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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 47-49

Cochrane rehabilitation: Actions, functions, and role of the youngest rehabilitation stakeholder

1 Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia; IRCCS Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, Milan, Italy
2 IRCCS Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, Milan, Italy
3 Department of Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven – University of Leuven; Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Date of Web Publication22-May-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Joel Pollet
IRCCS Don Gnocchi Foundation, Milan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisprm.jisprm_16_18

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How to cite this article:
Negrini S, Pollet J, Arienti C, Lazzarini S, Kiekens C. Cochrane rehabilitation: Actions, functions, and role of the youngest rehabilitation stakeholder. J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med 2019;2:47-9

How to cite this URL:
Negrini S, Pollet J, Arienti C, Lazzarini S, Kiekens C. Cochrane rehabilitation: Actions, functions, and role of the youngest rehabilitation stakeholder. J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2023 Mar 27];2:47-9. Available from: https://www.jisprm.org/text.asp?2019/2/1/47/257839

  Cochrane Top

Cochrane was founded in 1993 by Iain Chalmers in the name of Archibald Cochrane, a former epidemiologist who claimed the importance of randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses, to facilitate and promote health decision-making based on high-quality scientific information, for health professionals, researchers, patients, and policymakers. With this aim, Cochrane publishes and spreads the most relevant systematic reviews on health-care interventions and promotes evidence production in all fields of medicine. Cochrane is organized in different groups according to the goals set: Review groups, responsible for the production of high-quality systematic reviews, methods groups, which develop and implement methodology for the production of reviews, geographic centers, in charge of the knowledge translation strategy with a national/regional focus, and fields, related to knowledge translation strategy but about specific health dimensions across the world. In this perspective, rehabilitation, as transverse dimension for many health conditions and consequently for many review groups, is the subject of a “field.”

  The Origin of Cochrane Rehabilitation Top

The idea of a Cochrane field in rehabilitation dates to 2014 and emerged in the evidence based medicine (EBM) Special Interest Scientific Committee of the European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM).[1],[2],[3] In September 2016, an exploratory meeting took place in Rovato, Italy, with 78 participants from 27 countries; the foundation of the new field followed, when a memorandum of understanding was signed between Cochrane, Don Gnocchi Foundation, and University of Brescia for an institutional support for the initiative. The official launch of Cochrane Rehabilitation took place on December 16, 2016, after the approval of the Cochrane Steering Group, during the Cochrane Colloquium in Seoul, South Korea. The core aim of Cochrane Rehabilitation is knowledge translation that is the process to facilitate and apply in daily clinical practice the best available evidence.[4]

  Mission Top

Cochrane Rehabilitation has a key function in bridging between Cochrane and the composite world of Rehabilitation including all topics and professionals; consequently, it disseminates Cochrane evidence to rehabilitation providers, policymakers, and consumers. On the other side, Cochrane Rehabilitation works to improve the methods for evidence synthesis and to increase their applicability within rehabilitation clinical practice, considering the continuous increase of publication trend in rehabilitation research.[5]

  Organization Top

Cochrane Rehabilitation is a worldwide network of individuals, with a clear and well-structured organization that allows it to work effectively.[6] The organizational chart is composed by different functions [Figure 1]. The Director (Stefano Negrini, ITA) is in charge of the knowledge translation strategy and is assisted in this action by the executive committee. The Coordinator (Carlotte Kiekens, BEL) manages the implementation of the networking strategy, daily planning organization, and coordination of activities between the committees and partners. All the core activities of the field are managed by the executive committee, composed by 5 committees with chairs and co-chairs, Low Middle Income Countries (LMIC) and Rehabilitation Professions Representatives, fundraiser and treasurer. The headquarters are located in Rovato, Italy. To follow up all the activities, a monthly meeting is held. The advisory board has the role to provide suggestions from different stakeholders' perspectives and includes 35 opinion leaders in rehabilitation field including all main international scientific societies and journals.
Figure 1: Cochrane Rehabilitation organizational chart

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Review committee (Chair William Levack [NZL], Co-chair Farooq Rathore [PAK]) has created a database (https://rehabilitation.cochrane.org/evidence) with all the Cochrane reviews of rehabilitation interest; all the reviews are listed by two principal subtopics: Health Condition and Health Profession. As future development, the committee is working with the Cochrane Editorial Unit to introduce the word Rehabilitation as a keyword in the Cochrane Library and as a topic in the PICO annotation project of Cochrane.

Methodology committee (Chair Antti Malmivaara [FIN], Co-chair Thorsten Meyer [GER]) works to introduce new strategies to strengthen the methodology in the relatively young field of rehabilitation research. Some papers are going to be published and one has already been published.[7]

Publication committee (Chair Aydan Oral [TUR], Co-chair Frane Grubisic [CRO]) works to publish Cochrane corners,[8],[9] summaries of Cochrane reviews relevant for the field of rehabilitation, in national and international journals.

Education committee (Chair Julia Patrick Engkasan [MAL], Co-chair Elena Ilieva [BUL]) is providing education and training for EBM in rehabilitation to improve its application in clinical practice; workshops and sessions have been organized in national and international scientific congresses. The committee provides material on EBM through the education section of the Cochrane Rehabilitation website (https://rehabilitation.cochrane.org/resources/education-and-training).

Communication committee (Chair Francesca Gimigliano [ITA], Co-chair Carlotte Kiekens [BEL]) is playing a fundamental role in the dissemination of Cochrane's rehabilitation evidence and news, through the website and all the social media channels. It produces a monthly newsletter with news, updates, future events and blogshots,[10] and small comments on the last Cochrane reviews published on rehabilitation topics (https://rehabilitation.cochrane.org/news).

LMIC representative (Chair Farooq Rathore [PAK]) works to spread the knowledge and actively involve people from LMIC in Cochrane Rehabilitation's initiatives. Cochrane Rehabilitation takes into serious consideration, all the priorities and questions coming from these counties.

Rehabilitation professional representative (Chair Tracey Howe [UK]) works to maintain the multi-professional and interdisciplinary perspective of Cochrane Rehabilitation's work.

Cochrane Rehabilitation headquarters (Joel Pollet, Roberta Bettinsoli, Stefano Lazzarini and Chiara Arienti) is based in Italy at the Rehabilitation Centre “E. Spalenza,” Don Gnocchi Foundation of Rovato. The Headquarters team supports the director, the coordinator and the committees in their activities and it is composed by three researchers and one secretary. The team handles the contacts and liaisons with Cochrane Central and manages members and activities according to what is defined by director, coordinator, and executive committee.

  Other Activities Top

Cochrane Rehabilitation is performing a big effort to perform different activities for the world of rehabilitation.[11] One of them is the collaboration with the European Bodies of PRM, to produce an EBook on Cochrane systematic reviews (CSR) of rehabilitation interest, with summaries directed to the different audiences: clinicians, students, health policymakers, and consumers.[12]

Methodology is one of the biggest issues in rehabilitation research. To tackle this issue, a meeting has been held in July in Paris preceding ISPRM 2018. Different speakers from Cochrane, Cochrane Rehabilitation, and the world of rehabilitation have presented and discussed studies on the different methodological issues specific to rehabilitation, underlying virtues and vices, and proposing solutions to the highlighted problems.

Cochrane Rehabilitation members have joined or have been invited in many national and international congresses with sessions, workshops, and keynote lectures. One of the most important meetings was “Rehabilitation 2030: A call for action” organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), which took place in Geneva in February 2017.[13],[14],[15] As response to the call launched by this meeting, Cochrane Rehabilitation has started a collaboration with the WHO to produce, with research groups from all around the world, systematic reviews of rehabilitation guidelines to be combined with the best Cochrane evidence available.

Cochrane Rehabilitation is using different products to spread evidence: the website (https://rehabilitation.cochrane.org/) that is constantly updated with all the material and news about our initiatives. Recently, in collaboration with Cochrane UK, we started the production of “Blogshots” on the newly published CSR of rehabilitation interest.[10]

Cochrane Rehabilitation is establishing agreements with different entities and stakeholders of rehabilitation. The signature of a Memorandum of Understanding states mutual collaboration and different partnerships: Hosting, offering offices and location; Financing, giving economic support; Strategic, relevant stakeholders involved also in the Advisory Board; Universities, Hospitals, Research Centres and other organizations with which specific projects are ongoing; international journals publishing Cochrane Corners according to an agreement signed also with Wiley; National Societies, involved in translation and education activities. (https://rehabilitation.cochrane.org/about-us/partners).

  Conclusion Top

Cochrane Rehabilitation is working on one side to make evidence as much available as possible to all people involved in the field of rehabilitation across the world; on the other side, Cochrane Rehabilitation is transmitting the priorities and specific needs of the rehabilitation's world to Cochrane. We are working to close the gap between clinical practice and research and to involve all researchers and clinicians in the rehabilitation field to pursue this mission.

  References Top

Negrini S, Kiekens C, Levack W, Grubisic F, Gimigliano F, Ilieva E, et al. Cochrane physical and rehabilitation medicine: A new field to bridge between best evidence and the specific needs of our field of competence. Man Ther 2016;26:vii-viii.  Back to cited text no. 1
Negrini S, Kiekens C, Levack W, Grubisic F, Gimigliano F, Ilieva E, et al. Cochrane physical and rehabilitation medicine: A new field to bridge between best evidence and the specific needs of our field. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2016;97:1226-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Negrini S, Kiekens C, Levack W, Grubisic F, Gimigliano F, Ilieva E, et al. Cochrane physical and rehabilitation medicine: A new field to bridge between best evidence and the specific needs of our field of competence. Phys Ther 2016;96:1109-10.  Back to cited text no. 3
Negrini S, Gimigliano F, Arienti C, Kiekens C. Knowledge translation: The bridging function of cochrane rehabilitation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2018;99:1242-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
Negrini S, Levack W, Gimigliano F, Arienti C, Villafañe JH, Kiekens C. The struggle for evidence in physical and rehabilitation medicine: Publication rate of randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews is growing more than in other therapeutic fields. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2018.  Back to cited text no. 5
Negrini S, Arienti C, Gimigliano F, Grubišić F, Howe T, Ilieva E, et al. Cochrane rehabilitation: Organization and functioning. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2018;97:68-71.  Back to cited text no. 6
Levack WM, Meyer T, Negrini S, Malmivaara A. Cochrane rehabilitation methodology committee: An international survey of priorities for future work. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2017;53:814-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
Negrini S, Kiekens C. Cochrane rehabilitation corners in the European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2017;53:812-3.  Back to cited text no. 8
Zasler N, Kreutzer J, Arienti C, Oral A. The cochrane corners in NeuroRehabilitation: A cochrane rehabilitation initiative. NeuroRehabilitation 2018;43:111-2.  Back to cited text no. 9
Arienti C, Gimigliano F, Ryan-Vig S, Kiekens C, Negrini S. Cochrane rehabilitation blogshots: A modern method to spread cochrane evidence. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2018;54:466-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
Negrini S, Arienti C, Pollet J, Engkasan JP, Gimigliano F, Grubisic F, et al. Cochrane rehabilitation: Report of the first year of work. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2018;54:463-5.  Back to cited text no. 11
Moretti A, Gimigliano F, Arienti C, Pollet J, Kiekens C, Negrini S, et al. The cochrane rehabilitation eBook: A knowledge translation tool to transfer evidence to different rehabilitation audiences. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2018;54:622-3.  Back to cited text no. 12
Negrini S. Introduction to the special section “Rehabilitation 2030: A call for action” by the World Health Organization (WHO). Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2017;53:151-2.  Back to cited text no. 13
Gimigliano F, Negrini S. The World Health Organization “Rehabilitation 2030: A call for action.” Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2017;53:155-68.  Back to cited text no. 14
Negrini S. The possibilities and challenges of “Rehabilitation 2030: A call for action” by the World Health Organization: A unique opportunity not to be missed. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2017;53:169-72.  Back to cited text no. 15


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