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Increasing access to trial data andthe next generation of Cochrane reviews: A panel and open floor discussion

Date and Location




Sunday 22 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00

Lesley Stewart
Kay Dickerson
Jeremy Grimshaw
Maroeska Rovers
Jayne Tierney
David Tovey

Abstract text
A forward thinking “what if” session comprising a series of short scene setting presentations followed by panel discussion.What if access to clinical study reports from industry sponsored trials becomes routine? What if obtaining IPD becomes much more straightforward than at present? How will Cochrane respond? Should all Cochrane reviews use IPD, if available? Does the Collaboration have the expertise, skills and tools required to undertake IPD reviews? What will Cochrane reviews look like in 5-10 years time? There is intense ongoing debate about improving access to clinical trial information, results and data, including access to individual participant data (IPD). Several people within The Cochrane Collaboration are playing leading roles in this discussion and the Collaboration issued a policy statement in 2011 (currently under revision). It seems likely that in future there will be increased opportunities to obtain and use new and different sources of information, including IPD.Given widespread recognition of systematic reviews that use IPD as a gold standard approach, if trialIPD do become more readily available,best quality systematic reviews will use these data. As the world’s largest producer of systematic reviews in health care, the Cochrane Collaboration is supportive of access to trial results and to individual participant data. However, few Cochrane Reviews use IPD.It is timely for the Collaboration to consider how it will approach incorporating new types of data into its reviews and plan how to make the most of the opportunity afforded by more widespread release of IPD, should it happen. The session will begin with a series of short scene setting presentations [45 minutes] followed by a panel discussions[45 minutes].The panel will include a researcher with experience of investigating publication bias, a trialist with experience of making IPD available, a researcher with experience of undertaking IPD systematic reviews and meta-analyses, a Cochrane Co-ordinating Editor, a member of the Cochrane Editorial Unit, and a member of the Steering Group. Target audience and level of expertise Everyone interested in improving the reliability of Cochrane Reviews, improving access to data from trials, or both. No minimum level of expertise is required in the context of a Cochrane Colloquium as the presentations would not require more than a basic knowledge of systematic reviews and clinical trials.