Cochrane News

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Awareness Month

3 years 5 months ago

September is  Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Awareness Month and is an excellent time to focus on the latest Cochrane evidence.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition with three main features:

  • menstrual cycle problems, such as irregular periods or having no periods (meaning the ovaries do not release eggs)
  • high levels of "male" hormones – hirsutism (excessive hair growth) or elevated testosterone
  • polycystic ovaries – the ovaries contain many fluid-filled sacs (follicles) that surround the eggs.

Being overweight worsens the clinical features of PCOS. These clinical features include reproductive issues such as irregular menstrual cycles reduced frequency of ovulation, reduced fertility, polycystic ovaries on ultrasound and high levels of male hormones such as testosterone. The elevated hormone levels can cause unwanted facial or body hair growth and acne. PCOS is also associated with metabolic features, with risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease including high levels of insulin or insulin resistance and abnormal cholesterol levels. PCOS affects quality of life and can worsen anxiety and depression either due to its symptoms or due to the diagnosis of a chronic disease. There is no cure for PCOS, but symptoms can be treated.

Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility  (CGF) Group is concerned with the systematic evaluation of the management and treatment of menstrual disorders and subfertility. CGF carries out extensive searches for all relevant randomised controlled trials both published and unpublished; scrutinises each trial for its relevance and quality; critically appraises trials; draws conclusions based on pooling data about how their net result should be applied in healthcare; and produces structured reports (systematic reviews) for widespread dissemination to health care providers and planners, and to consumers.

CGF has published 19 systematic reviews on the effectiveness and safety of various interventions for the treatment and management of PCOS.

Here is the curated list of our Cochrane systematic reviews on PCOS:

Review updates in development

Stable reviews

 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane Clinical Answers related to COVID-19

3 years 9 months ago

Readable, clinically-focused, actionable answers to inform point-of-care decision-making for health professionals. 

Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCAs) provide a readable, digestible, clinically-focused entry point to rigorous research from Cochrane Reviews. They are designed to be actionable and to inform point-of-care decision-making. Each CCA contains a clinical question, a short answer, and data for the outcomes from the Cochrane Review deemed most relevant to practicing healthcare professionals. The evidence is displayed in a user-friendly tabulated format that includes narratives, data, and links to graphics.

COVID-19 CCAs are available for free. Latest COVID CCAs:

Get involved: The clinical answer is written either by a practicing clinician or by a CCA Editor, with the answer being peer-reviewed by a practicing clinician. If you would like to join the Clinical Answers authoring team, please contact the team at clinicalanswers@cochrane.org. We are specifically looking for clinicians in the following areas: respiratory medicine; care of the elderly; cardiovascular medicine; pregnancy and childbirth; neurology - especially epilepsy; infectious disease; paediatrics; rheumatology; ENT; and urology.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Endometriosis Awareness Month 2022

3 years 10 months ago

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition where endometrial tissue (tissue similar to the lining of the uterus) grows outside of the uterus. It is estimated that 1 in 10 women have endometriosis (Zondervan 2020). Endometriosis frequently presents with the symptom of pain including dysmenorrhoea (painful periods), dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse), and chronic pelvic or abdominal pain. Endometriosis can cause infertility and for women with subfertility the prevalence rate ranges from 25% to 40% (Ozkan 2008).

Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility group has published over 20 intervention reviews and protocols investigating the effectiveness and safety of treatments for the management of endometriosis. In addition, they have published five diagnostic test accuracy reviews assessing the effectiveness of various tests in the diagnosis of endometriosis. They are joining #EndometriosisAwarenessMonth by sharing an updated collection of their reviews on endometriosis that focus on pain-related outcomes and fertility outcomes. The treatments include pharmacological interventions (hormonal therapy, immune-modulators, anti‐inflammatory drugs), surgery, and alternative medicine. Throughout Endometriosis Awareness Month, they will be also sharing blogs that include relevant Cochrane evidence and other information to help inform women’s decisions about endometriosis diagnosis and treatment. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Get Social with Cochrane!

3 years 10 months ago

We aim to put Cochrane evidence at the heart of health decision-making all over the world. This not only means producing high-quality and relevant systematic reviews but making sure that our evidence is accessible and advocating for evidence. Join us on social media to learn more about the work we do, our community, and the health evidence we produce.

You can access Cochrane evidence and news on your favourite social media platform! Follow us on:

We love to engage with our Community and retweet or share to Instagram stories!   Be sure to tag a Cochrane social media account  so that we see the post. 

Share a picture of you enjoying Cochrane training, using the Cochrane Handbook, or share the latest Cochrane evidence. Your social media posts can earn you contribution points to work towards gaining full Cochrane Membership! Share, tag us, and add  your contribution to your free account. 

If you're interested in learning more about sharing on social media, check out these resources:

Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Collection of Cochrane evidence on diagnosing tuberculosis

3 years 11 months ago

The Union Conference, a world conference on lung health, is taking place 8-11 November 2022. To mark this, Cochrane Infectious Diseases have released an updated collection on diagnosing tuberculosis, which highlights Cochrane Reviews relevant to this topic. 

Tuberculosis continues to cause great suffering worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2021 an estimated 10.6 million people developed tuberculosis, an increase of 4.5% from 2020. 

This collection includes selected systematic reviews from Cochrane Infectious Diseases and other international teams that underpin three WHO consolidated guidelines on systematic screening for tuberculosis disease and on rapid diagnostics for detection of tuberculosis and tuberculosis drug resistance.  The collection highlights how Cochrane evidence contributes within a wider landscape of tuberculosis evidence and guidelines. 

 

Lead image credit: The Global Fund/Jonas Gratzer

Monday, November 7, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

VIDEO: What are systematic reviews?

4 years 1 month ago

A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view aimed at minimizing bias, to produce more reliable findings to inform decision making. 

Here is a video from Cochrane Consumers and Communication that explains what a systematic review is clearly and simply for people who may not be familiar with the concepts and terminology of systematic reviews: what they are, how researchers prepare them, and why they’re an important part of making informed decisions about health - for everyone. 

Cochrane evidence provides a powerful tool to enhance your healthcare knowledge and decision making. This video from Cochrane Sweden explains a bit about how we create health evidence, including systematic reviews, and other activities of Cochrane. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022
Anonymous

Cochrane evidence in different languages

4 years 11 months ago

Only about 6% of the world’s population are native English speakers, and 75% of people don’t speak English at all.

Many people do not have access to high-quality health information, because it is not available in a language that they understand. We translate Cochrane evidence to make it more accessible, and to reduce the linguistic barrier to global evidence-informed health decisions.

Cochrane groups in different parts of the world lead our knowledge translation activities in different languages. They translate Cochrane Reviews and related content, such as podcasts or blogshots. They also produce and share information in their language, do social media, work with professional societies, policy makers, patient groups or the media in their country, and offer training.

We have published more than 44,000 translations of Cochrane health evidence summaries across 15 languages as of January 2023.

Read Cochrane evidence on cochrane.org in different languages. You can see all available languages on the top of each page on cochrane.org, and click on it to switch the language. Or click here:

Most translated Cochrane Reviews:

Cochrane podcasts in different languages: Cochrane podcasts are a short audio summary of a Cochrane review and have been recorded in 40+ languages.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Muriah Umoquit

What is Cochrane?

5 years 3 months ago

Cochrane exists so that healthcare decisions get better.

Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health. Many of our contributors are world leaders in their fields - medicine, health policy, research methodology, or consumer advocacy - and our groups are situated in some of the world's most respected academic and medical institutions.

Cochrane  contributors work together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. This is vital for us to generate authoritative and reliable information, working freely, unconstrained by commercial and financial interests. We gather and analyze the  best available evidence to help people make informed decisions about health and health care. These are called systematic reviews. Our work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.


The need for Cochrane's work is even greater than it was when we started in 1993. As access to health evidence increases, so do the risks of misinterpreting complex content; meanwhile the likelihood of any one person getting a complete and balanced picture decreases. Our mission to provide accessible, credible information to support informed decision-making has never been more important or useful for improving global health.

Friday, October 7, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Cochrane Podcasts

6 years ago

 

It’s hard to stay up-to-date with the latest health evidence. Listen to leading experts and Cochrane review authors explain in plain language the evidence and findings of their high-impact reviews. In 5 minutes or less, healthcare professionals to patients and families can understand the latest trusted evidence to help make better informed decisions.

For 20 years, Cochrane has produced systematic reviews which are internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care resources. Cochrane works collaboratively with contributors around the world to produce authoritative, relevant, and reliable evidence.

You can view and search our entire catalogue of hundreds of podcasts or subscribe via Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts, or Spotify for the latest updates.

Monday, March 7, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Clinical Trials Day 2022

6 years 8 months ago

Clinical Trials Day is celebrated on 20 May marking the day in 1747 on which James Lind is believed to have begun the first known controlled trial, comparing different treatments for scurvy which was common among sailors in the British Royal Navy. (Watch a video explaining the trial to see history in the making.) 

Learn about Cochrane systematic reviews and how clinical trials are used:


Registering and reporting the results of clinical trials is an ethical, and often legal, responsibility. However, it is well documented that the results of many studies are never published.


Cochrane’s systematic reviews rely upon the results of clinical trials. To assess the effectiveness and safety of healthcare interventions, we need to know what trials were done, how they were conducted and what their findings were. Without access to detailed information from all clinical trials, we cannot have a full picture of the evidence.

Cochrane's  clinical trial transparency advocacy:  Cochrane Library systematic reviews of interest: 

 

Thursday, May 19, 2022
Muriah Umoquit

Updated review: Insufficient evidence for use of Omega-3 supplements in treating depression

7 years 3 months ago

Updated Cochrane research concludes that there is insufficient evidence for the use of Omega-3 fatty acid supplements in treating major depressive disorder.

Omega-3 fatty acids are widely thought to be essential for good health and are naturally found in fatty fish such as mackerel; other seafood; and some nuts and seeds.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been widely promoted globally for a variety of health concerns, and are readily available as an over-the-counter supplement. These supplements have hugely increased in popularity over the last decade, together with a range of other supplements including ginseng, garlic, green tea, vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

There have been various studies that have suggested a role for Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in treating major depressive disorder. Adults with major depressive disorders are characterized by depressed mood or a lack of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities for at least two weeks, in the absence of any physical cause, that impact on everyday life.

Figures published in 2018 estimated prevalence rates for major depressive disorders of 163 million cases in 2017, and global incidence rates of 242 million cases, resulting in 33 million years lived with disability globally, an increase of 12.6% since 2007.


This updated Cochrane Review, published recently in the Cochrane Library, gathered together data from 28 randomized trials involving a total of 1944 participants. The trials investigated the impact of giving an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement in a capsule form and compared it to a dummy pill. In one study, involving 40 participants, researchers also investigated the impact of the same supplementation compared to an anti-depressant treatment.

The Cochrane authors found that, whilst people who were given Omega-3 fatty acids reported lower symptom scores than people with the dummy pill, the effect was small and there were important limitations that undermined their confidence in the results. Their analyses showed that although similar numbers of people experienced side effects, more data would be required to understand the risks of taking Omega-3 fatty acids.



Lead author Katherine Appleton from Bournemouth University said, “This is an update of an existing Cochrane Review, using the same methods as we previously used, with some refinements. The update includes 8 randomised controlled trials published since 2015, in addition to the 20 trials included in the previous review.

Our conclusions however remain unchanged. We found a small-to-modest positive effect of Omega-3 fatty acids compared to placebo for depressive symptomology, but the size of this effect is unlikely to be meaningful to people with depression, and we considered the evidence on which this conclusion was based to be of low or very low quality. All studies contributing to our analyses were of direct relevance to our research question, but most of these studies are small and of low quality. We also found insufficient evidence to clearly determine the effects of omega-3 oils on negative side effects or when compared with anti-depressants.”

She added, “At present, we just don’t have enough high-quality evidence to determine the effects of Omega-3 fatty acids as a treatment for major depressive disorder. It’s important that people who suffer from depression are aware of this, so that they can make more informed choices about treatment.”

 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Nancy Owens
Checked
14 hours 26 minutes ago
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