Cochrane Canada Symposium 2017

Pressing issues in the world of evidence-based research, including best practices on how to improve the production and application of evidence, was the focus at this year’s Cochrane Canada Symposium. 

The two-day event – aptly titled ‘Evidence and Impact: Engaging consumers, practitioners, researchers and policy-makers’ – drew more than 150 participants from around the world, making it one of the most successful symposiums since the annual series launched in 2007.

“It was wonderful to see stakeholders from the different audience groups come together and learn from each other,” says Laura Burnett, Cochrane Canada’s managing director. “It really demonstrated the impact of Cochrane within Canada and beyond.”

As in years past, this year’s symposium – which was held at McMaster University’s David Braley Health Sciences Centre in Hamilton, Ont. – featured a distinguished roster of speakers, including David Tovey, Jeremy Grimshaw, Maureen Dobbins and John Lavis.

Additionally, participants were invited to attend a series of engaging workshops and education sessions on pressing, topical and future issues in the appraisal and application of research evidence, including Zack Marshall’s thorough investigation into the representation of transgender people in research studies.

Marshall, an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Social Work, was later honoured with the symposium’s Best Oral Presentation Award for his talk titled “Documenting research with transgender and gender diverse people: introducing the Trans Research Evidence Map”.

The symposium closed with a special one-day workshop dedicated to enhancing participants’ understanding of the value of living systematic reviews (LSRs). The workshop, which brought together international leaders to discuss the “state-of-the-science” in living systematic reviews, featured invited talks by Julian Elliot, Annie Synnot, Mark Simmonds and Philippe Ravaud.

 

Feedback from attendees on this year’s symposium and program was encouraging, according to Burnett, and will be used to guide the planning and strategic direction of next year’s event scheduled to take place in Calgary, Alta.

“The evaluations we received were really insightful. Attendees mentioned the value of the meeting addressing not only Cochrane systematic reviews but also the broader scope of our work,” she says.

“It was wonderful to see such strong support both from those inside Cochrane and our partners and collaborators.” 

A special thank you to this year’s Program and Abstract Committees, the staff at McMaster University’s Department of Continuing Health Sciences Education, and our very generous sponsors: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) and Wiley.