In May 2020, Cochrane Sweden organised a one week, 40-hour online training course attracting 26 doctoral students and Cochranites from all around the world. This training event was co-organised with the support of Cochrane Nordic, Cochrane Norway, Cochrane Sustainable Health Care and the Faculty of Medicine of Lund University.
Morning sessions organised via zoom videolink included lectures and hands-on training on all steps of the systematic review process, from registering the title, defining the research question, discussing on issues around structure and registration of the protocol, searching, assessing the risk of bias, with special emphasis given on the RoB tool 2, and by using platforms like COVIDENCE and RevMan Web along with sharing some useful tips and tricks on their use.
The values of Cochrane systematic reviews have been emphasised, and some common mistakes and good examples of how a well designed CSRs should look like were shared. In light of such good examples, Barbara Nussbaumer-Streit, the lead author of the recently published CSR on Quarantine shared the findings of the review and also presented interesting methodological aspects of her work.
The cherry on top, as it is supposed to be, was saved for assessing the certainty of evidence, with Karsten Juhl Jørgensen from Cochrane Nordic sharing useful information about the great GRADE.
The whole course was organised in such a way to allow optimal time for short lecture-based education, small-group discussions, individual work with excercises on concrete methodological examples and mutual discussions, but also provided time for meeting people, chatting and getting to know each other. Afternoons were reserved for participants' individual work on Cochrane Interactive Learning (CIL) modules, which followed the topics covered during the morning sessions, so that by the end of the course, they all went through all the available CILs, and earned individual certificates.
The course was filled with lively, spontaneous discussions, allowed oportunities for exchange of experiences, building Cochrane networks and strengthening cooperations. To colleagues from Cochrane this was a nice chance to meet at least online, as besides Barbara and Karsten, the course brought together Liliya from Cochrane Russia, Tina from Cochrane Croatia, Rebecka from Cochrane IT Services and the hosts and organisors Matteo and Minna from Cochrane Sweden.
This course also pointed out that in challenging time like these are, when face-to-face contacts are made impossible, all opportunities and resources available should be used, both in technology, but people power as well, to give our best in sharing knowledge and Cochrane mission.
As for Cochrane Sweden, it has been, as a very skilled three-year old, taking giant steps forward, and has, in these three years since it has been established, enriched the Cochrane community with ideas and enthusiasm, Mediterranean charm and Scandinavian discipline.
Sincere congratulations to Matteo, Minna, Dina, Martin and all members of Cochrane Sweden and best wishes in their future work.