Watch recordings from Cochrane London 2023
Global health, equity and trust
An important goal of global health is to advance health equity for all people worldwide. Trust in global health research, practice and policy is crucial for achieving this goal. In this plenary we start by examining the historical roots of mistrust in global health, citing examples of research abuses and barriers to the delivery of care in marginalised communities. This is followed by a discussion of challenges for evidence generation, synthesis and use encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Next, we shift our focus to the impact of the profit motive on trust and equity in health and offer guidance on the conduct of systematic reviews focussing on the commercial determinants of health. We conclude by providing recommendations for improving research integrity and building trust in global health research.
- How COVID broke the evidence pipeline (Helen Pearson, Nature)
- Building trust in (global) health research (Gowri Gopalakrishna, Maastricht University)
- Why trust is an important issue in global health (Jimmy Volmink, Stellenbosch University)
- Commercial determinants of health: influence of private sector activities on evidence and equity (Mark Petticrew, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
Ensuring integrity in biomedical research
We all need data we can trust. Cochrane policy requires that studies with serious research integrity problems, including fraudulent data, be excluded from Cochrane Reviews. This plenary explores the scope and root causes of the problem of fraudulent and problematic research. Solutions to identifying and preventing the publication of research with serious research integrity problems are discussed. The international panel of speakers offered perspectives from a variety of disciplines on paper mills, tools to identify fraudulent studies, and what systematic reviewers and journals can do to improve research integrity.
- Quantity over quality: a primer on research paper mills (Jennifer Byrne, New South Wales Health Pathology, The University of Sydney)
- Journals identifying and eliminating problem studies (John Carlisle, NHS)
- This is a global issue: The African Research Integrity Network (ARIN) (Limbanazo Matandika, Africa Research Integrity Network)
- How to reduce structural and academic incentives that promote fraud (Cyril Labbé, Univ. Grenoble Alpes)
- Protecting the integrity of systematic reviews (Lisa Bero, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus)
The session is chaired by Richard Van Noorden, Nature.
Building trust through co-creation: re-imagining evidence
Generating evidence through the combination of scientific and lived experience has the potential to enable mutual trust between research and society. This session sparks a lively discussion about addressing the impact of experiential knowledge and through that, building deeper understandings and relationships between researchers, research participants and people involved. We explore why information and evidence as we know it may not be enough to support decision making, and reflect on examples that demonstrate ways to build trust and co-create evidence, with a discussion of differences as well as mutual learnings in the global south and global north.
- Building Trust: Challenging division (Peter Beresford, University of East Anglia)
- Co-creating Engagement and Evidence, Globally (Bella Starling, Vocal, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust)
- From TB to COVID and Back Again: Community Engagement for Essential Evidence (Anastasia (Tasha) Koch, Eh!woza/University of Cape Town)
- Using Creative and Participatory Methods to Research Prioritisation in Primary Care (Shoba Dawson, Senior Research Fellow, Sheffield Centre for Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield)
The session is chaired by Richard Morley, Cochrane's Consumer Engagement Officer and Maureen Smith, Chair of Cochrane Consumer Network Executive.
Cochrane Lecture / Closing Plenary
Forward together for trusted evidence
Given the ever-growing potential for misinformation and disinformation in an interconnected world, the need for trusted evidence has never been greater. As we navigate a post-COVID-19 pandemic world, evolving data and technological opportunities, and the reality of change, ensuring that the evidence that informs health and care decisions is timely, trusted and relevant will be an ongoing challenge. This Cochrane Lecture, delivered by Yemisi Takwoingi, University of Birmingham and introduced by Karla Soares-Weiser, Cochrane's Editor-in-Chief, explores a framework for sustaining and promoting trusted evidence that not only withstands scrutiny but actively guides informed decision-making by addressing emerging needs through a continuous feedback loop between evidence producers and users. The lecture emphasises the importance of the interlinked pillars of relevance, equity, integrity, transparency, and rigour underpinned by collaboration between stakeholders and researchers as we journey forward together embracing diverse perspectives, experience and expertise to co-produce and deliver evidence that is not only trusted but makes a difference for patients and the public globally.
Cochrane's annual prizes and awards are presented at the end of the session.
30 Years of the Cochrane Collaboration: why and how did it get started? A conversation with some of those who were there at the beginning
As we celebrate 30 years since the founding of the Cochrane Collaboration, Karla Soares-Weiser and Jimmy Volmink discuss with some of the founders of the Collaboration what motivated them and others who co-founded the organization. Karla and Jimmy are joined by Iain Chalmers, Muir Gray and Jini Hetherington among others in this look back at the formation of the Collaboration in 1993. Answers to a range of questions explore the collaborative ethos that inspired the creation of a global network to prepare and maintain systematic reviews of research to inform decisions in health care.
How Cochrane responded to the need for timely, unbiased, informative and accurate evidence on new diagnostic tests during the Covid-19 pandemic
In mid-March 2020, leaders in Cochrane put out a call for help to provide evidence to assist decision-making during the emerging pandemic. On 26th March 2020 the Cochrane Covid Diagnostic Test Accuracy Group was formed – an international group of methodologists, test accuracy specialists, statisticians, epidemiologists and clinicians committed to deliver a portfolio of reviews to provide and maintain a reliable evidence base on which test policies could be based.
In the following days, Cochrane published two Cochrane Diagnostic Test Accuracy Protocols (on days 29 and 68), and five Cochrane Diagnostic Test Accuracy systematic reviews (on days 91, 103, 153, 189 and 239) reporting on the accuracy of antibody tests, signs and symptoms, rapid antigen and molecular tests, imaging tests, and routine laboratory tests. Since then, Cochrane has published eight updates of these reviews, and a further four reviews are close to being completed. To date, these five reviews have been cited 3375 times, and used in 22 international guidelines.
Completing these reviews has involved: recruiting over 100 researchers on a voluntary basis from more than 14 countries across six continents; developing new methods to deal with the magnitude of papers, use of pre-prints and new data sources; adapting protocols as knowledge and understanding developed; identifying and engaging with stakeholders (including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and the Cochrane Infectious Diseases group) to ensure the reviews were informative and addressed relevant questions; and developing working arrangements across Cochrane to enable timely publication, including rapid peer review, editorial support and fixing software challenges. The team's approach exemplifies Cochrane's principles of collaboration, enthusiasm, avoiding duplication of effort, and minimizing bias whilst striving for clinical relevance, quality, open access and avoiding all conflicts of interest.
This session introduces the story of the team's approach and work. They highlight the findings of the reviews, discuss the challenges and solutions they found in working in a new and moving area of health and technology, and discuss how they tried to make sure their findings had impact.
Jon Deeks, University of Birmingham
Jac Dinnes, University of Birmingham
Mariska Leeflang, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam
Michael Brown, Michigan State University
Fiona Lethbridge, Science Media Centre
Toby Lasserson, Cochrane Central Executive Team
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The aim of the Annual General Meeting is for Cochrane's Trustees - its Governing Board - and senior officers to explain their management of the charity to you, the Members.
It also provides an opportunity to ask questions and decide on business and current issues affecting the organization, which are put to the vote as 'Resolutions'.