Lund leads the way using Cochrane tools to train doctors

Lund leads the way using Cochrane tools to train doctors

Lund University in Sweden is using Cochrane training materials and tools to help medical students better understand and interpret health evidence.

Lund has an institutional subscription offering all staff and students access to Cochrane Interactive Learning and RevMan. Cochrane Interactive Learning was developed by world-leading experts and provides 12 modules of self-directed learning on conducting a complete systematic review process for both new and experienced review authors. RevMan simplifies creating systematic reviews and meta-analyses and presenting the results in forest plots. Lund has successfully embedded these resources into their medical education curriculum since 2018. 

In 2017, the university’s medical degree program team reviewed their curriculum with a view to enhancing the scientific scholarship elements of the course. Working closely with Cochrane Sweden and the faculty library, they developed a curriculum that embeds Cochrane Interactive Learning modules and practical tools to help future doctors better engage with and contribute to scientific literature. 

The initiative was spearheaded by Maria Björklund, Librarian in Lund University’s Faculty of Medicine, who collaborated with colleagues across the university to make the Cochrane-informed curriculum a reality. The team have now described and published their approach in BMJ Evidence Based Medicine to help other medical schools who may wish to follow suit. 

“Incorporating Cochrane training materials in the curriculum has proven to be a success,” says Maria. “Student feedback has been positive, and some have been inspired to co-author their own systematic reviews or go into clinical research. It’s been a collaborative effort from the start and has been incredibly rewarding for everyone involved. The Cochrane modules perfectly complement our refreshed curriculum, supported by passionate tutors and doctors practicing evidence-based medicine sharing their real-world experience of how to apply the principles in practice.” 

The curriculum embeds Cochrane Interactive Learning, which offers online interactive courses to any university or individual with a subscription. These provide a thorough grounding in systematic review and evidence evaluation, supported by in-person workshops and assignments throughout the Lund University course. 

The close collaboration between faculty staff at Lund and Cochrane Sweden means that students who are inspired to take their interest further have excellent opportunities to do so. Matteo Bruschettini, Director of Cochrane Sweden, helps to mentor and support students who want to co-author their own Cochrane reviews in their areas of interest. 

“Thanks to the Cochrane training materials in the curriculum, many students are inspired and empowered to conduct systematic reviews,” says Matteo. “Through Cochrane Sweden, we help them to design and take forward new Cochrane reviews. This is really a win-win, as we know that the students have an excellent grounding in the relevant methods and we can help them put it into practice and contribute to health evidence themselves. Collaboration is key to the success of this project, and Lund is very lucky to have Maria and her team to drive this forward.” 

Cochrane resources are currently embedded in Lund’s medical doctor training course, and are being rolled out in other subjects including public health, psychology and medical science. This has been driven by word of mouth due to the popularity of the modules among staff and students.

“It’s inspiring to see how Lund University has used Cochrane resources to enhance their medical training and ensure that the doctors of the future are well-equipped to navigate the complex evidence landscape,” says Catherine Spencer, Chief Executive of Cochrane. “I would love to see more medical schools around the world following their example, and we would be happy to speak to anyone who is interested in taking this forward." 

Thursday, April 11, 2024