In this issue: new publications from the Equity Methods Group, info about the Vienna Colloquium, updates from Campbell's IDCG, Cochrane Caribbean, Evidence Aid, and more!
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Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.

Issue 2 | September 2015

Welcome to the newly branded Equity newsletter! 

In memoriam: Liz Waters

Liz Waters
Dear friends and colleagues within the Cochrane community,

We are so very sad to have to announce the passing of our beloved friend and inspiring colleague, Professor Elizabeth (Liz) Waters. Liz has been unwell for some time but was so passionate about her work that many were unaware of how ill she was.
Those of us who worked closely with her feel so fortunate to have been able to experience her warmth, generosity, incredible intellect, and passion for making a difference. She was an inspiring leader who has changed our lives and the lives of all who have worked with her.
While the ripples of sadness will extend across the world today, we are encouraged by the knowledge that it will be accompanied by memories of love, laughter and bubbles. We will ensure her legacy continues.
Our thoughts are with all who mourn her including her husband Paul and children Charlie and Lara.
Warm Regards,

Jodie Doyle and Rebecca Armstrong, on behalf of the entire Cochrane Public Health team

Cochrane’s commemoration of Liz’s many contributions to our work is now online: In memoriam: Liz Waters. At the bottom of the commemoration page is a link to an online memory book where you can record your condolences and memories of Liz for the community and her family. (Please note that any photos you would like to share should be sent directly to Nancy Owens for attachment to your written contribution.) 


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PRISMA-Equity Reporting Guideline

The explanation and elaboration paper (accompanies the PRISMA-E 2012 paper published in PLoS Med) is in press with the International Journal for Equity in Health, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, and the Journal of Development Effectiveness.

Follow us on Twitter for updates. 


Health of Indigenous Peoples: Special Collections

The Cochrane Library has produced 3 special collections of systematic reviews on the Health of Indigenous Peoples:
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Suicide Prevention

Read the editorials:
Improving health outcomes for Indigenous peoples: What are the challenges?
Noel Hayman, Papaarangi MJ Reid, Malcolm King

Can Cochrane Reviews inform decisions to improve Indigenous people's health?
Vivian Welch, Yvonne Boyer, Catherine Chamberlain

Read more

 © UNHCR / A. McConnell

Using evidence-based guidelines to improve the settlement of vulnerable populations affected by migration

July 10, 2015: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control awarded Tender to a team of migrant health and equity effectiveness methods experts from Europe, Canada, US and Australia!

The team will use high quality evidence based methods to search, synthesis and develop health recommendations for primary care, public health and health policies affected by migration. The project will incorporate new Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods as well as the Evidence to Decision process of the European Union GRADE-DECIDE approach
. This 3 year project will produce unique evidence based guidance on infectious diseases for the 28 European Union countries and the European Economic Area countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The project will be managed by the EURO HEALTH GROUP in Copenhagen and scientifically led by Drs. Kevin Pottie, Per Olav Vandvik, David Ingleby and Rachael Morton.   

Background:  Evidence based methods and guidelines are emerging as important procesess to support health-for-all, including durable and resilient health systems for disadvantaged persons affected by migration. This project will contribute work in relation to community engagement and public trust to and support an equity approach. These approaches will estimate patient values and preferences, acceptability, impacts on equity and civil society, feasibility and cost.


Health systems in fragile and conflict-affected states and other humanitarian emergencies

Members of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Knowledge Translation and Health Technology Assessment in Health Equity have been working to improve and pilot methods for conducting assessments of health systems in fragile and conflict-affected states and other humanitarian emergencies.
The work began with the thesis research of a member of the Collaborating Centre, Jason Nickerson, which focused on improving the methods for conducting assessments of health facilities and health systems in humanitarian emergencies. The results of a systematic review of health facility assessment tools from low- and middle-income countries were published in Health Policy & Planning in 2014, and the results of field research in Haiti and Sudan were published in Conflict and Health this spring.
Over the past two years, the work has expanded to include the design and implementation of needs assessments for maternal, newborn and child health in Afghanistan, collapsing health systems in middle-income countries, and for assessing the initial public health needs during refugee emergencies. Other related projects to improve health equity have also emerged from these projects, including work to improve access to controlled medicines for pain relief and anesthesia in low-income countries, and other projects focused on access to essential medicines. 
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News from Cochrane Canada

Cochrane Canada is offering Standard Author Training in Ottawa: Oct. 28-30, 2015. Learn more.

Share your story on the Cochrane Canada Blog: have a story about Cochrane? Send it in and it may be featured on the new blog.

Cochrane Canada's Director, Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw, recently spoke to CBC Radio 1 about the future of funding for Cochrane in Canada. Listen here.

Fall 2015 Webinars
Oct. 21, 2015: Cochrane 101
Nov. 10, 2015: Decision Aids
Dec. 10, 2015: Transforming Patient Care

Read more
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Update from the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

Two new IDCG reviews published in the Campbell Library:
  1. Community-based rehabilitation for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review
  2. The effects of training, innovation and new technology on African smallholder farmers' wealth and food security: A systematic review
The IDCG has published three new protocols in the Campbell Library since June 2015:
  1. Interventions to Improve Maternal, Newborn and Reproductive Health in Crisis Settings
  2. Access to Electricity for Improving Health, Education and Welfare in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review
  3. Effects of Certification Systems for Agricultural Commodity Production on Socio-economic Outcomes of Beneficiaries in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review
More information on these and other IDCG registered reviews can be found in the Campbell Library.
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Update from Cochrane Caribbean

Cochrane Caribbean has been rebranded!
Check out the new look by visiting the website:
You can also follow Cochrane Caribbean on Twitter (@caribcochrane) and like them on Facebook!

New equity-relevant publications from the Caribbean branch:
  1. Francis D, Bennett N, Ferguson T, Hennis A, Wilks R, Harris E, MacLeish M, Sullivan L, on behalf of the US Caribbean Alliancce for Health Disparities Research Group (USCAHDR): Disparities in cardiovascular disease among Caribbean populations: a systematic literature review. BMC Public Health 2015, 15(1):828.
  2. Bennett N, Francis D, Ferguson T, Hennis A, Wilks R, Harris E, MacLeish M, Sullivan L, on behalf of the US Caribbean Alliancce for Health Disparities Research Group (USCAHDR): Disparities in diabetes mellitus among Caribbean populations: a scoping review. International Journal for Equity in Health 2015, 14(1):23.
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Cochrane's 'Podcasts for Parents' wins approval for global crowd-funding

For the first time in its 20-year history, Cochrane has been given the green light to raise money for child health issues worldwide, thanks to GlobalGiving, the first and largest global crowdfunding community for nonprofits.

From 1 September 2015 the project, ‘Podcast for Parents’, run by Cochrane Child Health in Alberta, Canada, launches on the GlobalGiving online platform, as part of their Open Challenge programme, raising funds to support evidence-based initiatives in aspects of child health.

The ‘Podcasts for Parents’ project will help parents and carers address the complexities of child health information by creating a series of audio streams which will provide high-quality scientific evidence relating to common childhood conditions such as bronchiolitis, croup, RSV, and asthma.

The project will be online until 15 September and is hoping to raise a minimum of $5000 from at least 40 donors. To find out more, visit the project page at:

Read the press release


Considering immigrant populations in Ontario Health Equity Impact Assessments

The Ontario Ministry of Health has developed a Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) as a pragmatic tool to reduce of health inequities. A recent systematic scoping review on Health Impact Assessments however reported that only 40/688 mentioned immigrants and 2/688 considered immigrants in the recommendations.     
An international consensus meeting in Ottawa 2014 led to a draft supplement (MOHLTC, International Organization for Migration, Ottawa Public Health, Cochrane Equity Methods Group, Local Immigrant Partnerships, and HEIA researchers). The team used a mixed methods study to pilot and finalize the supplement.

Preliminary themes emerging from the analysis: migrants are a priority population for HEIA but there are unique complexities of cultural dynamics and evidence-based data.  Local immigrant partnerships were identified as untapped resources and a need for support for decision makers.

Acknowledgement:  Authors included Kevin Pottie, Branka Agic, Doug Archibald, Ayesha Ratnayake, April MacInnes, Natalie Kaiman. We would also like to thank the CIHR and the MOHLTC for funding our consensus meeting and pilot studies.  
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Evidence Aid Training

Evidence Aid will be providing a systematic review course, tailored to the humanitarian sector on 7 and 8 December 2015 at the Centre for Global Health at Trinity College in Dublin (Ireland). 

Course Outline
Building on his successful and popular 2-day courses on systematic reviews, Professor Mike Clarke will run an Evidence Aid course, placing systematic reviews in the context of disasters and the provision of humanitarian aid, both medical and non-medical. The course provides learning and practical experience for many aspects of systematic reviewing, including question formulation, setting the eligibility criteria, searching and critical appraisal of studies, data extraction, analysis, and reporting. Examples used to illustrate the key steps will be relevant to the humanitarian sector and participants should leave the course feeling much more comfortable about using reviews for decision making and confident about conducting a systematic review.

Read more

AMSTAR for Non-Randomized Studies (NRS)

Bev Shea and the AMSTAR Development Group received funding for 'AMSTAR_NRS: Helping decision makers distinguish high and low quality systematic reviews of NRS'.
The original AMSTAR was developed to assess reviews that included only randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Some of the items do not apply to NRS such as blinding, and will therefore render a NRS review to be of low quality. A draft AMSTAR_NRS, containing 15 items, is now available and will be presented at the 2015 Cochrane Colloquium in Vienna. 

Read more

New Equity-focused protocols registered with PROSPERO

Equity impact of interventions to promote physical activity in older adults: a systematic review
Gesa Lehna, Emila Mena, Nora Kolterman, Gabriele Bolte

Impact of public smoking bans on social inequalities in children's exposure to tobacco smoke at home: an equity-focused systematic review
Gabriele Bolte, Tiara Ratz


Equity News Briefs

Latest Publications

Petkovic J, Welch V, Tugwell P. Do evidence summaries increase policy-makers’ use of evidence from systematic reviews: A systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews. 2015;4:122.

Welch V, Boyer Y, Chamberlain C. Can Cochrane Reviews inform decisions to improve Indigenous people’s health?[editorial].Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015;(8): 10.1002/14651858.ED000103

Petkovic J, Epstein J, Buchbinder R, Welch V, Rader T, et al. Toward ensuring health equity: readability and cultural equivalence of OMERACT Patient-reported Outcome Measures. J Rheumatol. 2015 Jun 15. Epub ahead of print.

Iheozor-Ejiofor Z, Worthington HV, Walsh T, O'Malley L, Clarkson JE, Macey R, Alam R, Tugwell P, Welch V, Glenny AM. Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015. 18;6:CD010856.

Nickerson JW, Hatcher-Roberts J, Adams O, Attaran A, Tugwell P. Assessments of health services availability in humanitarian emergencies: a review of assessments in Haiti and Sudan using a health systems approach. Confl Health. 2015. 8;9:20.

Toupin-April K, Barton J, Fraenkel L, Li L, Grandpierre V, et al. Development of a Draft Core Set of Domains for Measuring Shared Decision Making in Osteoarthritis: An OMERACT Working Group on Shared Decision Making. Journal of Rheumatology. 2015 April 15. [Epub ahead of print].

Augustincic Polec L, Petkovic J, Welch V, Ueffing E, Tanjong Ghogomu E, et al. Strategies to increase the ownership and use of insecticide-treated bednets to prevent malaria. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD009186. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009186.pub2.
** A podcast of this review is also available. 

Read more

Malaria podcast

New Podcast

Strategies to increase ownership and use of insecticide-treated bednets to prevent malaria: Jennifer Petkovic discusses the results of this review with Jordi Pardo Pardo


MITACS intern - Zhen Guang

From May-August, Zhen Guang from Lanzhou University joined the Equity Methods Group as a MITACS intern. Zhen has been examining whether Canadian Health Technology Assessments and their subsequent recommendations have included equity considerations. 

CGH 2015

Thank you to our summer students!

We would like to thank our summer students for their help with our equity projects over the last 4 months: Brittany Bakker, Elaine Galicia-Connolly, Sasha Masabanda, Magnus Nowell, and Jessica Trawin.



Equity Events at the Cochrane Colloquium:
Workshop: Guidance for conducting and reporting equity related systematic reviews
Wednesday Oct. 7, 2015 - 14:00 

Special Session: Systematic reviews of complex interventions: state of the science on scoping, conceptual frameworks, analytic approaches, reporting elements, and future research
Sunday Oct. 4, 2015 - 11:00

Cochrane Colloquium Vienna
Oct. 3-7, 2015
Vienna, Austria
Research Waste/EQUATOR Conference
Sept. 28-30, 2015
Edinburgh, Scotland
Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health
Dec. 14-15, 2015
Washington, USA
Canadian Conference On Global Health
Nov. 5-7, 2015
Montreal, Canada
EBHC International Conference
Oct. 28-31, 2015
Taormina, Italy

4th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research
Nov. 14-18, 2016
Vancouver, Canada

About Us

Equity Support Services

Are you working on a review that considers equity?  Does your review include disadvantaged populations?  The Equity Methods Group is keen to help!  We are happy to provide peer review, suggest Review Advisory Group members, give methodological support, and provide other assistance upon request.  Please contact Jennifer Petkovic ( to discuss your needs. 


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Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group

Elizabeth Kristjansson, Advisory Member
Jennifer Petkovic, Coordinator
Mark Petticrew, Co-Convener
Kevin Pottie, Advisory Member
Peter Tugwell, Co-Convener
Elizabeth Waters, Advisory Member
Vivian Welch, Co-Convener

Please contact us if you would like information about our activities, to join our listserv, or to become involved in our projects.  We welcome your participation!


Copyright © 2015 Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group, All rights reserved.

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