Category: HRB

Cochrane wins the best paper award in the General Practice category at the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (#Cochrane)

 Last night, our Cochrane review about Psychosocial interventions to reduce alcohol consumption in concurrent problem alcohol and illicit drug users won the best paper award in the General Practice category at the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI)
I’ve heard that it was a great award ceremony night, but I wasn’t able to attend because I’m in Portland (OR) working on a NIDA INVEST fellowship. One of our co-authors, Prof Dunne (UL GEMS Head of research) kindly received the award on our behalf.
Enda Connolly, the Chief Executive at the HRB (*review funder), commended on the award: ‘The HRB is committed to funding top-quality health research that is likely to have an impact on patient care and the health services that they receive,’read more at:
 Or download the full text review here:

Cochrane conference in Ireland: Making an impact? (#cochraneevidence)

Another conference’s over. This one is among my favourites because it’s about Cochrane collaboration. It attracted around 70 delegates who came to Queens university in Belfast this year.

Lots of interesting discussions with colleagues, e.g. how do you define an expert? or What’s an ideal composition of an expert panel or a committee? It would seem that senior academics, professors or directors are the right experts, but truth may not be so straightforward. Some of these senior people may be simply too busy or think they know it all. Inclusion of junior staff, post-docs, nurses or systematic review authors on expert panels is better because they lack the weaknesses mentioned earlier. What more, they may be the most hard working group in the academia or research in general. Because of that, hey are likely to be dedicated members of expert panels.

A whole different discussion was going on between the conference delegates on Twitter:

Hearing and talking about my/ fellow reviewers’ experiences of doing SRs made me think about what was special different about my own experience or review:

  • it was my first review
  • I’ve applied a truly systematic approach, which received praise from my quality advisor (see previous blog post)
  • it was real quick
  • I had multiple presentations and non-peer reviewed articles about the review
  • I worked for 2 universities
  • I’ve used EPPI-reviewer software, unlike many of my fellow colleagues
  • I’ve used a lot of support from our health information specialists
  • it was done within a unique Health Research Board of Ireland (HRB) fellowships scheme
  • I couldn’t have done it without a strong support from my co-authors and the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol review group (CDAG)

So, what impact had this year’s Cochrane in Ireland conference on me? It helped me to regain my research identity again.
…and the sky in Belfast was grey, yet again.
A copy of my cochrane review can be accessed here: