Researchers, research funders, regulators, sponsors and publishers of research fail to use earlier research when preparing to start, fund or publish the results of new studies. To embark on research without systematically reviewing evidence of what is already known, particularly when the research involves people or animals, is unethical, unscientific, and wasteful.
To address this problem a group of Norwegian and Danish researchers have initiated an international network, the ‘Evidence-Based Research Network’ (EBRNetwork). The EBRNetwork brings together initial partners from Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and USA was established in Bergen, Norway in December 2014. It also has members from low and middle income nations like India, South Africa and Brazil.
At the ‘Bergen meeting’ partners agreed the aim of the EBRNetwork is to reduce waste in research by promoting:
No new studies without prior systematic review of existing evidence
Efficient production, updating and dissemination of systematic reviews
Logo of the new Evidence Based Research Network
My take : In real terms this signifies a tactical shift of the way medical research is conducted and funded globally and bring in more objectivity into funding decisions . The current system of research funding is flawed and decisions are often not on the scientific need of the research to be conducted but on peer-perceptions. It will also prevent policy makers to be mis-guided by scientist who are prone to hype their own agenda for causes of career progression.
Note : The information provided here is adapted from the press release by network together with some personal opinions. Dr. Soumyadeep Bhaumik is one of the members of the network.
One of the most commonly asked questions among people attending Cochrane training workshops and people new to the Cochrane system is “What research question should I do review on ? ” The common refrains being most of the topics are either taken or might not be of interest to review groups.
Cochrane this week has given out a list of about 200 Cochrane reviews, “either new titles or reviews requiring updates, that best meet the needs of healthcare and health policy decision maker ” . This is spread across all review groups and is available online here . (List downloadable as excelsheet from link )
Physical inactivity at work has increased in recent years throughout the world. With the advancement in technology (computers, mobiles) and increased peer pressure at work people do not leave their desk even for communicating with their colleagues. Sitting at work increases the risk of being overweight, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The article is a guest post by the lead author of the Cochrane Review Workplace interventions for reducing sitting at work, Nipun Shrestha published last week.
The interventions that can be aimed to decrease sitting at workplaces could be framed as below :
Physical changes in workplace environment
• Changes in the layout of the workplace such as printers or bins situated further away from desks.
• Changes in desks enabling more activity, such as the use of a sit-stand desk, a vertical workstation on a treadmill or a stepping device.
• Changes in chairs enabling more activity, such as inflated balloon chairs or therapy balls.
A policy to change the organisation of work
• Supporting the social environment by the introduction of walking meetings, walking or other exercise groups during work time.
• Breaks (periodic, frequent, or purposive) to sit less, stand up and take an exercise break.
• Sitting diaries.
Information and counselling to encourage workers to sit less
• Signs or prompts at the workplace (e.g. posters) or at the workstation (computer).
• E-health intervention.
• Distribution of leaflets.
• Counselling (face to face, email, or telephone).
When we think of an average office, reducing sitting is a huge challenge. One has to think of changing architecture, spending a lot of money as well as changing the office routine. So it is important to find out that whether these interventions that aim to reduce sitting, such as desks at which you can work while standing up does actually reduce sitting or not.
We tried to find out whether interventions aimed at reducing the time people spend sitting while at work are effective.
“Sitting is the new smoking” – comment from the audience at @ Cochrane OSH workshop on essential intervention in LMIC’s in Hyderabad,India .