Training and supporting of Cochrane authors – Polish experience




Poster session 3


Tuesday 25 October 2016 - 10:30 to 11:00


All authors in correct order:

Bala MM1, Jankowski M2, Lesniak W3, Koperny M2
1 Systematic Reviews Unit, Cochrane Poland, UJCM, Department of Hygiene and Dietetics UJCM, Poland
2 Systematic Reviews Unit, Cochrane Poland, UJCM, Poland
3 Systematic Reviews Unit, Cochrane Poland, UJCM, Clinical Decision Making Unit, UJCM, Poland
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Malgorzata Bala

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: Before Cochrane Poland was established there were 38 Polish authors of Cochrane Reviews. One of the aims of Cochrane Poland was to train and support potential reviewers in the skills needed for the development of Cochrane Reviews.
Objectives: To describe our experience in building teams of systematic reviewers in Poland.
Methods: We planned a two-step course for the authors. The first module was an introductory course, open for all interested, providing information about Cochrane Reviews, risk of bias assessment, title registration, protocol development and hands-on practical exercises including searching for evidence and a RevMan tutorial. We obtained funding for those courses, so they were free of charge. After this, Cochrane protocol workshops were available for people already involved in Cochrane Reviews.
Results: So far we have conducted three editions of our introductory courses. Altogether we have trained over 90 people. As a result seven new topics for reviews are registered, 30 new authors from Poland have created accounts and almost 20 participants took part in protocol development workshops. Three of those protocols have been submitted for editorial approval. We observed that most people who wanted to be involved in Cochrane Reviews needed support in the registration process, finding a relevant Cochrane group, preparing a registration form. With protocol development process we noticed that despite hands-on exercises, reviewers had problems with translating the knowledge they gained into practical applications in their health problem. They needed constant support throughout protocol development.
One of the barriers to becoming involved in a review expressed by some of the participants was the requirement of having experienced Cochrane authors on the team. However based on our experience without these people protocols and reviews may not be completed in a reasonable time.
Conclusions: Our training courses resulted in an increase in the number of people who became interested and involved in Cochrane Reviews in Poland, but constant support for new Cochrane authors is needed in order to help them complete their protocols and reviews.