochrane Reviews formed part of the project.
The section is published in the prestigious ISI-listed International Journal of Nursing Practice. This section provides a unique, scholarly opportunity for nurses to participate and publish their Cochrane-related work. The emphasis is on papers using, developing or reporting on Cochrane Reviews, rather than focusing on a particular profession or specialty of care. You are invited to highlight your Cochrane work, or to contribute through the conduct of overviews of reviews. To submit a paper, visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijnp
Overviews of reviews
Overviews provide a unique opportunity for nurses to extract and synthesise the results of multiple reviews focused on areas of nursing care. Papers on the following topics are invited; all overviews are welcomed:
• Psychological interventions
• Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: non-pharmacologic management
• Alcohol and addiction: treatment of cocaine dependence
• Treatment or prevention of alcohol addiction
• Otitis Media
• Treatment and prevention of trachoma
• Heart failure treatment
• Hepatitis C treatment
• Treatments to lower blood pressure in primary hypertension
• Physical and psychological interventions for continence in women
• Interventions for obesity
For further information related to the topics, timelines for publication, or methodology, please contact the receiving editor.
Cochrane Nursing Care Field
Cochrane Collaboration awarded seat on World Health Assembly
On January 24, 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) awarded The Cochrane Collaboration a seat on the World Health Assembly allowing the Collaboration to provide input on WHO health resolutions.
The Cochrane Collaboration was accepted as a Non-Governmental Organization in Official Relations with the WHO at the WHO’s Executive Board meeting, establishing a partnership with formalized communication between the two organizations.
“The Cochrane Collaboration has been working with the WHO in various capacities for many years and I am delighted to have seen this grow into an official partnership,” says Professor Jeremy Grimshaw, co-chair of The Cochrane Collaboration’s Steering Group, director of the Canadian Cochrane Centre, and Canada Research Chair in Health Knowledge Transfer and Uptake. “The WHO and various groups within the Collaboration have embarked on successful evidence-based health projects in the past and I know this will persist as we continue to strengthen this partnership.”
One of the significant joint projects the WHO and The Cochrane Collaboration have developed is the WHO Reproductive Health Library (http://apps.who.int/rhl/en/). This is an electronic journal covering sexual and reproductive health produced by the WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research using the best available evidence from Cochrane Reviews. This initiative has helped millions of women and babies in developing countries through practice recommendations on newborn health, pregnancy and childbirth, and sexually transmitted infections. One such recommendation is the elimination of the routine use of episiotomies (cutting the skin and muscle surrounding the vagina) during childbirth which often leads to perineal trauma, infection and painful intercourse.
“Formulating an official partnership with an influential institute such as the World Health Organization is an honour. This speaks volumes about the work of Cochrane in evidence-based health care,” adds Grimshaw.
“The Cochrane Collaboration provides an international benchmark for the independent assessment and assimilation of scientific evidence. It is a leading producer of high quality systematic reviews in health care,” says Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director General of Innovation Information Evidence and Research at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva. “WHO has been working with The Cochrane Collaboration for several years and is looking forward to formalizing what has already been a very productive relationship.”
The partnership will allow The Cochrane Collaboration to significantly influence the way research evidence is created and used by the WHO by improving the collection of reliable health information and promoting intersectoral collaboration and high-quality research to produce the necessary evidence to ensure policies in all sectors contribute to improving health and health equity.
Current plans for The Cochrane Collaboration and the World Health Organization include the development of the WHO Library of Evidence for Nutrition Interventions (ELENI). Cochrane contributors have identified relevant Cochrane Reviews and updated or conducted new Cochrane Reviews in response to the WHO’s priorities. This will facilitate the development of sound, evidence-based guidelines on nutrition issues relevant to WHO Member States and other partners.
Canadian Cochrane Centre
EMBASE introduces diagnostic test accuracy study as an indexing term
Searching for diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) studies can be frustrating and time-consuming, as those of us now engaged in producing systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy can attest! EMBASE is the first of the major electronic medical literature databases to introduce an indexing term specifically for DTA studies. The lack of such terms has been one of the factors hampering the development of more reliable and precise search filters to identify these studies in electronic databases, thus leading to the current recommendation that search strategies for Cochrane DTA reviews should not include a methodological filter. The introduction of a check tag for DTA studies will, prospectively, enhance retrieval of currently difficult to identify reports of DTA studies in EMBASE which meet the check tag definition.
We began discussions with Elsevier, the producers of EMBASE, in late 2008 about the desirability of introducing an indexing term for diagnostic test accuracy studies. We developed an initial proposal in 2009, and in July 2010 Elsevier asked us to submit a detailed proposal for the new check tag to the EMBASE indexing team. Our proposal included a Scope Note (definition) for diagnostic test accuracy study, some more comprehensive information about characteristics of DTA studies for the indexers’ manual, suggestions regarding the location and use of existing EMTREE terms relating to diagnostic test accuracy, and training materials for the EMBASE indexers.
Developing the Scope Note was quite a challenge. It had to be succinct, yet detailed enough to alert indexers to the possibility of a relevant study. Indexers are then able, if necessary, to refer to their manual for more comprehensive information to reach a decision. We had originally intended that the check tag would apply to primary studies only; however, Elsevier wished also to apply it to relevant systematic reviews, and we could see value in this approach. The Scope Note reads as follows: Diagnostic test accuracy study - Use for an original study or systematic review which assesses how accurately a test distinguishes humans (or animals) having a condition or disease, from those who do not. Typically, the test under evaluation is called the index test and its results are compared to the results of the best available standard test (reference standard), which defines the condition or disease.
We selected a series of reports of DTA studies and DTA systematic reviews, graded in difficulty, and already indexed in EMBASE for the indexer training materials. We marked up the title and abstract of each to show the triggers that should alert an indexer to the possibility of its being a DTA study or DTA systematic review. These included mention of index test, target condition, and analytical methods reported by the authors. We also highlighted the existing indexing to show where we thought each had (or had not) been appropriately indexed with the currently available EMTREE terms.
We should like to thank Elsevier for their enthusiasm and commitment to achieving this long-awaited outcome! We hope to report on progress with this development in future issues.
We would also like to acknowledge the contribution of Carol Lefebvre, co-convenor of the Cochrane Information Retrieval Methods Group. Over the years, improvements in information retrieval of difficult to identify studies have been achieved, most notably through the introduction of specific indexing terms for the randomised controlled trial. Carol has been instrumental in establishing good working relationships with database producers and lobbying successfully for these improvements on behalf of the Collaboration. Our work in the area of diagnostic test accuracy has undoubtedly benefited from this vital groundwork.
Cochrane Register of Diagnostic Test Accuracy Studies
UK Support Unit for Cochrane DTA Reviews
Information Retrieval Methods Group
Continental European Support Unit for Cochrane DTA Reviews
Monitoring and Registration Committee (MaRC) Update
The Monitoring and Registration Committee (MaRC) has changed its membership since our previous update. We are delighted to announce that Chris Eccleston, Co-ordinating Editor of the Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group, has agreed to represent Co-ordinating Editors on the MaRC. This is the first time Co-ordinating Editors have been represented and we would like to extend our thanks to Chris for taking on this role. Chris will work closely with the Co-ordinating Editors’ Executive and the MaRC to ensure greater input on CRG issues, regarding the monitoring process.
We said farewell to Jos Verbeek in Keystone as Jos is now the Co-ordinating Editor of the Occupational Safety and Health CRG (congratulations, Jos), and, is therefore no longer able to represent Fields. Jos has served on the MaRC since September 2006 and his presence will be missed. We extend our heartfelt thanks to him for his enormous contributions to the MaRC.
We have secured funding for the IMS Team to develop monitoring forms in Archie, so data can be generated automatically for a number of questions, with the aim of reducing workload for entities in relation to the monitoring process. At this stage, the project only involves monitoring forms for CRGs.
Recently, the Operations and Finance Committee approved a proposal from the MaRC in regards to the process of assessing the suitability of new entity leaders. As a result of this approval, the MaRC will engage with entity executives to discuss processes for approving entity ‘leaders’.
Karen New, Hans van der Wouden
Monitoring and Registration Committee
Your MaRC representatives are as follows: Chris Eccleston (Co-ordinating Editors); Karen New (Author and Co-Convenor); Joy Oliver (Centres); Ian Shemilt (Methods Groups); Marian Showell (TSCs); Nicole Skoetz (MEs); Jason Wasiak (Fields); Liz Whamond (Consumers) and Hans van der Wouden (CRG at large). Any of these people would be pleased to answer your questions about the MaRC (please email Claire Allen at email@example.com).
Cochrane Comparing Multiple Interventions Methods Group registered
Cochrane reviews on the effects of interventions vary considerably in their scope. Some target a specific pair-wise comparison, while others include many — or indeed any — interventions available for a condition of interest. The debate between ‘lumping’ and ‘splitting’ has been an ongoing issue for the Collaboration since its early days. In recent years, however, two important developments have contributed to the discussion. First, statistical methodology for undertaking meta-analyses of multiple interventions has developed considerably. Known variously as ‘multiple treatments meta-analysis’ (MTM), ‘mixed treatment comparisons’ (MTC) or ‘network meta-analysis’, this methodology allows randomised trials making different comparisons to be analysed simultaneously, while respecting the randomisation within each study. Second, the Collaboration has introduced the Cochrane Overview of reviews (Overviews) as a means of summarising the results of multiple systematic reviews covering different interventions for the same clinical condition. The current format for Overviews is that they should extract the results as reported in the component systematic reviews. This means that they do not aim to repeat or update the literature searches, eligibility assessment, bias assessment or statistical synthesis from the reviews that are summarised.
The Cochrane Comparing Multiple Interventions Methods Group (CMIMG) seeks to build on these developments in order to advise the Collaboration on how its reviews can best provide reliable comparisons of multiple interventions. Opponents and enthusiasts of meta-analyses of multiple interventions met during the 17th Cochrane Colloquium (2009) in Singapore, and the need for a specific Methods Group was agreed upon. An exploratory meeting was held in Bristol, UK, in March 2010 and the CMIMG was successfully registered as a formal entity of The Cochrane Collaboration on 27 September 2010.
The CMIMG combines a continuation of the work of the previous ‘Umbrella Reviews Working Group’ with expertise in multiple treatments meta-analysis. It will consider how we can best meet the needs of a healthcare decision-maker approaching The Cochrane Library asking, “Which intervention should I use for this condition?” At the moment, neither Cochrane Intervention Reviews nor Cochrane Overviews are set up to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date answer to such a question. The group will focus on methodology for comparing multiple interventions in the context of both Intervention Reviews and Overviews. A key aim of the Methods Group is to consider how the aims, methods and processes for Overviews might evolve over time. The Methods Group will also explore considerations of the validity, breadth, structure and interpretation of statistical syntheses across multiple interventions.
Those who wish to join the group or are interested in more information can visit our website at http://cmimg.cochrane.org/.
The contact details for the Comparing Multiple Interventions Methods Group are as follows:
Dr Georgia Salanti
Convenor, Comparing Multiple Interventions Methods Group
+30 26510 07757
Georgia’s Co-Convenors are Lorne Becker (firstname.lastname@example.org), Deborah Caldwell (D.M.Caldwell@bristol.ac.uk), Julian Higgins (email@example.com), Tianjing Li (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Christopher Schmid (email@example.com).
The OSH Group joins the ranks of CRGs
The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Review Group was registered as the 52nd Collaborative Review Group on 30 July 2010. We build on the work of the Occupational Health Field that was registered in May 2004.
The OSH Group accepts any topic that relates to the effectiveness of occupational health interventions for review. These are interventions that aim to improve the following occupational health outcomes: at work exposure to agents adverse to health, adverse health behaviour, occupational and work-related diseases or disorders, occupational disability or sick leave and occupational injuries. These interventions can be labelled prevention, treatment, management or rehabilitation.
Many occupational health interventions are difficult to randomise, so we accept all trials that include a concurrent control group as well as interrupted time-series designs, as evidence of effectiveness. The decision to include non-randomised studies will be made on a case-by-case basis and will be based on the feasibility of randomisation for that particular intervention.
Since many of the topics within our scope are also included in the reach of other Review Groups, we will not pursue a topic without first consulting the Review Group(s) which we expect to have an equal interest in the topic.
Our first published review (issue 12, 2010) is titled, ‘Pre-employment examinations for preventing occupational injury and disease in workers’. Another review is in the pipeline with the title, ‘Interventions to enhance return-to-work for cancer patients’. Five other titles have been registered.
The Group is co-ordinated by an editorial team located at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Kuopio, Finland.
You will find our new website at http://osh.cochrane.org.
We look forward to collaborating with each and every entity with shared interests.
Cochrane Occupational Safety and Health Review Group
Swiss Branch receives approval
We are pleased to announce that the Monitoring and Registration Committee approved the establishment of the Swiss Branch of the French Cochrane Centre under the co-ordination of Bernard Burnand and Myriam Rège Walther at Lausanne University, and Erik von Elm at Swiss Paraplegic Research, Nottwil.
Many of you will know Bernard and Myriam as the co-ordinators of Francophone Cochrane activities in Switzerland and the Francophone Cochrane Network (which ceased activities in June 2010 when the French Cochrane Centre was registered). Together with Erik, who has been working closely with the German Cochrane Centre, they will now co-ordinate Cochrane activities in the whole of Switzerland in order to bring German-, Italian- and French-speaking contributors in the country together.
The contact details for the Swiss Branch of the French Cochrane Centre are as follows:
Swiss Branch of the French Cochrane Centre
+41 21 314 72 62
Bernard Burnand: firstname.lastname@example.org
Myriam Rège Walther: email@example.com
Erik von Elm: firstname.lastname@example.org
Approval of the Korean Branch of the Australasian Cochrane Centre
We are delighted to announce the Monitoring and Registration Committee’s approval of the Korean Branch of the Australasian Cochrane Centre. Congratulations to Hyeong Sik Ahn, the Branch Director, who has led this initiative and who will be familiar to many of you from our meetings in Singapore and Auckland.
An informal network has been in place since 2007 and provided a focus for Cochrane activities, including several Cochrane Review workshops. There are now about 30 authors in Korea contributing to 20 titles, protocols and reviews. We look forward to further involvement from Korean authors, and the increased profile the Collaboration will have in Korea.
For further information, visit http://acc.cochrane.org/korea