View the latest report from Cochrane Child Health

Cochrane Child Health contributes to the work of Cochrane by advocating for systematic reviews that reflect the particular needs of children and youth, by facilitating clinically-relevant and methodologically rigorous Cochrane reviews on child health topics, and developing appropriate methods for evidence synthesis and meta-analysis in child health. We work within the child health community to increase the use of Cochrane evidence in child health decisions. We do this by carrying out knowledge translation of high quality healthcare evidence, achieved through formal and informal partnerships with relevant stakeholders. We also train child health practitioners in critical appraisal and the use of systematic reviews.  

Our previous Child Health Field reports are available for download from our "About us" page.


 Here is our news from the past year (2015-2016):


We welcomed Sandra Rees as the new coordinator of Child Health on March 14, 2016 .

Sandra is a pharmacist with over 20 years of experience in a variety of roles in healthcare, quality improvement, behavioural change, and research. She began her career working in retail and hospital pharmacy while conducting pharmacy research. After 10 years of pharmacy work, she moved into provincial and national roles with a focus on championing the use of evidence in policy and clinical decisions. More recently, Sandra managed a provincial primary care quality improvement program for patients with diabetes while completing her Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management degree at the University of Alberta. Sandra also has a wealth of knowledge in successfully engaging patients in health research and was instrumental in the development and launch of the newly formed Alberta Patient Engagement Platform under the Canadian Strategy for Patient Oriented Research.

 Thank you to Denise Thomson for her many years of hard work in the role of field coordinator.  Denise continues her work with Child Health as one of the field directors.


Capacity Development

Child Health delivered Cochrane Standard Author Training on November 23-25, 2016 in Edmonton, Canada. For information, visit:

Child Health staff in Edmonton, Canada are willing to host a graduate student trainee from a low-middle income country (LMIC) who is interested in learning the detailed methodology associated with conducting a review. We had posted this position with our host university through their University of Alberta Research Experience (UARE) program in Sept 2016, however, no suitable applicants were found. The opportunity is still open to interested trainees from LMICs. For more information, please contact Child Health staff.

Systematic Review Production

As part of the structure and function changes in Cochrane, Child Health is piloting the production of child-relevant Cochrane reviews with methodological and editorial assistance from the Upper Gastrointestinal and Pancreatic Diseases and Musculoskeletal review groups in Canada. The first review we are working on is titled “Prophylactic paracetamol for the prevention of fever in children receiving vaccination as part of a standard childhood immunization schedule.”

 Gates Project

We partnered with the Cochrane Central Editorial Unit to submit an application to the Gates Foundation to further their work creating PICO ontology. This application was successful and Child Health is currently working on annotating child relevant Cochrane reviews to support the work.

Pediatric Parent Advisory Group

In partnership with other pediatric researchers, we have developed a pediatric parent advisory group (P-PAG) to improve collaboration with parents and children and to ensure the patient voice is incorporated throughout our work. This advisory group is made up of 13 parents from across the province of Alberta in Canada. The group provides advice, guidance, and knowledge from a parent perspective to inform and improve research activities and initiatives in child health.

Knowledge Translation Activities

Social media: We maintain a Twitter account (@Cochrane_Child) and blog ( that profile evidence and methods relevant to child health, knowledge synthesis, and evidence-based medicine. We are currently undertaking a social media campaign to help increase followers and views of child-relevant reviews.

Innovative KT tools: We are involved in developing and evaluating tools for healthcare providers (e.g., knowledge pyramids, bottom line recommendations) and parents/consumers (e.g., e-books, infographics, whiteboard animation videos) that synthesize best evidence in child health.

Website: The Child Health website has quick links to all Cochrane child health relevant evidence including systematic reviews, overviews, webinars and podcasts, and columns in international pediatric journals (Paediatrics and Child Health, Canada, Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, Australasia, Acta Pediatrica Portuguesa, Portugal).


Funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (Knowledge Synthesis and Translation by Cochrane Canada) ended in September 2015. Efforts are underway to seek funding for Child Health including meetings with key individuals and organizations for funding or advocacy support.

 Evidence for Clinicians

Child Health coordinates an occasional column, “Evidence for Clinicians,” in Paediatrics & Child Health which is the official journal of the Canadian Pediatric Society. The column reviews the findings from a child-relevant Cochrane review, and provides a summary of its relevance for clinical decisions.  In so doing we not only address a particular clinical issue, but also educate clinicians about the nature of evidence-based practice and Cochrane products. We have formed a small informal advisory panel to direct the selection of these reviews and the following columns were published from Oct 2015 – Oct 2016:

·         Antibiotics for acute pyelonephritis in children

·         Interventions for treating fingertip entrapment injuries in children

·         Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines for preventing otitis media

·         Decongestants, antihistamines and nasal irrigation for acute sinusitis in children

·         Honey for acute cough in children

·         Psychological therapies for the management of chronic and recurrent pain in children and adolescents

 Cochrane Commentaries

Child Health contributes to Cochrane Commentaries, a column in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health which is the official journal of the Paediatrics and Child Health Division (The Royal Australasian College of Physicians) in association with the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Paediatric Research Society of Australia and the Australian and New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons. The column reviews the findings from a child-relevant Cochrane review, and provides a summary of its relevance for clinical decisions. The following columns were published from Oct 2015 – Oct 2016:

 ·         Social communication in autism spectrum disorder not improved by Theory of Mind interventions

·         Agitation on emergence from sevoflurane anaesthesia can be reduced

·         Does clonidine premedication decrease postoperative pain in children?

·         Tricyclic antidepressants - third-line treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in school-aged children Psychological interventions for parents of children and adolescents with chronic illness

·         Balancing risks and benefits still the key to anti-epileptic prescribing for benign epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes


Cochrane Corners

Child Health contributes to Cochrane Corners, a section of Acta Pediatrica Portuguesa which is the official journal of the Portuguese Society of Pediatrics. The column discusses a child-relevant Cochrane review, and provides a summary of its relevance for clinical decisions. The following columns were published from Oct 2015 – Oct 2016:

·         Corticosteroid therapy for nephrotic syndrome in children

·         Combined inhaled anticholinergics and short-acting beta2-agonists for initial treatment of acute asthma in children

·         Oral Antihistamine - Decongestant - Analgesic Combinations for The Common Cold

·         Intravenous Immunoglobulin for Treating Sepsis, Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock

 Methods work

Overviews - We are involved in the development of methods for overviews including active involvement and Dr. Hartling’s leadership role in Cochrane’s Comparing Multiple Interventions Methods Group. We have led the revision of the chapter on overviews for the Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews of Interventions; the chapter is currently under peer-review. We also regularly lead workshops on overview methods at the annual Cochrane Colloquia.

 We are regularly engaged in conducting research examining the state of child health research (including systematic reviews) and evaluating different methods (e.g., displaying and analyzing data from child-relevant reviews).

 PORSCHE - We conducted (and recently published) research investigating why authors of child-relevant systematic reviews publish in Cochrane vs. other journals (Publication of reviews synthesizing child health evidence (PORSCHE): a survey of authors to identify factors associated with publication in Cochrane and non-Cochrane sources). We have an ongoing project identifying and describing child-relevant reviews in non-Cochrane sources. This will complement our work identifying and describing Cochrane child-relevant reviews.

 Living Systematic Reviews - We have been involved in discussions with other Cochrane collaborators around living systematic reviews, and are undertaking some pilot work in this area.


Discussion Topics

The following topics will be discussed at the Child Health meeting in Seoul Korea on October 24, 2016. If you have any comments on these areas, please contact the Child Health coordinator (information below).

 Priority Setting - Cochrane-wide prioritization remains an important activity and has been included in the Strategy to 2020 Targets for 2016. Cochrane Child Health would like to undertake a priority setting process and would like your feedback. How do we approach priority setting with such a broad scope (i.e., child health) and international reach? How can we partner with other groups or entities?

 Knowledge Translation Strategy - Cochrane has recognized the need to develop a knowledge translation (KT) strategy to provide a more comprehensive and consistent approach to KT across the organization. As the KT strategy develops, what should the KT working group be keeping in mind when it comes to child health? What should the KT working group keep in mind when it comes to Cochrane Fields in general?

 Systematic Review production - as outlined above, Child Health is piloting the management of Cochrane reviews. What type of review topics/titles should Child Health consider?