Monday 18th June 2019
Catherine Rice is a recent student on the MSc in Health Psychology in the National University of Ireland Galway - she tells us about her recent experience of taking part in Cochrane Ireland's first workshop of 2019.
‘Writing a Cochrane Systematic Review Workshop’ - an early career researcher perspective’
Conducting a systematic review is a daunting task at any stage of a career, particularly for those at the starting line. As part of my MSc Health Psychology coursework, I was tasked with conducting my first systematic review and, needless to say, I felt quite out of my depth. Having spotted an advertisement for a two-day ‘Writing a Cochrane Systematic Review Workshop’, I decided to give it a go.
The workshop was listed as an ‘introductory’ skill level and targeted towards healthcare professionals, academics, and researchers. It aimed to provide authors, at the beginning of the Cochrane systematic review process, with an in-depth understanding of how Cochrane reviews are structured, while providing an insight into the development of a Cochrane protocol, methodology, search methods, data extraction, and meta-analysis.
The workshop was facilitated by members of the Cochrane Ireland teaching faculty; Professor Declan Devane, Mr. Bernard McCarty, and Ms. Elaine Finucane. I can’t speak highly enough of the standard of teaching they provided. A two-day workshop is quite demanding and they ensured we remained engaged through a mixture of short presentations, real-world examples, and open discussions.
An excellent range of course materials was provided, with each attendee receiving a folder containing printouts of the slides covered in the workshop, practice exercises, and example templates of data collection and extraction forms. Each step of the systematic process was explained in great detail. Writing a Cochrane protocol, scoping the research question, creating a PICO, identifying search terms, conducting searches, screening studies, assessing eligibility, assessing the risk of bias, data extraction, data management, meta-analysis methods, and heterogeneity; you name it, we covered it. A series of exercises were provided during the workshop which allowed the opportunity to practice our new skills, while open discussion and questions were encouraged, allowing space to apply our learning to our own research.
I was surprised to find that I was the youngest, and debatably the least experienced researcher there. The majority of attendees were at PhD or postdoc level, instantly placing me out of my comfort zone. However, throughout the workshop, I found that I held a better grounding in the systematic review process than many others, with some post-docs having no experience of systematic reviews. For me, this really highlighted the high standard of teaching I received during my MSc. The incorporation of a systematic review into the syllabus allows early researchers to develop their skills while providing an understanding of the importance of the systematic process.
I would without a doubt recommend the workshop, regardless of your level of experience. The high standard of teaching and excellent level of detail provided throughout the workshop was second to none. After the two days, I left with a greater understanding of the systematic process, a newfound appreciation of the importance of systematic reviews, and more confidence in conducting my first review; overall, an excellent experience.
Wednesday 27th March 2019
Cochrane Inspires in Oxford!
The joint Cochrane UK and Cochrane Ireland symposium (#CochraneInspires) took place in the beautiful settings of Oxford in March 2019. This event included the official re-launch of Cochrane Ireland within the new Evidence Synthesis Ireland initiative (funded by Health Research Board/Public Health Agency of Northern Ireland), as well as a host of capacity-building workshops and knowledge exchange between the Cochrane community.
Tuesday 19th March 2019
Cochrane Ireland announces the winners of sponsored places at Cochrane Ireland and Cochrane UK joint symposium 2019!
Cochrane Ireland is delighted to announce the winners of the sponsored places competition for the 2019 Cochrane Ireland and Cochrane UK joint symposium, taking place this Thursday and Friday March 21-22 in Oxford, UK. The three winners are:
Ciara Ni Laighin
Friday 8th March 2019
Relaunch of Cochrane Ireland
We are delighted to announce the recent relaunch of Cochrane Ireland and its establishment as an Associate Centre. The official launch will take place at the upcoming joint Cochrane UK and Cochrane Ireland Symposium in Oxford in March 2019.
Cochrane Ireland will be hosted within the newly-established Evidence Synthesis Ireland (ESI), based at the National University of Ireland Galway. ESI is supported by funding from the Health Research Board of Ireland and the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division, Northern Ireland and aims to build evidence synthesis knowledge, awareness and capacity among the public, health care institutions and policymakers, clinicians and researchers on the Island of Ireland. A key goal of ESI is to re-establish the activities of Cochrane Ireland; these include the development of an extensive programme of Cochrane training events and Cochrane fellowship and studentship schemes.
Cochrane Ireland will be led by Professor Declan Devane as Director of Cochrane Ireland and Evidence Synthesis Ireland, and the Cochrane Ireland team; Dr Elaine Toomey (Associate Director of Cochrane Ireland), Dr Patricia Healy (Programme Manager of Evidence Synthesis Ireland) and Sheena Connolly (Administrator of Evidence Synthesis Ireland). Speaking about the relaunch of Cochrane Ireland, Professor Devane said: “We are delighted to be part of Cochrane’s work across the Island of Ireland and are excited by the potential it has to make a difference to health care decisions across the Island. Health care decisions should be based on the full range of information that is available on a topic; it can't rely on one or more individual pieces of information, or studies. Together with our friends in Cochrane UK and our wider team of collaborators, we look forward to helping build capacity to conduct syntheses of evidence for which Cochrane is a global leader”.
Cochrane CEO Mark Wilson commented: “I’m thrilled with the re-launch of Cochrane Ireland and the appointment of Professor Declan Devane as its new Director. Declan is a highly experienced systematic reviewer and trainer, and we look forward to working together. Given the passion and generosity Declan brings to everything he does, I am sure that he and the new team will expand the reach and impact of Cochrane evidence in health decision making in Ireland in the coming years.”
Cochrane Ireland will join its international Cochrane colleagues to represent and promote Cochrane on the island of Ireland, facilitate engagement with regional stakeholders to improve knowledge translation and dissemination of Cochrane reviews, and build capacity for review production and use.
Professor Martin Burton, Director of Cochrane UK, commented: “All of us at Cochrane UK have enjoyed working with our friends and colleagues on the island of Ireland. We are delighted that Cochrane Ireland is re-launching itself under the auspices of Professor Declan Devane and his team in Galway. We wish them every success and look forward to meeting them at the joint Cochrane UK and Cochrane Ireland Symposium in Oxford in March”.
A full list of the Cochrane Ireland training events is available here, and more information on the Cochrane Ireland fellowship and studentship schemes is available here. For more information or to get in touch, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, follow us on Twitter at @CochraneIreland or visit our website at https://ireland.cochrane.org.
Item first posted on Cochrane.org - original posting available at: