Boost to national and international health research efforts
The Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced new Commonwealth Government funding for critical health research.
19 June 2002
Boost to national and international health research effortsThe Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced new Commonwealth Government funding for critical health research.
Senator Patterson said the funding was in line with Australia's status as an international leader in promoting evidence-based healthcare.
Senator Patterson announced the names of the five successful Cochrane Collaboration groups that had secured more than $200,000 overall, in a competitive tender process. The funding will be used to provide high quality, up-to-date summaries of research through the Australian arm of the Cochrane Collaboration.
"This funding is available to support the production of Cochrane systematic reviews of research. It makes available the best medical evidence, and provides a cornerstone for the continuous improvement in the quality of health care," Senator Patterson said.
The Cochrane Collaboration is a highly respected international organisation of health professionals, consumers and researchers. It aims to prepare and maintain systematic reviews of the effectiveness of healthcare, and disseminate them broadly to inform decisions about healthcare and practice.
"The reviews undertaken by the Cochrane Collaboration are the most rigorous in the world," Senator Patterson said.
Cochrane groups will use the funds to increase the number of high-quality reviews that are published and to continually update them.
"This money will enable the Cochrane Collaboration to continue its important work in areas such as breast cancer and neonatal health," Senator Patterson said. "Australia is proud to be at the forefront of this global effort," she added.
Cochrane Collaboration groups to be funded in the 2002 competitive tender processFive groups will receive funding to continue their activities as part of the Cochrane Collaboration:
Health Promotion and Public Health Field
The Health Promotion and Public Health Field is located at the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation in Melbourne. The Field works to develop and sustain the use of public health evidence by policy makers and practitioners, as well as providing support to reviewers working in this area.
Cochrane Perinatal Team
The Perinatal Team, based at the Mater Misericordiae Hospitals in Brisbane, is a multidisciplinary collaborative of perinatal and paediatric clinicians conducting reviews for the Pregnancy and Childbirth, and Neonatal Review Groups.
Applicability and Recommendations Methods Group
The Applicability and Recommendations Methods Group is located at the University of Queensland. The Group provides guidance to reviewers on the implications for health care practice and policy-making arising from Cochrane reviews.
Breast Cancer Review Group
The Breast Cancer Review Group has its editorial base at the University of Sydney. The Group aims to cover all aspects of the prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
Cochrane Consumer Network
The Cochrane Consumer Network, based in Melbourne, aims to support the participation of consumers in the Cochrane Collaboration and to make Cochrane reviews and their results accessible to consumers.
Overview of the Cochrane CollaborationThe Cochrane Collaboration is an international, non-profit organisation that systematically reviews all available randomised controlled trials on the effects of specific health care interventions. It is supported by more than 650 organisations from around the world including health service providers, research funding agencies, departments of health, international organisations, industry and universities.
The Collaboration is largely voluntary, with more than 6,000 people contributing to the work from more than 60 countries, including Australia. Organisation is required to coordinate activities and marshal resources. This is the role of the Review Groups, the engines of the Collaboration.
Around 50 international Collaborative Review Groups are responsible for covering evidence relating to a specific health problem (schizophrenia for example) or group of problems (skin conditions for example). Contributors to each of these groups are responsible for seeking and sifting through potentially relevant reports of research, and then preparing and maintaining reports of systematic reviews of the most reliable evidence.
The work of the Collaborative Review Groups is supported in a variety of ways by other component groupings within the Collaboration - Methods Groups, Fields, the Consumer Network and regionally based Centres.
The reviews prepared within the Collaboration are published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, one of several databases contained in The Cochrane Library. This Library has been widely acknowledged as the best single source of evidence about the effects of health care interventions. It contains systematic reviews that have been shown to be more rigorous and less biased than reviews published in major print journals.
Australian involvement in the collaborationAustralia has a strong involvement right across the Collaboration. Over a dozen groups (Review Groups, Method Groups, Fields and the Consumer Network) are either based in Australia or have substantial Australian input.
Cochrane reviews are acclaimed worldwide as representing the gold standard for systematic reviews. Australian clinicians and policy makers are accessing these reviews more frequently so that health care practices are based on the best available scientific evidence.
Media Contact:Randal Markey, Office of Senator Patterson (02) 62777220
Robyn Hall, Department of Health and Ageing, Public Affairs (02) 6289 5485