Capacity building and health system strengthening through Cochrane sensitization and training in the Caribbean

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Abstract text
Background:The strategic review of the Cochrane Collaboration recognized the need of expanding the number of Centres/Branches especially outside highly developed countries to be a true global organization. We would like to share our experience to inform and train Caribbean healthcare providers, policy makers and researchers about the Cochrane Collaboration and conducting systematic reviews (SRs), as it may help other regions with similar situations.

Methods:Two researchers from the University of the West Indies Clinical Epidemiology Unit were previously trained in evidence based methods at the University of Ottawa, Centre for Global Health. A workshop was conducted in Jamaica, in collaboration with trainers from the Canadian and US Cochrane Centres and the University of Ottawa. The workshop included the Cochrane Standard Author Training and a course evaluation including awareness of the Cochrane Collaboration.

Results:34 participants from nine Caribbean Islands were trained, these included policy makers from Ministries of Health (36%), healthcare providers (6%) and researchers (58%). Over three days, participants were taught via didactic lectures, webinars, small group discussions and practical exercises. Several participants reported not being aware of SRs, the Cochrane Collaboration or the Cochrane Library. Fifty five percent of the participants indicated an interest in further training in SRs. The majority (85%) preferred in-person workshops. There were requests to conduct similar workshops throughout the Caribbean in conjunction with the Caribbean Health Research Council training schedule. Participants highlighted the need for a Caribbean working group to provide support for conducting SRs and using them for policy decisions.

Conclusions:Capacity building activities such as training workshops in the Caribbean and distance learning activities are avenues for increasing awareness and contribution to the Cochrane Collaboration and SRs. We continue to develop a critical mass to lead this process and to assess the impact of training done.
Authors
Cumberbatch C1, Pardo Pardo J2, Tulloch-Reid M1, Scherer R3, Shea B4, Hatcher Roberts J5, Ueffing E6, Tugwell P7, Francis DK1
1 Tropical Medicine Research Institute, University of West Indies, Jamaica
2 Centre for Global Health, Institute of PopulationHealth,University of Ottawa,Ottawa, Canada
3 US Cochrane Centre. USA
4 CIET Canada, Canada
5 Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
6 Canadian Cochrane Centre, Canada
7 Centre for Global Health, Institute of PopulationHealth, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
Presenting author and contact person
Presenting author: 
Chisa Cumberbatch
Contact person Affiliation Country
Chisa Cumberbatch (Contact this person) Tropical Medicine Research Institute, University of the West Indies Jamaica
Damian Francis (Contact this person) Tropical Medicine Research Institute Jamaica