A scientific initiation underpinned in free Cochrane materials is feasible and effective in delivering high-quality training to undergraduates.
2Centro Universitario Arthur Sá Earp (UNIFASE), Brazil
Background: To encourage and support new incomers is one of Cochrane’s priorities according to its strategic plan. The Cochrane Training website provides several learning opportunities, with emphasis on reading, preparing, conducting, and publishing systematic reviews. There are tools and online training guidance that might build capacity amongst healthcare professionals, and it is an excellent source of learning for undergraduates. Scientific Initiation (SI) is a program directed to undergraduates to connect them to study groups and lines of research. It intends to stimulate students to learn techniques and scientific methods, as well as to encourage scientific thinking and creativity. The Faculdade de Medicina de Petropolis (FMP/UNIFASE), a private university in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, does not have a curriculum in Evidence-Based Healthcare. However, there are initiatives to approximate students and high-quality research, such as Cochrane Brasil Rio de Janeiro (CBRJ) Affiliate Center, and a partnership with the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine from the University of Oxford.
Objectives: To describe the experience of a Cochrane-driven scientific initiation to undergraduates at FMP/UNIFASE.
Methods: Descriptive case report study.
Results: CBRJ conducts a 1-year program, with four positions available. The SI engages the students to become Cochrane members and to get into action in knowledge translation, research, organizational skills, and education. Some activities carried out are (a) training sessions in evidence-based principles using free materials from Cochrane Training website; (b) attendance in training workshops/webinars to build capacity as potential new review authors; (c) translation of Cochrane materials into Portuguese, contributing to the spreading of relevant evidence; (d) participation in CBRJ organizational tasks, promoting a sense of community, and involving them to the Cochrane structure; and (e) promotion of Cochrane evidence within other students and healthcare professionals locally. Some of the Cochrane resources used are Cochrane Evidence Essentials, Cochrane Journal Club, and “Estudantes para Melhores Evidências” blog.
Conclusions: A scientific initiation underpinned in free Cochrane materials is feasible and effective in delivering high-quality training to undergraduates. Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: We believe that offering a proper introduction to health evidence, and how to use it to make informed health choices, would improve patient outcomes in the future.