Systematic reviews, setting up Cochrane and the need for Collaboration
The chance to say hello rather than just listen to you has got me to update to a paid subscription to Carl & Tom!
It was a smaller meeting in your back garden in the mid-1980s that arose when I encountered a similar dilemma to yours, working in two hospitals one where the boss wanted to give experimental steroid treatment to premature babies with lung disease and my other boss saying it was potentially dangerous! You talked me into changing my planned 2-centre trial into a 36-centre-6-countries-trial, organised through the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit! Interestingly both bosses were half right as it turned out - there were some benefits for really sick babies, but for milder cases side effects at the 3-year follow-up outweighed any early improvements. That certainly wouldn’t have come to light without a large enough study and long-term data.
I carried on as an active member of the British perinatal trials group through my consultant paediatric career so thankyou!
I thought I had retired until 2020 arrived, since when I have been shouting into the ether and writing numerous letters to Ministers and regulators about the appalling lack of evidence for the impacts of most of the pandemic management on children, whether from closing their schools, to sending home whole year-groups for one positive PCR-test, or enforcing masks in secondary school classrooms, through of course to rolling out novel technology gene-based vaccines to healthy children without even waiting for adult long-term safety data and on the unethical and unproven surmise that doing so would help protect vulnerable family members.
Cochrane reviews have been a fantastic resource throughout, now aided and abetted by TrustTheEvidence.
Best wishes and thanks to you and Carl and Tom (and Walter Holland who I'd worked for previously).
Excellent series - Critical Thinking!!!