Six Ciesal researchers supported by ten residents and interns are reviewing Covid-19 data on a daily basis for an international network of institutions to identify, assess and synthesize high-quality evidence on this new pathogen.
Prensa UV/An abundance of data on COVID-19 has emerged and is being published on a daily basis at a staggering speed by different worldwide platforms and media, making it very difficult for health professionals, epidemiologists and decision-making authorities in each country to keep up to date and, at the same time, determine which data have real scientific support and can be useful to better understand and combat this disease.
In an effort to change this situation, researchers from the Chilean Epistemonikos Foundation and specialists from thirteen other Latin American institutions, including the Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios en Salud (CIESAL) of the Universidad de Valparaíso, decided to jointly create the first international network to identify, evaluate and synthesize high-quality research evidence on this new pathogen and its impact on people, in a timely manner, but without compromising methodological rigour.
Lines of action
The work of carried out by this team – which to date includes 54 researchers, twelve of whom are from the UV- comprises three main aspects or lines of action.
The first line of action consists in gathering all the evidence on Covid-19 that exists in the world today on an open digital platform created by said foundation called L•OVE (living overview of evidence), which organises this evidence based on clinical questions.
The second line of action consists in a detailed data analysis to assess the data and then rapidly carry out a synthesis of “living” or immediate high-quality evidence on certain topics under a strict protocol, and ultimately to share it in the form of reports to be published in scientific media and then uploaded to the aforementioned platform.
Meanwhile, the third line of action involves creating and maintaining a blog with updated content in plain language about these syntheses, which explains and summarises the findings obtained by this work team and, at the same time, allows for feedback and conclusions arising from the new evidence contained therein.
Universidad de Valparaíso’s Faculty of Medicine’s CIESAL joined this pioneering initiative with the help of researchers Javier Pérez Bracchiglione, Manuel Vargas, Cynthia Carrasco and Eva Madrid, who are supported by eight residents and interns in gathering and synthesizing evidence.
In this regard, Dr Madrid wholeheartedly appreciated the formation of such a big team with precise goals in such a short time. “What this group is doing is unprecedented. Teams of three to five researchers have been formed to deal with each issue that has come to light, including the use of facemasks and the reach of the disease in terms of breastfeeding, pregnancy, use of hypertensive and antimalarial medication”, said the professor and director of CIESAL-UV.
The results of these articles will be widely reported in peer-reviewed publications, social media and traditional media, and sent to the relevant international organisations discussing this issue. This approach will provide healthcare decision-makers with timely and accurate summaries of the best available evidence to inform critical decisions to be made during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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