The Cochrane Collaboration, a global non-profit organisation, was established to ensure the latest and most accurate information on the effects of healthcare interventions is readily available worldwide. This is facilitated through the collation and evaluation of all the available evidence into Cochrane Reviews. In celebration of its twentieth anniversary in 2013, Systematic Reviews launched the Cochrane Methodology Anniversary series – a collection of articles on developments in methodologies, systematic reviews and evidence synthesis at the Cochrane Collaboration. In an accompanying podcast, we spoke to Guest Editor of the series Mike Clarke, former Director of the UK Cochrane Centre from 2002 until 2011, co-Editor-in-Chief of Systematic Reviews David Moher, and Jackie Chandler-Oatts, Methods Coordinator at the Cochrane Collaboration. Here they discuss some of the challenges faced and successes realised by the Cochrane Collaboration over the past twenty years, as well as plans for the future.
“Decision-making in healthcare now involves both the practitioner and the patient or member of the public. So we need to try and make sure that members of the public have access to the findings of Cochrane Reviews.”
Mike Clarke, Queen’s University
Mike Clarke is the inaugural Director of the Medical Research Council All-Ireland Hub for Trials Methodology Research based at Queen’s University, Ireland. He has over 25 years of experience in conducting and overseeing randomised clinical trials, systematic reviews and other forms of prospective research. In particular, he has been involved in the design, conduct, monitoring and reporting of randomised trials in breast cancer, maternity care, poisoning and sub-arachnoid haemorrhage. In his current position, Clarke more broadly addresses the need to strengthen clinical trial methodology across Ireland. He is also Director of Evidence Aid, an international initiative to provide reliable, up-to-date evidence on interventions relevant to natural disasters and other major healthcare emergencies. In this podcast Clarke discusses the biggest challenges faced by the Cochrane Collaboration today.
“Ideally, Cochrane Reviews need to be updated every two years and so, whether it’s through AllTrials or some other mechanisms, that information needs to be added to any update of the systematic review.”
David Moher, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
David Moher is a senior scientist in clinical epidemiology at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa, Canada. His research interests centre on generating evidence to inform the conduct of systematic reviews and clinical trials, as well as the academic study of scientific writing and publishing. Moher notably led the development of consensus standards for the reporting of cluster randomised trails (CONSORT), systematic reviews of randomised trials (QUORUM), systematic reviews of observation studies (MOOSE) and diagnostic studies (STARD). Here Moher shares his thoughts on the impact of the Cochrane Collaboration. More on some of the landmark methodological contributions of the Cochrane Collaboration are reviewed in a series Commentary by Moher and colleagues, where they discuss contributions to assessing bias in systematic reviews of interventions.
“Cochrane was seen as a trailblazer; it set the standard and expectations with its very standardised, rigorous model for trial registration to review to update.”
Jackie Chandler-Oatts, The Cochrane Collaboration
Jackie Chandler-Oatts is Methods Coordinator at the Cochrane Collaboration, and during her career has contributed to a wide portfolio of health and social care projects in UK higher education institutions. She is experienced in mixed-method systematic review methods, and has a particular interest in complexity, complex interventions and implementation science. In this podcast Chandler-Oatts discusses how effective the Cochrane Collaboration has been and the importance of evidence synthesis for better informed healthcare. Further insights into the impact of Cochrane Review methods and future methodological developments are addressed by Jackie Chandler-Oatts and Sally Hopewell from the University of Oxford, UK, in this series Commentary.
A complete list of series articles: