Appointment of lead to independent advisory group

In October 2019, Cochrane announced its commitment to a full update the Cochrane Review Exercise therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome. The statement noted plans for: “a comprehensive review of the protocol, which will be developed in consultation with an independent advisory group that we intend to convene. This group will involve partners from patient-advocacy groups from different parts of the world who will help us to embed a patient-focused, contemporary perspective on the review question, methods and findings.”

Cochrane is now pleased to announce that Hilda Bastian has been appointed to lead the independent advisory group. Hilda has been a health consumer advocate and researcher, and has held many roles with healthcare bodies. She is also author of the popular PLoS blog “Absolutely Maybe”, which looks at the uncertainties in medicine, and reported on the contents and conduct of the Cochrane Review Exercise therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome. Her knowledge and understanding of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and the methodology of systematic reviews, saw broad support for her blog posts from consumers and researchers alike.

Cochrane’s Editor-in-Chief, Dr Karla Soares-Weiser, said: “Hilda’s appointment marks the first steps in Cochrane’s commitment to update the Cochrane Review on exercise therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome. We look forward to learning from the process of involving an independent advisory group of patients, clinicians and researchers in the development of Cochrane Reviews.”

As lead of the independent advisory group, Hilda will be involved in the recruitment of members to the group, as well as facilitating group discussions and input. Hilda remarked on her new role: “It is wonderful to see this level of responsiveness to serious community concerns about a Cochrane review, and I am honoured to be involved. I look forward to learning more from the ME/CFS community and the advisory group, as well as working with the Cochrane editorial team.”

There will be further announcements as the independent advisory group, protocol and review update progress.

The independent advisory group can be contacted directly on When the independent advisory group finishes its work, the contents of this email account will be archived at Cochrane.

Thursday, February 13, 2020