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Cochrane Wounds seeks Information Specialist - Manchester, UK

Fri, 23/09/2016 - 19:50

Specifications: Part-time, 17.5 hours per week
Salary: £30,738 to £32,600 per annum (pro rata)
Location: Oxford Road, Manchester, UK
Application Closing Date: 12 Oct 2016

Cochrane Wounds is looking for a dynamic and enthusiastic individual with excellent communication skills to support the production of systematic reviews in the field of wound care.

You will be a graduate with a strong health information background. A qualification in librarianship, information science or equivalent experience is essential.

Experience of designing and conducting online literature searches of databases such as MEDLINE, good computer literacy and a sound knowledge of medical terminology and systematic reviews are also essential.

You will have excellent interpersonal, time management and organisational skills and be able to work with considerable autonomy to regular deadlines.

As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

Find out more and apply online.

Friday, September 23, 2016 Category: Jobs

The Cochrane Library - iPad edition

Fri, 23/09/2016 - 06:00

The Cochrane Library iPad edition presents the latest Cochrane evidence in a convenient mobile format. Monthly issues feature Cochrane Reviews selected by the Editor in Chief and abridged to optimize the iPad reading experience.

Use the Cochrane Library iPad app to easily access abstracts, read selected reviews, and view full-page Summary of Findings tables. With access to a range of topics each month, create reading lists tailored to your own interests. All content in the app is free, and new issues will download regularly to your Newsstand.

Download the app from iTunes, or contact to receive iPad edition announcements via e-mail or for technical support.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Monash University seeks Research Fellow (Evidence Review) - Melbourne, Australia

Fri, 23/09/2016 - 05:22

Monash University Mental Health and General Practice is seeking a Research Fellow (Evidence Review)

Job No: 552703
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
School of Primary Health Care
Department of General Practice
Location: Notting Hill
Employment Type: Part-time (0.8)
Duration: 12 month fixed-term appointment
Pro-rata of $62,271 - $84,513 pa Level A PhD
(plus 9.5% employer superannuation)

For complete information on the position and how to apply, please see the full posting on the Monash website.

Friday, September 23, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane announces support of new donor

Thu, 22/09/2016 - 09:56

Cochrane is delighted to announce that we have received a grant of USD $1.15 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will support the development of Cochrane's next generation evidence system, with a specific focus on maternal and child health. This system is a major component of Cochrane's wider technology development program designed to address the challenge of ever-increasing health data, often with conflicting research findings, and builds on Cochrane’s initial investment in projects including Linked Data and Project Transform. The next generation evidence system will develop new technology, ontology, structures, machine learning, and crowd engagement to change the ways health data are utilized and discover new solutions for global health.

Project work funded by this grant will run from September 2016 to late February 2017, and project funds will be dispersed among many Cochrane Groups including the Child Health Field and the Pregnancy and Childbirth and Neonatal Review Groups.

“We are delighted and honoured to receive this grant,” said Mark Wilson, Cochrane’s CEO. “We are proud that this award represents an endorsement of strategic investments we have been making in Linked Data and new ways of working.”

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Seoul Colloquium news

Thu, 22/09/2016 - 06:00

Cochrane Colloquia are our annual flagship events, bringing together Cochrane contributors from around the world to discuss, develop and promote Cochrane, and help shape its future.

The 2016 Cochrane Colloquium will be held in Seoul, South Korea from 23-27 October. For full information regarding the Colloquium, please visit the website.

Key information:

Programme overview:

Registration fees:

Key dates:


Hashtag: #CochraneSeoul

Latest news:Sign-up now open for the full Colloquium schedule

Sign-up for all the sessions you want to attend and create your own personal schedule for the Colloquium! You can also export the schedule to your online calendar. We'll be launching the Colloquium app in early October that will sync with your personal schedule. Details of the poster sessions are now available. 

Registration closes on 10 October

Don't miss out on a chance to learn more about Cochrane and evidence-based health care. Registration closes on 10 October. Click here for the registration rates.

Plenaries, speakers and symposia:Plenary 1: Overdiagnosis and overtreatment in health care

In this session, the role of evidence-based health care and systematic reviews in limiting overdiagnosis and oversue will be discussed, including realignment of disease definition; quantification and monitoring of overdiagnosis; sensitisation of health professionals and patients; provision of balanced information on risk and benefits intervention; and the implications for Cochrane.


  • Alexandra Barratt, Professor of Public Health, School of Public Health, University of Sydney

  • Rita F. Redberg, Editor, JAMA Internal Medicine. Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of California, San Francisco

  • Jenny Doust, Professor of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University

Plenary 2: Challenges and different approaches to improve the quality, timeliness and usability of Cochrane Reviews

The speakers in the plenary session have been asked to describe their experiences in making challenging decisions regarding the quality and usability of Cochrane reviews. Different perspectives and lively debate will be sought with particular focus on potential initiatives that are being explored and are consistent with the CEU vision for high quality and timely Cochrane Reviews that meets the needs of end-users and informs clinical care and health policy.


  • James Thomas, Project Transform, Cochrane. Director of the EPPI-Centre’s Reviews Facility, Department of Health, England

  • Karla Soares-Weiser, Deputy Editor in Chief, Cochrane Library & Cochrane Innovations

  • Marguerite Koster, External Member, Cochrane Steering Group

  • Harriet MacLehose, Senior Editor, Cochrane Library

  • Claire Glenton, Director, Cochrane Norway

Plenary 3: Data transparency: where are we and what can we get?

Pressure to increase transparency of data in clinical research is growing as scientific academies, regulatory agencies, funders and international organisations join the call for more data transparency. In this session, recent issues in the open data movement, data access policies and its impact on health care are discussed. Some examples of the impact of lack of transparency in East Asia will highlighted.


  • Kay Dickersin, Director, Cochrane United States. Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Trials & Evidence Synthesis

  • Byung Joo Park, Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine

  • Lesley Stewart, Director, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York

  • Rintaro Mori, Director, Cochrane Japan. Head of Department National Center for Child Health and Department of Clinical Epidemiology

Annual Cochrane Lecture: Four challenges for EBM and Cochrane’s future

Since the term evidence based medicine (EBM) was coined over 20 years ago it has had a remarkable global influence. But EBM is not a static set of concepts, set in stone tablets in the 1990s; it is a young and evolving discipline. The fundamental concept of systematic reviews – providing a periodic summary of all controlled trials to aid clinical care – may have changed little since the birth of Cochrane. However, how to best provide and apply these in practice continues to develop.

In this year’s Cochrane Lecture, Paul Glasziou will propose four areas requiring renewed or ongoing attention:

  1. Improve dialogue between “evidologists” and clinicians
  2. Treatment is the patient’s decision: support and promote shared decision making
  3. Take non-drug interventions as seriously as pharmaceuticals
  4. Sustain investment in automating evidence synthesis 


  • Paul Glasziou, Professor, Evidence-Based Medicine at Bond University; Chair, International Society for Evidence-Based Health Care

#CochraneTech Symposium: The new ecosystem for evidence synthesis

Cochrane’s technological innovations are set to transform the way evidence for health is created and used. Join us at the #CochraneTech Symposium in Seoul to discover first-hand the emerging Cochrane ecosystem for evidence synthesis.

We’re preparing an exciting morning of talks and discussion centred around how Cochrane is using its technology to help both prepare systematic reviews more efficiently but also better deliver outputs to our end-users. The #CochraneTech Symposium is the premier event for those interested in the application and integration of existing and emerging technologies in the production of Cochrane systematic reviews and evidence synthesis in health care.

Since the inaugural #CochraneTech Symposium in Québec City in 2013 several ambitious technological strategies have been pursued by Cochrane, and we welcome you to join us in exploring this new ecosystem for evidence synthesis.

Methods Symposium: Living Systematic Reviews: Methods, Opportunities and Challenges

Living systematic reviews, as online summaries of healthcare research that are updated as new research becomes available, offer exciting possibilities in the new evidence ecosystem. Momentum is building around the living systematic review concept: a number of approaches are being piloted and Cochrane is at the forefront of these efforts. Living systematic reviews differ from traditional systematic reviews in several ways that have important implications for review methods and processes, affecting authors, editors and publishers. 

At this interactive symposium, we will explore what living systematic reviews actually are and their implications for Cochrane. Participants will hear from those who have been piloting living systematic review methods and will be invited to contribute their expertise as we explore the implications of LSRs for review methods and review production processes, plus the enablers within Cochrane to support their introduction.

Knowledge Translation (KT) Symposium

In 2016 Cochrane is embarking on the development of a Knowledge Translation (KT) Strategy, which will inform, facilitate and coordinate KT activities within Cochrane. We hope this strategy will scope knowledge translation activities for Cochrane, build on the Strategy to 2020 goals and provide a framework and co-ordination to support those who are undertaking knowledge translation activities in Cochrane. This framework will guide our knowledge translation work and ensure quality of outputs. We hope to establish mechanisms for better coordination of knowledge translation work within Cochrane so that organisational learning in this area flows through Cochrane.

In this symposium we will be presenting the current draft of Cochrane’s KT strategy. There will be brief presentations on the work around the strategy, an opportunity for discussion and input into further development of the strategy and the implementation plans accompanying it and what it will mean for knowledge translation in Cochrane.

Looking forward to seeing you in Seoul in October!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Guidelines for diagnosis and management of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis released in India

Wed, 21/09/2016 - 20:18

Extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) accounts for about one-fifth of all cases of tuberculosis and is a major health burden in India - one that had previously had uncertainty surrounding diagnosis and management. In August India released INDEX-TB guidelines for diagnosis and management of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB). This extensively peer-reviewed document gives health providers at primary and secondary care institutions better guidance for systematic management of EPTB.

INDEX-TB guidelines were developed over one and a half years, with involvement of a large number of experts from different organ system sub-specialties. The methodology support team comprised members from the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group and Cochrane South Asia. "The rigorous, systematic methods, and the transparent and participatory  approach used in developing the  INDEX-TB guidelines  has provided a template that future guideline-developers in India could use," says Dr. Prathap Tharyan, Director of Cochrane South Asia. "The enthusiasm among the participants during the guideline development process  was encouraging and augers well for the future of guideline development in India."

Congratulations Cochrane South Asia and Cochrane Infectious Disease for contributing to an important guideline that will have a great impact!

Read more about the INDEX-TB guidelines

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Translated Cochrane evidence

Fri, 16/09/2016 - 06:00

Bringing you Cochrane evidence in 13 different languages
Making Cochrane evidence accessible to non-English speakers is a priority for us. More than 2,500 translations of Cochrane Review summaries have been published in the first half of 2016 alone. Translation activities are led by local Cochrane groups and their translator communities, the majority of which are volunteer based. Due to the length of Cochrane Reviews, our teams focus on the abstract and or the Plain Language Summary.
Find Cochrane evidence in different languages: Cochrane evidence is currently translated into 13 languages: Croatian, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Tamil and Traditional Chinese. Each language has its own version of; you can view translations by clicking on the languages that appear across the top of each page.

Cochrane Podcasts in different language: Cochrane podcasts offer a short summary of a recent Cochrane review and have been recorded in 33 languages.
Most translated Reviews: The links below will take you to the English language version of our most translated Reviews. Languages these Reviews have been translated into are listed across the top of the page. To read the Review in another language, simply click on the language and it will take you to the translation.
· Interventions for preventing obesity in children
· Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation and reduction
· Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold
· Continuous support for women during childbirth
Our translation achievements for the first half of 2016:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Conclusions about the effects of electronic cigarettes remain the same

Wed, 14/09/2016 - 11:42

An updated Cochrane Review provides an independent, rigorous assessment of the best available evidence to date about electronic cigarettes for quitting smoking.

Scroll to the bottom of this article for a round-up of media coverage

The conclusions of this updated Review are unchanged since the last review was published two years ago: electronic cigarettes may help smokers stop their smoking, and the included studies did not find any serious side effects associated with their use for up to two years.

Many studies are now underway which may help us understand more about their effects in the future.

The first Cochrane Review, published in the Cochrane Library in December 2014, showed that electronic cigarettes may be an aid to smokers in stopping their smoking. The updated Review did not find any new randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with long-term outcomes looking at the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes in helping people to stop smoking. However, this is an active area of research, with a large number of ongoing studies that will add to the evidence in the next few years.   

Smoking is a significant global health problem. Despite many smokers wanting to stop, they often find it difficult to succeed in the long term. One of the most effective and widely used strategies to help combat the cravings associated with nicotine addiction is to deliver nicotine by patches and chewing gum.

Electronic cigarettes have been around in some form for a number of years, but over the past few years their popularity has increased significantly, and they have begun to look and feel less like conventional cigarettes. Unlike chewing gum and patches, they mimic the experience of cigarette smoking because they are hand-held and generate a smoke-like vapour when used.  They help to recreate similar sensations of smoking without exposing users or others to the smoke from conventional cigarettes, and can be used to provide smokers with nicotine. Though they are used by many smokers, little is still known about how effective they are at helping people stop smoking.

This version of the updated Cochrane Review includes no new RCTs. The original Review included two RCTs involving more than 600 participants, and found that electronic cigarettes containing nicotine may increase the chances of stopping smoking within six to 12 months, compared to using an electronic cigarette without nicotine. The researchers could not determine whether using electronic cigarettes was better than a nicotine patch in helping people stop smoking, because there were not enough people taking part in the study.

This updated Review now includes observational data from an additional 11 studies.  Of the studies which measured side effects, none found any serious side effects of using electronic cigarettes for up to two years. The studies showed that throat and mouth irritation are the most commonly reported side effects in the short to medium term (up to two years).

The lead author of this Cochrane Review, Jamie Hartmann-Boyce from the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, said, “The randomized evidence on smoking cessation is unchanged since the last version of the Review. We are encouraged to find many studies are now underway, particularly as electronic cigarettes are an evolving technology. Since the last version of the Review, 11 new observational and uncontrolled studies have been published. In terms of quitting, these can’t provide the same information we get from randomized controlled trials, but they contribute further information on the side effects of using electronic cigarettes to quit smoking. None detected any serious side effects, but longer term data are needed.”

Read this Press Release in French, Spanish or Polish.

Editor’s notes
Full citation: Hartmann-Boyce J, McRobbie H, Bullen C, Begh R, Stead LF, Hajek P. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD010216. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub3.

Cochrane Review Author contact details:

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Jo Anthony
Senior Media and Communications Officer, Cochrane
+44(0) 7582 726 634 or

About Cochrane
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health.

Cochrane produces reviews which study all of the best available evidence generated through research and make it easier to inform decisions about health. These are called systematic reviews.

Cochrane is a not-for-profit organization with collaborators from more than 130 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Our work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

Find out more at  |  Follow us on twitter @cochranecollab

If you are a journalist or member of the press and wish to receive news alerts before their online publication or if you wish to arrange an interview with an author, please contact the Cochrane press office:

About Wiley
Wiley is a global provider of knowledge and knowledge-enabled services that improve outcomes in areas of research, professional practice, and education. Through the Research segment, the Company provides digital and print scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising. The Professional Development segment provides digital and print books, online assessment and training services, and test prep and certification. In Education, Wiley provides education solutions including online program management services for higher education institutions and course management tools for instructors and students, as well as print and digital content. The Company's website can be accessed at

Selected Media Coverage:

E-cigarettes can help smokers quit, says study in The Guardian.
Why can't scientists agree on e-cigarettes? blog post in The Guardian.
E-Cigs Might Help Some Quit Smoking, New Study Reveals on Consumer Reports.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Interested in communicating health evidence?

Tue, 13/09/2016 - 19:33

Interested in communicating health evidence?
Cochrane is calling for volunteers to support Wikipedia editing.

Wikipedia's health content was made up of more than 155,000 articles at the end of 2013, and was viewed more than 4.88 billion times in the same year. Wikipedia is thus a major source of health information for people across the world.

The Cochrane-Wikipedia partnership, formalized in 2014, supports the inclusion of relevant evidence within all Wikipedia articles on health, as well as processes to help ensure that health information included in Wikipedia is of the highest quality and accuracy.

We are now pleased to announce a pilot – in which volunteers will work with Cochrane Global Ageing to help improve the medical and health content of Wikipedia in this area. If you are a student in a health- or care-related discipline, and have an interest in communicating about evidence informed health care, this is a great opportunity to engage!

We are recruiting three volunteers that will work with Cochrane Global Ageing, for a period of four months. At the end of this period we will evaluate this pilot phase and consider improvements that can be made, before deciding about continuing the programme in 2017. Volunteers who complete the project successfully will receive an honorarium of £500. Successful completion means that volunteers have made edits to four Wikipedia articles and peer reviewed the edits of the other volunteers working with Cochrane Global Ageing

What we expect from the volunteer:

  • interest in communicating about evidence informed health and care;
  • willing and able to write and edit English Wikipedia articles and understand systematic reviews;
  • availability during a 4-month period (between October 2016 and January 2017) for 3-4 hours per week.

What you can expect from Cochrane:

  • Cochrane Global Ageing will dedicate 1-2 hours per week to work with the volunteer and provide:
  • guidance and support relating to evidence synthesis and in particular Cochrane Reviews;
  • editorial oversight of the edits and writing conducted by the volunteer;
  • guidance on priority topics and articles.
  • The Communications and External Affairs Team at Cochrane will provide overall project management. This will include a virtual kick-off meeting with the volunteers, Cochrane Global Ageing and Wikipedia, as well as monthly meetings to monitor progress, share lessons, and facilitate the work where needed.

What you can expect from Wikipedia:

  • Experienced Wikipedians, including a Wikipedian in Residence based at Consumer Reports, will provide training and mentoring support to the volunteers.
  • During the first four weeks of the program, the volunteers will receive one-hour on-line training per week, accompanied by tasks to be accomplished between these weekly sessions. The volunteers are trained in editing and in peer-reviewing edits of their peers. 

If you are interested to work as a volunteer, please send an email by 20 September 2016 to Sylvia de Haan, Partnerships Coordinator at Cochrane, explaining your interest in evidence-informed health care and thematic health areas that you are most interested in. Themes could include: biological factors, attitudes, behaviours, and environments contributing to the so-called geriatric giants of immobility, instability, incontinence, and impaired intellect/memory. Please also include a short CV (max 1 page).

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Category: Jobs

Featured Review: Kangaroo mother care to reduce morbidity and mortality in low birthweight infants

Fri, 09/09/2016 - 15:40

Cochrane evidence supports the use of kangaroo care in stabilized low birthweight infants as an alternative to conventional neonatal care

Conventional neonatal care of low birthweight infants (< 2500 g) is expensive and requires both highly skilled personnel and logistical support. Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) has been proposed as an alternative to conventional neonatal care of low birthweight infants. The major component of KMC is skin-to-skin contact between mother and newborn. The other two components of KMC are frequent and exclusive (or nearly exclusive) breastfeeding, and attempted early discharge from hospital.

Two Cochrane authors, based in the United States and Uruguay, worked with Cochrane Neonatal to update a 2014 version of this Cochrane Review, which includes 21 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and a total of 3042 infants. The evidence was rated to be of moderate quality.  

Compared with conventional neonatal care, KMC was found to reduce mortality at discharge or at 40 to 41 weeks' postmenstrual age and at latest follow-up, severe infection/sepsis, nosocomial infection/sepsis, hypothermia, severe illness, and lower respiratory tract disease. Moreover, KMC increased weight, length, and head circumference gain, breastfeeding at discharge or at 40 to 41 weeks' postmenstrual age and at one to three months' follow-up, mother satisfaction with method of infant care, some measures of maternal-infant attachment, and home environment. There were no differences in neurodevelopmental and neurosensory outcomes at 12 months' corrected age.

“We first conducted this Cochrane Review in 2000. Since then, we have updated it several times, with the number of studies increasing. This update added three more RCTs than the previous version,” says lead author Dr Agustin Conde-Agudelo. “Results of this updated review indicate that, currently, evidence is sufficient to support the use of kangaroo mother care in stabilized low birthweight infants as an alternative to conventional neonatal care, especially in resource-limited settings. To date, early-onset continuous kangaroo mother care in unstabilized or relatively stabilized low birthweight infants cannot be recommended on the basis of evidence provided by two small trials. This Cochrane Review provides a valuable resource for clinicians and policy makers, as it summarizes the current best evidence. It can also help direct researchers where future areas of study are needed.”

Read the full Cochrane Review

Visit the Cochrane Neonatal website

Friday, September 9, 2016

Cochrane seeks Online Learning and Support Officer - London (flexible)

Fri, 09/09/2016 - 04:09

Specifications: Full Time
£30,000 - £35,000
London (flexible)
Application Closing Date:
8 October 2016, 23:59 BST

Cochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates, and others, responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health. We do this by identifying, appraising, and synthesizing individual research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm and where more research is needed.

Our work is recognized as the international gold standard for high quality, trusted information. We want to be the leading advocate for evidence-informed health care across the world.

This exciting position of Online Learning and Support Officer is an opportunity for a candidate with experience in design and development of engaging online learning resources and an ambition to make a difference in the field of healthcare research, to join Cochrane’s Learning and Support Department, and help us deliver our Training and Professional Development Strategy.

You will be able to work with a wide range of international content contributors, and bring a talent for instructional design to develop engaging new online resources for the Cochrane Training website.  You will also help us to implement new technology products, including supporting the use of our new Learning Record Store.

The ideal candidate will understand technical and pedagogical approaches to developing online learning, and have experience of design and production of online learning resources as well as web editing.  An excellent communicator and collaborator, you are able to use your interpersonal and written skills to translate complex technical research material into learning resources.  An understanding of Cochrane specifically and health research more generally is an advantage, but not essential.

The majority of Cochrane Central Executive staff are located in London, UK; however a flexible location is possible for the right candidate. For more information, please see the full job description.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a CV along with a supporting statement to Cochrane Human Resources with “Online Learning and Support Officer” in the subject line.  The supporting statement should indicate why you are applying for the post, and how far you meet the requirements for the post outlined in the job description using specific examples.  List your experience, achievements, knowledge, personal qualities, and skills which you feel are relevant to the post.

Friday, September 9, 2016 Category: Jobs

Cochrane Priority Reviews List: September 2016 Update

Thu, 08/09/2016 - 20:36

Cochrane-wide prioritization remains an important project and has been included in the Strategy to 2020 Targets for 2016. Almost 120 priority reviews or updates have been published since the project began.

The September 2016 revision of the Cochrane Priority Reviews List includes new titles from the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections, Airways, Injuries, Gynaecology and Fertility, Hepato-Biliary, Oral Health, Skin, Tobacco Addiction, and Vascular Groups.

The following titles on the list are open to new authors:

  • Drugs for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Effectiveness and safety of skin testing before providing penicillin treatment for syphilis
  • Individualised ovarian stimulation protocols in women undergoing IVF/ICSI (open to statistician and author with clinical expertise)
  • Treatment for ALK-positive lung cancer
  • Vaginal douching for STI prevention

If you would like to contribute in any way to our goal of delivering the reviews through to publication, please contact the Editor in Chief, David Tovey (  Please be aware that all titles in the priority list have author teams in place, except for those mentioned above and any others that have been specifically highlighted.

Download the Cochrane Priority Review list for 2016 (September revision)

Ruth Foxlee, Information Specialist, Cochrane Editorial Unit
David Tovey, Editor in Chief, The Cochrane Library, and Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Thursday, September 8, 2016

High quality evidence suggests Vitamin D can reduce asthma attacks

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:38

A new Cochrane Review published in the Cochrane Library has found evidence from randomized trials that taking an oral vitamin D supplement in addition to standard asthma medication is likely to reduce severe asthma attacks.

Scroll to the bottom of this article for a round-up of media coverage

Asthma is a common chronic disease, affecting about 300 million people worldwide. The symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Low blood levels of vitamin D have been linked to increased risk of asthma attacks in children and adults with asthma. There has been a growing interest in the potential role of vitamin D in asthma management, because it might help to reduce upper respiratory infections (such as the common cold) that can lead to exacerbations of asthma. Several clinical trials have tested whether taking vitamin D as a supplement has an effect on asthma attacks, symptoms, and lung function in children and adults with asthma.

The team of Cochrane researchers found seven trials involving 435 children and two studies, involving 658 adults. The study participants were ethnically diverse, reflecting the broad range of global geographic settings, involving Canada, India, Japan, Poland, the UK, and the US. The majority of people recruited to the studies had mild to moderate asthma, and a minority had severe asthma. Most people continued to take their usual asthma medication while participating in the studies. The studies lasted for between six and 12 months.

The researchers found that giving an oral vitamin D supplement reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks requiring hospital admission or emergency department attendance from 6% to around 3%. They also found that vitamin D supplementation reduced the rate of asthma attacks needing treatment with steroid tablets. These results are based largely on trials in adults. They also found that vitamin D did not improve lung function or day-to-day asthma symptoms, and that it did not increase the risk of side effects at the doses that were tested.

The Cochrane Review’s lead author, Professor Adrian Martineau from the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, Queen Mary University of London, said, “We found that taking a vitamin D supplement in addition to standard asthma treatment significantly reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks, without causing side effects.”

He added, “This is an exciting result, but some caution is warranted. First, the findings relating to severe asthma attacks come from just three trials: most of the patients enrolled in these studies were adults with mild or moderate asthma. Further vitamin D trials in children and in adults with severe asthma are needed to find out whether these patient groups will also benefit. Second, it is not yet clear whether vitamin D supplements can reduce risk of severe asthma attacks in all patients, or whether this effect is just seen in those who have low vitamin D levels to start with. Further analyses to investigate these questions are on-going, and results should be available in the next few months.”

The findings of this Cochrane Review are to be presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Congress in London on Tuesday 6 September.

Read this press release in German or Spanish.

Editor’s notes
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the largest single funder of Cochrane Airways and supported this review through Programme Grant 13/89/14. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR, the NHS or the Department of Health.

The authors set out to include both types of Vitamin D in their research, however all the trials used Vitamin D3.

Full citation: Martineau AR, Cates CJ, Urashima M, Jensen M, Griffiths AP, Nurmatov U, Sheikh A, Griffiths CJ. Vitamin D for the management of asthma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD011511. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD011511.pub2.

For further information, please contact

Jo Anthony
Senior Media and Communications Manager, Cochrane
+44(0) 7582 726 634 or

Media spokesperson
Adrian R Martineau
Professor of Respiratory Infection and Immunity
UK Centre for Applied Research
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Queen Mary University of London
London, UK

Professor Martineau will be presenting his finding of this Cochrane Review at the ERS Congress in London 3-7 September:

About Cochrane
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health.

Cochrane produces reviews which study all of the best available evidence generated through research and make it easier to inform decisions about health. These are called systematic reviews.

Cochrane is a not-for-profit organization with collaborators from more than 120 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Our work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

Find out more at  |  Follow us on twitter @cochranecollab

If you are a journalist or member of the press and wish to receive news alerts before their online publication or if you wish to arrange an interview with an author, please contact the Cochrane press office:

The Cochrane press office:

About Queen Mary University of London
Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is one of the UK’s leading universities, and one of the largest institutions in the University of London, with 20,260 students from more than 150 countries.

A member of the Russell Group, we work across the humanities and social sciences, medicine and dentistry, and science and engineering, with inspirational teaching directly informed by our research - in the most recent national assessment of the quality of research, we were placed ninth in the UK (REF 2014).

We also offer something no other university can: a stunning self-contained residential campus in London’s East End. As well as our home at Mile End, we have campuses at Whitechapel, Charterhouse Square, and West Smithfield dedicated to the study of medicine, and a base for legal studies at Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

We have a rich history in London with roots in Europe’s first public hospital, St Barts; England’s first medical school, The London; one of the first colleges to provide higher education to women, Westfield College; and the Victorian philanthropic project, the People’s Palace based at Mile End.

Selected coverage

Promising developments but still more research needed into asthma, says RCGP on the Royal College of General Physicians website

Vitamin D – Can the sunshine vitamin help reduce asthma attacks?  on Evidently Cochrane.

Vitamin D 'significantly reduces severe asthma attacks' on the BBC.

Lynda Ware: Can vitamin D help reduce asthma attacks?  on BMJ Blog.

Vitamin D may protect against severe asthma attacks and hospitalisation on The Conversation.

Vitamin D may cut risk of severe asthma attacks on WEbMD.

Study: Vitamin D may reduce incidence of asthma attacks on United Press International.

High quality evidence suggests Vitamin D can reduce asthma attacks on Science Daily.

Vitamin D could prove to be cheap, over-the-counter alternative to inhalers on CBS New York.

Vitamin D can help treat severe asthma if taken daily, according to new study on The Telegraph.

Vitamin D supplements could halve risk of serious asthma attacks on The Guardian.

Vitamin D can prevent asthma attacks, study finds on the UK Independent.

Vitamin D pill cuts asthma attack threat: Supplements can reduce chance by half in patients on Daily Mail UK.

Vitamin D tablets may help reduce asthma attacks, review finds on Reuters.

Vitamin D supplements may reduce asthma attacks on Nursing Times.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Cochrane Podcasts

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 06:00

Cochrane podcasts deliver the latest Cochrane evidence in an easy to access audio format, allowing you to stay up to date on newly published reviews wherever you are.

Each Cochrane podcast offers a short summary of a recent Cochrane review from the authors themselves. They have been recorded in 33 languages and are brief, allowing everyone from healthcare professionals to patients and families to hear the latest Cochrane evidence in under five minutes.

You can view and search our entire catalogue of hundreds of podcasts or subscribe via iTunes for the latest updates.

Whether you listen in your office, on your daily commute or even in the bath, Cochrane podcasts offer a quick and easy way to keep up with the latest evidence from the Cochrane Library.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Cancer Council NSW seeks Research Fellow - Sydney, Australia

Fri, 02/09/2016 - 04:27

The Cancer Research Division at Cancer Council NSW, Australia, is seeking to fill a permanent role for a Research Fellow in Biostatistics.

For further details please see the full advertisement on the Cancer Council’s website.

Closing date: 6 September 2016



Friday, September 2, 2016 Category: Jobs

The impact of Cochrane evidence on xylitol for preventing caries

Wed, 31/08/2016 - 15:32

For more than 20 years, Cochrane has produced systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy. We are internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based healthcare resources.

The Cochrane Review 'Xylitol-containing products for preventing dental caries in children and adults', published in March 2015 from the Cochrane Oral Health Group, found some evidence that products containing fluoride and xylitol had more of an effect on preventing caries than products with fluoride alone.

The review has received considerable attention in the press and on social media, with dentists, other oral health specialists, and policymakers wondering whether this should change their recommendations.

Review author Deborah Moore tells the story of what’s been happening since publication….

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Cochrane’s Special Collection Migrant Health Flyer

Mon, 29/08/2016 - 17:48

Download, share, and print Cochrane’s Migrant Health Flyer

A Cochrane Library Special Collection, developed in conjunction with Evidence Aid, brings together Cochrane Reviews addressing health conditions relevant to refugees and asylum seekers.

This Special Collection presents systematic reviews on health conditions relevant for migrating populations, most notably migrants who are affected by conflict, poverty, and forced migration. The reviews focus on conditions relating to the transit or the particular population involved, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, skin infections, sexual and physical violence, tuberculosis, and vaccine-preventable diseases. All of the reviews included in this Special Collection are freely available in full.

This important Special Collection now has an accompanying flyer that you are welcome to download, print, and share with your stakeholders.

Read the Special Collection (Also available in Spanish)

Download digital version of flyer

Download print version of flyer

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cochrane in the news: August 2016

Fri, 26/08/2016 - 12:42

A round-up of selected recent media coverage citing, discussing, and presenting health evidence - updated throughout the month.



'Surprisingly Little Evidence for the Usual Wisdom About Teeth' in The New York Times rounds up oral health evidence - with Cochrane Reviews in the spotlight.



'Testing government policies first means we spend public money better – so why are we so bad at doing it?' Campbell Collaboration CEO Howard White in the The Independent on the importance of using evidence to inform policy making.

Feeling Guilty About Not Flossing? Maybe There’s No Need’ in The New York Times focuses on Cochrane Oral Health Review. 









Monday, August 29, 2016

What are systematic reviews?

Fri, 26/08/2016 - 02:27


"What are systematic reviews?"

If you’re a Cochrane contributor and have ever attempted to explain Cochrane’s work to someone, chances are you’ve tried to answer this question. And if you’re reading this because you’re new to Cochrane and the work we do, you may be wondering about this too.

Thanks to a team of creative colleagues from Cochrane Consumers and Communication, we’re pleased to share a video resource which answers this question clearly and simply for people who may not be familiar with the concept of systematic reviews: what they are, how researchers prepare them, and why they’re an important part of making informed decisions about health - for everyone. You can find this video on Cochrane’s YouTube channel, and we hope you’ll share and spread the word about the importance of evidence!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Featured Reviews: August 2016

Thu, 25/08/2016 - 19:06

An overview of the featured Cochrane Reviews for  August 2016.

Featured Review: Interventions to reduce corruption in the health sector

Scarce evidence, but pointers to promising strategies to fight corruption in health care.


Featured Review: Interventions for preventing abuse in the elderly

Lack of good research on which programs or strategies are useful in preventing or reducing elder abuse.



 Featured Review: Music interventions for improving psychological and physical outcomes in cancer patients

Are there benefits of offering music interventions as a complementary treatment to people with cancer?



Featured Review: Sun protection to prevent basal cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the skinin

More research needed on sunscreen and physical barrier methods - review team urge caution in changing behaviour.



Featured Review: Xylitol sugar supplement for preventing middle ear infection in children

Chewing gum, lozenges, or syrup with xylitol can reduce the occurrence of middle ear infection among healthy children from 30% to 22%.



Featured Review: Fluoride mouthrinses for preventing tooth decay in children and adolescents

Supervised regular use of fluoride mouthwash by children and adolescents is associated with a large reduction in tooth decay in permanent teeth.



Cochrane evidence for athletes

We have rounded up Cochrane evidence to help support athletes…and for everyone that is inspired to get active!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016