Training opportunities: systematic reviews and related topics


The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that face-to-face training in systematic review methodology has been largely postponed.

However, there are some opportunities to get involved online!

Cochrane has put together a suite of interactive and online learning opportunities. Follow the links to find out more!

Interactive learning: conducting an intervention review

Developed by world-leading experts, this course provides over 10 hours of self-directed learning on conducting a complete systematic review process for both new and experienced review authors. Module one is freely available to all, the other ten modules have restricted access. Modules are generally free for authors of Cochrane reviews, Cochrane editorial teams, consumer reviewers, and members of the Cochrane training network. Courses are also freely accessible for people living and working in Research4Life countries, and are available at a discount for Cochrane members.

Evidence Essentials

Cochrane Evidence Essentials is an introduction to Evidence Based Medicine, clinical trials and Cochrane evidence. It is designed for healthcare consumers (patients, care givers, family members), policy makers and members of the healthcare team

You will be guided through the modules by the personal learning journey of ‘Eleni’, a fictional consumer. The modules are presented in the form of a story, but you are free to skip this and explore the learning in any way you choose. The learning is interactive, with things to read, film and audio, quizzes, and ways to check your learning. There are links to further resources if you wish to continue learning about a particular topic.

This learning has been co-produced by healthcare consumers, researchers and specialists from Cochrane’s Central Executive Team, with contributions from a range of experts in their fields.

Cochrane Evidence Essentials is free to use with a Cochrane account (free to sign up).

Cochrane Learning Live

Cochrane has a series of online events, Cochrane Learning Live, which explore different aspects of Cochrane review production.

Each Learning Live webinar is recorded, and the archive is a rich source of training material, which can be accessed free of charge. Topics include risk of bias, network meta-analysis, and how to use Cochrane tools such as RevMan.

The Learning Live archive is freely accessible to all, and anyone with an interest in systematic reviews can sign up to join a live event.

Knowledge translation learning resources

Cochrane recently embarked on a series of knowledge translation activities, and have made available training resources on topics such as priority setting, sharing Cochrane evidence, partnerships, translating Cochrane evidence into languages other than English, measuring impact and working with policy-makers. Access blog posts, case studies and video presentations free of charge.

Upcoming events

Introduction to systematic reviews in health

Southampton Health Technology Assessments Centre (SHTAC) at the University of Southampton invites you to participate in this one-day virtual live course, designed for health professionals, academics and decision makers with an understanding of health and related research.

Outline of the day:What is a systematic review?Scoping the research questionLiterature searchingInclusion/exclusion screeningData extraction & critical appraisalData synthesis

The event will take place on 23rd March 2021.

Introduction to health economics evaluation

Learn the key concepts of health economics and how they are used to aid decision about healthcare and treatments.

This popular one day virtual live course is delivered by Southampton Health Technology Assessments Centre (SHTAC) at the University of Southampton. The course will provide an overview of health economics and is designed for health professionals, academics and decision makers with an understanding of health and related research.

Outline of the day:-Basic concepts of health economicsMeasuring health outcomesMeasuring costsCost effectiveness analyses in decision makingReviewing economic evaluations

This one day event is set to take place on 24th March 2021.

Virtually Cochrane

Registration is now open for ‘Virtually Cochrane’, an online event for all those involved with, or interested in, planning, doing, sharing and using health and healthcare evidence.

Join Cochrane UK and Cochrane Ireland for a series of sessions on the theme of ‘navigating evidence and uncertainty’. Join live sessions or watch content on-demand. There will also be opportunities for networking, and access to a project hub.

The event takes place from 20th to 22nd April. More information on how to register and the cost of the event can be found here.

Introduction to Cochrane Methodology

Cochrane Sweden is pleased to announce that registration is now open for a 1-week course on Cochrane Methodology from the 3-7 May 2021. The course will be conducted online over Zoom. The course is mainly aimed at PhD students from the Faculty of Medicine, but is open for everyone to join. This 40-hour course will cover the following topics and also include self-tuition with Cochrane Interactive Learning:

Introduction to conducting systematic reviewsWriting the review protocolSearching for studiesSelecting studies and collecting dataIntroduction to study quality and risk of biasAnalysing the dataInterpreting the findingsReporting the review

The Nottingham Systematic Review course

It is planned that this course will take place in person, from 22 to 25 June 2021 in Nottingham, UK. If the course is cancelled due to COVID, all delegates will have the option to re-book on a future course or to request a full refund.

This course, organised by the University of Nottingham, is aimed at enabling participants to become proficient in developing and undertaking a Cochrane-style systematic review of interventions. As this is an introductory course, no previous knowledge of systematic reviewing is required.

The course utilises a combination of lectures, small group discussions, workshops, library-based interactive tutorials, with hands on practical work at computer stations using RevMan and Endnote software. Review Manager (RevMan) is the software used for preparing and maintaining Cochrane Reviews.

No prior knowledge is required, though to maximise your learning, you are asked to have considered the topic (PICO) of your own review prior to the course.

Review author training from Cochrane UK

Cochrane UK continues to offer virtual Review Author Training workshops to authors of Cochrane Intervention Reviews, who are based in the UK or Ireland and have had a review title accepted by a Cochrane Review Group (CRG).

There are four core workshops to help authors at different stages of review preparation, from beginning a review protocol through to completing the review.

RA1 Beginning a Systematic Review Protocol (next available 8 May 2021, online only)RA2 The Methods Section of the Protocol (next available 27 May 2021, online only)RA3 Analysis Methods for Systematic Reviews (next available 2 March 2021 or 1 June 2021, online only)RA4 Advanced Topics in the Analysis and Reporting of Systematic Reviews (next available 10 March 2021 or 9 June 2021, online only)

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