Cochrane Thematic Groups

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Health Equity

Equity is an issue that cuts across multiple health and social care research areas. Differences in health which are both avoidable and considered unfair or unjust are now viewed as an ethical challenge which underpins research, global development goals and reports, and international declarations. The Cochrane Handbook and Training Materials already include methods for including equity considerations in Cochrane evidence, but in establishing this Thematic Group we hope to encourage deeper consideration of health equity across Cochrane. As this issue becomes increasingly important to policymakers, funders, healthcare providers, and consumers, Cochrane Health Equity seeks to strengthen our relationships with these and other stakeholder groups to ensure long-term sustainability for the organization as a whole.

Group leaders: Peter Tugwell, Vivian Welch, Jennifer Petkovic

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Heart, Stroke and Circulation

Cochrane Heart, Stroke and Circulation shares collective expertise and knowledge and ensures that evidence synthesis in cardiovascular disease reflects the multimorbidity paradigm, the large global burden of vascular disease (increasing especially in developing countries), and continuing development of interventions and diagnostic tests for these conditions. 

Group leaders: Gillian Mead, Alex Todhunter-Brown, Rui Providencia, Rod Taylor, Jackie Price, Gerry Stansby, Jim Wright and Juan Erviti

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Nutrition and Physical Activity

Consuming an unhealthy diet and inadequate physical activity are leading causes of death and disability in all regions of the world (WHO 2020). Despite considerable progress, healthy nutrition for all people remains a large-scale, complex, and universal challenge, and the global community is grappling with multiple burdens of malnutrition. Additionally, a quarter of the global adult population are insufficiently active and physical inactivity is one of the top five major risk factors for non-communicable diseases, the leading cause of death worldwide.

Improving nutrition and physical activity is thus a priority and they are catalysts for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and beyond.

The Cochrane Nutrition and Physical Activity Thematic Group will bring together leading groups with diverse expertise in this critical thematic area to ensure Cochrane is a fundamental contributor of trustworthy, relevant evidence that meets the needs of decision makers and other key stakeholders.

Group leaders: Luke Wolfenden, Celeste Naude
Group Executives: Lukas Schwingshackl, Jodie Doyle, Sam McCrabb, Solange Durao, Adrian Bauman, Hayley Christian

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People, Health Systems and Public Health

People, Health Systems and Public Health

The People, Health Systems and Public Health Thematic Group brings together the expertise currently housed in Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC), Cochrane Consumers and Communication (CCC) and Cochrane Public Health (CPH). Combining the expertise and networks of these three Cochrane review groups provides a sound base to generate evidence beyond governance, financing and delivery arrangements for health systems and the effects of population-level public health interventions to include how health systems and public health can be more person-centred. 

Group leaders: Simon Lewin, Rebecca Ryan, Sasha Shepperd, Luke Wolfenden

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Sexual and Reproductive Health

The health of women and girls has been identified as one of the key thematic areas that Cochrane should prioritise in order to better align with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. Women’s health is a considerable health area and as such contributes significantly to global disease burden. The Sexual and Reproductive Health Thematic Group will bring together a network of people from the consumer, research, and clinical worlds to create an essential knowledge base in this complex and multifaceted area of health care and to advance Cochrane’s aspirations to address the most pressing global health challenges.

Group Chair: Cindy Farquhar

Group coordinator: Vanessa Jordan

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Work, Health and Social Security

Work, Health and Social Security

Participation in working life, safety and health at work are of enormous importance for individuals, work organizations, and the wellbeing of society. The working population needs to be protected from work-related injuries, from diseases caused by exposure to hazardous substances, and other working conditions leading to disease, disability, and premature death. Furthermore, chronic health disorders are the leading cause of work disability among working age individuals.

Well-functioning social security systems that provide care for health impairments, protection for work-related injuries, assistance in returning to work after prolonged illness, and income replacement in the event of incapacity are cornerstones for the well-being of individuals and their families. They are prerequisites for economic progress all over the world.

Our evidence syntheses aim at helping to make work safe, to keep health-impaired workers on the job, and to support permanently disabled workers with fair income replacement. These goals align with Cochrane's priority objectives and link to the UN Sustainable Development Agenda.

Group leaders: Jan Hoving, Regina Kunz

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