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Longtime Cochrane contributor receives lifetime achievement award

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Tue, 22/07/2014 - 07:56

Dr Kay Dickersin, Director of the US Cochrane Center, has received the 2014 Ingram Olkin Award for her 'lifetime contributorion to the development of evidence synthesis methods'. Dr Dickersin is Director for the Center for Clinical Trials at Johns Hopkins University and a longtime contributor to The Cochrane Collaboration. Dr Dickersin received the award at the 2014 annual international meeting of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology (SRSM), hosted by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York (UK).

External link for more information:  http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/SRSM-2014.html Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  press@cochrane.org

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Join us for this month's #cochraneauthor chat - Wed 23 July

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Tue, 22/07/2014 - 06:34

Are you a Cochrane author? Are you active on Twitter? If so, join us for this month's #cochraneauthor Twitter chat! For our second chat, we'll be brainstorming topics of interest to the #cochraneauthor community that we can delve into in future chats.

Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Nancy Owens Email address:  nowens@cochrane.org

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Latest results from 2014 elections to the Cochrane Steering Group

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Mon, 21/07/2014 - 12:04

Eight positions on the Cochrane Steering Group, including one Co-Chair, are eligible for election in 2014. As of July 2014, results are available for six of the eight positions, with two elections still pending:

Representing Fields: Denise Thomson (Canada) – re-elected for a second term from September 2014 – September 2017.

Representing Managing Editors: Karin Dearness (Canada) – elected for her first term from September 2014 – September 2017.

External link for more information:  http://www.cochrane.org/community/organisation-administ... Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Claire Allen Email address:  callen@cochrane.org

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Colloquium early registration deadline reminder: 14 July 2014

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Mon, 30/06/2014 - 10:28

Reminder: the closing date to register early and and take advantage of discounted rates for the 2014 Cochrane Colloquium at Hyderabad, India is 14 July. Don't delay!


External link for more information:  http://colloquium.cochrane.org/registration-fees Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Anna Joseph Email address:  annajoseph@cmcvellore.ac.in

A Service User Shares Their Experiences

The Service User Perspective - Fri, 27/06/2014 - 10:50
I read in the Schizophrenia Commission about them including pharmacists in the treatment of patients, which I think is long overdue.

We have everybody else in a Ward round- surely the pharmacist should be included!

My own hospitalisation experience dates back to, initially, 1983 and most recent in 2001.
I think I am a recovered schizophrenic!

I can really sympathise with the carer who feels her son was nearly killed by Clozapine,
and also with all the side effects of drugs- the dribbling, tardive dyskinesia, etc.

I get restless feet all the time. I get too much spit in my mouth. I move my jaw, sort of clicking it, an involuntary movement.

Announcing the #cochraneauthor Twitter chat

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Thu, 26/06/2014 - 12:35

Are you a Cochrane author? Are you active on Twitter? If so, we’d like to announce the establishment of #cochraneauthor Twitter chats, focusing on issues of interest to the #cochraneauthor community. For our first chat, we discussed how Cochrane authors communicate with Cochrane - whether receiving information and news, providing feedback, or engaging with fellow Cochrane contributors.

Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  news@cochrane.org

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RevMan 5.3 now available - training webinars 3 July

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Wed, 25/06/2014 - 05:19

The Cochrane Informatics and Knowledge Management Department (IKMD) is happy to announce to all that Review Manager (RevMan 5.3) is now available!

To get it now, go to the download page or use Help > Check For Updates within current RevMan installations. Thanks to quick reports from early adopters, we’ve already fixed a few bugs that had slipped through beta testing, and we’re now at version 5.3.3.

RevMan 5.3 only contains changes that do not require moving to a new file format for reviews. Some of the highlights are:

External link for more information:  http://tech.cochrane.org/revman/download Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Jacob Riis Email address:  jriis@cochrane.org

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Announcing the establishment of the Hungarian Cochrane Branch

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Tue, 24/06/2014 - 06:48

The German Cochrane Centre is delighted to announce the establishment of the Hungarian Cochrane Branch (HBGCC), based at the University of Pécs. The Director of the HBGCC will be Professor Tamás Decsi, who is a professor of paediatrics and director of the Clinical Centre of the University of Pécs. Dr. Szimonetta Lohner, who has already worked at the GCC and was also closely involved in the establishment of the HBGCC, will be the scientific coordinator. One of the priorities of the HBGCC will be to support and increase Cochrane Review activity in Hungary.

External link for more information:  http://www.cochrane.de Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Gerd Antes Email address:  antes@cochrane.de

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A Carer Speaks Out.

The Service User Perspective - Mon, 23/06/2014 - 13:29
I do think, when one is a patient, or by extension, a relative, it is hard to speak out.

1. When one is in an angry or disturbed state of mind, one cannot, physically, think straight.

2. Very often one is not believed.

3. Going back over things, actually causes MORE pain.

My son doesn't seem to want to complain, although I feel he has been quite unfairly treated, I guess the above, or something like that, is the reason.

New resources available from the CEU for producing Cochrane Reviews

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 14:01

The Cochrane Editorial Unit (CEU) has compiled two resources for use in producing Cochrane Reviews, using information gathered from the CEU review screening process.    

Since September 2013, the CEU has screened 300 reviews; this work has enabled the identification of some common errors and examples of good practice which relate to the following issues: 

External link for more information:  http://www.editorial-unit.cochrane.org/mecir Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Toby Lasserson Email address:  tlasserson@cochrane.org

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Last chance: have your say on the Cochrane Training Strategy by 13 June!

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Wed, 11/06/2014 - 07:06

If you’re involved with Cochrane, then you probably have an opinion about how we support you in your work, how we communicate changes in methods and policies, and how we build capacity and engagement among our talented contributors. We’ve had some great responses to our consultation and online survey on the future directions of Cochrane’s Training & Professional Development Strategy, but we’d like more. Make sure that your voice is heard, and that contributors like you are represented as we make choices about the training and support activities that will make a difference to Cochrane.

External link for more information:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/cochranetraining Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  news@cochrane.org

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Reminder: Call for nominations - Cochrane annual prizes

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Tue, 10/06/2014 - 13:41

Several prizes are awarded annually to Cochrane contributors at the organisation's annual Colloquium. The 2014 calls for nominations for three of the prizes are currently open, with nominations being accepted until 22 July 2014. All Cochrane contributors are encouraged to review the prize criteria and consider nominating colleagues whose work is worthy of recognition in these important areas.

Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  news@cochrane.org

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According to an Expert by Experience and Carer:

The Service User Perspective - Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:32
The discussion about transferring research into evidence-based practice is a very valid one, especially with regard to the Schizophrenia Commission and NICE guidelines recommendation that psychological therapies should be offered as a matter of course, alongside pharmaceutical interventions, from the very start of the treatment..... not left until the drugs, with all their acknowledged side effects, have 'stabilised' the poor patient into a state of readiness to 'receive' talking therapy. In our area, the waiting lists for psychological therapies for people with severe and enduring mental illness are running at around 2 years.

An Expert by Experience writes about side effects of her son.

The Service User Perspective - Fri, 06/06/2014 - 10:28
Dribbling, tardive dyskinesia (which I have witnessed in my son) slurred voice (I was once traumatised by phoning a helpline and somebody had a horribly slurred voice) are in my opinion, appalling. I do not think a drug should be licensed, if it produces these effects.

Several years ago, my son was forced to take Clozapine, on the orders of a desperate, burnt- out and frankly very incompetent psychiatrist. My son, ended up on a medical ward, on intravenous drip, immobilised, vomiting, vomiting, vomiting, non-stop for a whole week. I was going mental, phoning psychiatrist who tried to fob me off with "it's a virus". I asked if anyone else on the psychiatric ward, where my son was imprisoned at the time had come down with a virus. He said no. As viruses are normally very catching, this alarmed me. I protested, but was completely ignored.

At the end of the week, thank God, the psychiatric nurses, placed around my son's hospital bed, to stop him escaping (he had run off to France, was okay for three months, ran out of money, come back, readmitted to hospital), alerted the psychiatrist that the vomiting might be due to the Clozapine. Clozapine withdrawn, torture ended temporarily.

A few years later, I came across an article, some unfortunate had died, obstructed bowel, directly caused by Clozapine. The coroner had ruled, as mental patients, object to taking care of their physical health, the doctors could not be blamed, so my panic had been justified. My son could have died, the psychiatrist could have got away with killing him.

At a tribunal regarding my son, I voiced my horror at the terrible side-effects, I was completely discounted, ignored, brushed aside as if I was stupid and unreasonable.

Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group supports launch of priority-setting initiative for depression research in the UK

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Thu, 05/06/2014 - 08:01

A new UK-wide survey about depression has been launched by a partnership of mental health groups, supported by the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety, and Neurosis Group. The survey is to help determine the questions that people have about depression, and will collect questions from people affected, their friends, family, carers, and clinicians. The information gathered will help inform depression research.

We believe research can improve lives, and are asking people affected by depression to help us help researchers. Visit www.depressionarq.org to take part.

External link for more information:  http://www.depressionarq.org Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Chris Champion Email address:  contact@ccdan.org

An expert by experience writes about side effects.

The Service User Perspective - Mon, 02/06/2014 - 15:05
It is difficult for us to make definitive comment on the efficacy of various forms of medication, we can however offer some observations and experiences:

1. The side effects of weight gain and dribbling are apparent on a wide scale with many mental health patients. Our son is affected by both. We understand that Clozapine can affect the part of the brain that measures hunger and appetite. The patient then continues to overeat and consequently gain weight. I wonder if there is any evidence of medication affecting an individual’s metabolism? Dribbling is a particularly unfortunate side effect, causing embarrassment and loss of self-esteem. Medication is often prescribed as an antidote but, with relative poor outcomes.

An expert by experience shares their view about physical and mental health.

The Service User Perspective - Mon, 02/06/2014 - 13:37
Physical health care monitoring for people with serious mental illness.

“People with mental health problems often have complex and long-term difficulties with their physical health such as weight gain, smoking and heart problems. They sometimes do not take care of themselves, have inactive lifestyles and may not be able to cope with daily life or work. People with mental health problems have higher rates of diabetes, lung disease, cancer, heart problems, HIV/Aids and other infectious diseases.”

Mental Health of a patient can only be viewed at different stages. I prefer to give them a colour spectrum. Green when they are well. Amber when they are moving into a transitional stage towards psychosis or depression. Red when they are in psychosis or deep depression.
Green = Amber = Red

1. At the Green stage, the patient has a good sense of well being. They are happy. Makes plans for future. Take on projects. Socialise with family and friends. Get involved in social and extra curricular activities. Note: this can only happen to this level if the psychiatric medication is not interfering with the natural progress of their wellness. By this I mean, the side effects of unnaturally lowered metabolism. Side effects of Cognitive functions being inhibited or switched off in some cases depending on dosage. Side effect of intellect being suppressed. Side effect of Perception eroded. And many more. But these are just basic criteria for the patient to be happy and fully compos to be in the Green zone.

2. At the Amber stage some patients are so well acquainted with their illness, that they will know the change has or is coming over. They may not always be clued enough to seek advice/ help at this stage. Something I have always done. I knew when I hit the Amber. But have waited many times for it to subside which has eventually taken me to Red. This is a mis- calculation. Amber stage should never happen if you are fully recovered. If you hit Amber, the chances are you are really going on to progress into Red stage. And that’s where a small increase in dosage of the medication nips in the bud the progression of illness to Red.

3. Red stage . It is advisable to be hospitalised at this stage. Only if it is for a brief spell to monitor the diminishing cycle of psychosis or acute depression.

Therefore given the 3 stages of the cycle of mental wellness/illness, I refer to the paragraph above that people with mental illness cannot cope with daily life or take care of themselves and smoking does become their only source of pleasure. Consequently comfort eating is also a big issue.

Co-ordinating Editor elected to Academy of Medical Sciences

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Sun, 01/06/2014 - 23:46

Professor Hywel Williams, Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Skin Group, has been elected a Fellow of the UK's Academy of Medical Sciences. Professor Williams is Foundation Professor in Dermato-Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, Chair of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Commissioning Board, and has served as Co-ordinating Editor of the Skin Group since its establishment in 1997.

Cochrane offers its warmest congratulations to Professor Hywel Williams on this achievement, and best wishes for continued success.

External link for more information:  http://www.acmedsci.ac.uk/fellows/fellowship-news/new-f... Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Cochrane CEAD Email address:  techsupport@cochrane.org

RevMan 5.3 beta now live and ready for testing

Current news at The Cochrane Collaboration - Fri, 30/05/2014 - 12:48

Cochrane’s Informatics and Knowledge Management Department (IKMD) is pleased to announce that the RevMan 5.3 public beta is now available to download.

RevMan 5.3 beta is available to download now for both PC and Mac platforms. This is intended to allow a broad user base to test and evaluate the next version of the RevMan software. Please note that this download is available for testing purposes only, and for exploring the latest version’s new features.

External link for more information:  http://tech.cochrane.org/news/revman-53-beta-now-live Contributor's Information Contributor's name:  Tom Cracknell Email address:  tcracknell@cochrane.org

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Experts by Experience

The Service User Perspective - Thu, 29/05/2014 - 16:28
According to another expert by experience:

Neuroscience/Psychiatry/Mental Health is like many other research domains in that most of what we want to know we either don't know or are not sure of. There are many barriers to implementing clinical research trials; funding, regulatory red tape, cultural inertia within medical organisations, etc. One of the principal barriers is the lack of awareness of the importance of research amongst the clinical care work force. Ben Gray's blog highlights the need for research and the need for both clinicians and the public as well as academics and associated financial and regulatory bodies to support it.