Cochrane Japan: Building expertise and bridging language gaps

Cochrane Japan logo

Cochrane's strength lies in its collaborative, global community. Cochrane Geographic Groups represent Cochrane in their host country, advocate for the use of Cochrane evidence in health policy and practice, and support Cochrane's members and supporters who live there. Here we spotlight the impact of Cochrane Japan, who are dedicated to enhancing Japanese healthcare through evidence-based decision-making.

Since 2012 various Cochrane activities happened in Japan but it wasn't until 2014 that a branch in Tokyo was established with an official Cochrane Japan being established in 2017. Today with over 200 members, Cochrane Japan is committed to producing accurate, up-to-date Cochrane reviews and providing support and training to new authors.

Cochrane Japan

Japan holds over four training workshops annually for new authors of Cochrane systematic reviews,  healthcare professionals, and researchers, covering interventions and diagnostic accuracy tests.  "Cochrane Japan workshops bring globally recognized methodology expertise to an accessible platform for future Cochrane authors. These sessions are crucial for fostering evidence-based practice in Japan," says Norio Watanabe, Director of Cochrane Japan. Cochrane Japan collaborates with Cochrane geographic groups in East Asia through the East Asia Cochrane Alliance (EACA), hosting meetings and training workshops. These collaborations enhance the impact of their work by fostering regional cooperation and knowledge sharing.

The group's translation efforts significantly impact healthcare practices and policies in Japan, ensuring that medical professionals and the general population have access to high-quality, evidence-based information.  Cochrane Japan translates and publishes more than 200 plain language summaries of Cochrane reviews in Japanese each year.  There are more than 2900 translations of Cochrane evidence freely available for anyone to search and read. "Distributing plain language summaries in Japanese helps bridge the gap between complex research and everyday healthcare decisions. It's important that people have the latest health evidence in the language they can most easily understand," says Watanabe.

Looking ahead, Cochrane Japan plans to offer free access to RevMan Web for all its members, encouraging more systematic reviews under Cochrane methodology. The group also seeks enthusiastic volunteers for translating plain language summaries and prospective authors for Cochrane reviews. "We welcome anyone in Japan who is passionate about evidence-based healthcare to join us in our mission," Watanabe adds.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024