Plenary sessions

The four plenary sessions, including the 4th Annual Cochrane Lecture, which this year is being presented by Prof Paul Glasziou, will feature regional and international speakers addressing several contemporary issues relevant to Cochrane and evidence-based health care. Plenary sessions themes include:

Plenary 1: Overdiagnosis and overtreatment in health care

Monday 24 October, 9:00 - 10:30

Resulting mainly from the use of increasingly sensitive screening and diagnostic tests, as well as broadened definitions of conditions requiring an intervention, overdiagnosis is a growing but still largely misunderstood public health issue. An international effort is now underway to understand this problem, to raise professional and public awareness about it, and to attempt to manage it.

In this session, the role of evidence-based health care and systematic reviews in limiting overdiagnosis and oversue will be discussed, including realignment of disease definition; quantification and monitoring of overdiagnosis; sensitisation of health professionals and patients; provision of balanced information on risk and benefits intervention; and the implications for Cochrane.


Hyeong Sik Ahn and Giovanni Strippoli


Alexandra Barratt
Problem of overuse: its magnitude in health care and its mechanism

Rita F. Redberg
The evidence for overdiagnosis and overuse: perspective from academic journals

Jenny Doust
Systematic reviews and evidence based medicine in preventing overdiagnosis


David Tovey

Plenary 2: Challenges and different approaches to improve the quality, timeliness and usability of Cochrane Reviews

Tuesday 25 October, 9:00 - 10:30

The Cochrane Steering Group (CSG) has identified quality as one of its highest priorities and a critical part of our sustainability. In line with Goal 1 of Cochrane's Strategy 2020, the Cochrane Editorial Unit (CEU) is working on a strategic plan that aims for timely production of high quality reviews that meets the needs of end-users and informs clinical care and health policy. This session will discuss the challenges and different approaches we are exploring to improve the quality of Cochrane Reviews, and what are the potential role of CRGs and the broader Cochrane community in this process.

The speakers in the plenary session will be asked to share a short presentation describing their experiences in making challenging decisions regarding the quality and usability of Cochrane reviews. Different perspectives and lively debate will be sought with particular focus on potential initiatives that are being explored and are consistent with the CEU vision for high quality and timely Cochrane Reviews that meets the needs of end-users and informs clinical care and health policy.


David Tovey & Karla Soares-Weiser


James Thomas
How the "Pipeline" project can speed up the identification of studies

Karla Soares-Weiser
Innovating the editorial process

Claire Glenton
Presenting the results of Cochrane Reviews: balancing accuracy and accessibility

Marguerite Koster
How can health care organizations use Cochrane evidence to identify and implement evidence-based interventions to improve patient care?

Plenary 3: Data transparency: where are we and what can we get?

Thursday 27 October, 9:00 - 10:30

Pressure to increase transparency of data in clinical research is growing as scientific academies, regulatory agencies, funders and international organisations join the call for more data transparency. In this session, recent issues in the open data movement, data access policies and its impact on health care are discussed. Some examples of the impact of lack of transparency in East Asia will highlighted.


Lisa Bero and Chris Mavergames


Kay Dickersin
Overview of the data transparency problem: its magnitude and impact on health care

Byung Joo Park
The data transparency problem in East Asia: experiences in Korea and Japan

Rintaro Mori
The data transparency problem in East Asia: experiences in Korea and Japan

Lesley Stewart
Data transparency through an individual patient meta-analysis lens: what we have learned

Annual Cochrane Lecture: Four challenges for EBM and Cochrane’s future

Thursday 27 October, 16:00 - 17:30

Speaker: Paul Glasziou

Since the term evidence-based medicine (EBM) was coined over 20 years ago it has had a remarkable global influence. But EBM is not a static set of concepts, set in stone tablets in the 1990s; it is a young and evolving discipline. The fundamental concept of systematic reviews – providing a periodic summary of all controlled trials to aid clinical care – may have changed little since the birth of Cochrane. However, how to best provide and apply these in practice continues to develop.

In this year's Cochrane Lecture, Paul Glasziou will propose four areas requiring renewed or ongoing attention:

  1. Improve dialogue between “evidologists” and clinicians
  2. Treatment is the patient’s decision: support and promote shared decision making
  3. Take non-drug interventions as seriously as pharmaceuticals
  4. Sustain investment in automating evidence synthesis 


Julian Elliott