From July 4th to July 25th, the University’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, in partnership with the World Health Organization and Cochrane, hosted the eighth annual Summer Institute for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making.
Cochrane is a global network of physicians, scientific researchers, public health professionals and others in the healthcare sector. These contributors provide accessible, unbiased health information.
As the WHO Collaborating Center for Nutrition Research for Health and the Cochrane Center for Collaborative Nutrition, the department works with WHO to develop systematic reviews and inform clinical and public health guidelines.
The three-week summer institute enabled 27 scholars and practitioners from the Americas, Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia to apply scientific knowledge to policy-making for nutritional policies and programs.
The summer institute brings together people from academia, government and non-governmental organizations, including program director Dr. Pat Cassano, Faculty Dr. S. Julia L. Adjacent to Finkelstein and Saurabh Mehta, PhD student in nutrition and fellow professor Elizabeth Centeno Tablante.
“The goal of the Summer Institute is to enhance and develop technical skills and knowledge in developing systematic reviews of nutritional interventions using a hands-on approach in a small group,” said Dr. Cassano.
“Furthermore, Institute participants will gain an understanding of the global policy-making process and the role of evidence synthesis in nutrition,” she said.
Within the Cochrane framework, great emphasis is placed on evidence synthesis.
“The Cochrane Reviews are a cornerstone of guidelines and guidelines used and implemented in medicine and public health. The Cochrane Network is also continuously developing methods for conducting systematic reviews,” said Dr. Finkelstein, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition.
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Systematic reviews help to answer a specific question by using predefined and transparent methods to understand the data and evidence from scientific research. Patients, policy makers, program implementers, and researchers use these assessments to make informed decisions about breastfeeding or folate meal fortification programs to prevent anemia and neural tube defects associated with COVID-19.
For example, a Cochrane systematic review of the benefits and safety of fortified wheat or corn flour with folate and effects on population health, led by Centeno Tablante and Dr. Finkelstein that folic acid – a synthetic form of folate – has also been found as a fortification Can be improved. Reduction in folate status and occurrence of neural tube defects.
“We check, evaluate and summarize data and information from research on a specific issue using standardized methods. In this way, a systematic review summarizes all available evidence on a specific topic or research question. ‘ Tabalante said.
This year’s Summer Institute followed a virtual format and included both synchronous and asynchronous sessions. The first week consisted of completing a self-paced training module on Cochrane Methods for Systematic Review. During the second week, participants took part in live sessions such as seminars, hands-on workshops and group discussions led by experts from WHO, Cochrane and the University.
“During the live and interactive sessions, attendees will gain valuable insight into the evidence synthesis process and how it fits into health policy development,” said Dr. Finkelstein.
Some of the selected faculty panelists were Dr. Juan Pablo Pea-Rosas, human ecology, and Dr. Hector Pardo-Hernández from WHO, who spoke about the development process of WHO guidelines and ongoing innovations for guidelines for the prevention and treatment of obesity. Currently in development.
Other faculty members include Dr. Lee Hopper, editor of the Cochrane Heart Group; dr Jordi Pardo-Pardo, Editor-in-Chief of the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group; and Damien Francis, former co-director of Cochrane Caribbean.
They discussed existing methods for assessing the risk of bias – using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool 2.0 – the certainty of collected evidence for systematic reviews, the use of software designed for systematic reviews and the reasoning model as an important component. As an important component, reference must be made to the evidence. systematic review.
This summer marks the eighth anniversary of the institute. As part of this Summer Institute for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making in collaboration with WHO, Cochrane and the University, there are more than 11 Cochrane systematic reviews and 15 published protocols. Systematic reviews developed during the Summer Institutes have also contributed to more than 12 health and nutrition guidelines from the WHO and other international organizations.