Experiences

Below are some brief descriptions of the experience of being a Cochrane Heart author/editor/peer reviewer. 

 Harry Boardman, author and editor: 

I am a clinical cardiologist and will shortly take up a consultant position at Milton Keynes university Hospital. I started my first Cochrane review in 2013 "Hormone therapy for preventing cardiovascular disease in post-menopausal women". It was part of a 6 month fellowship I undertook at the UK Cochrane Centre (UKCC) in Oxford. I was the first ever fellow there and during my time I undertook this review update, learnt about the social media activities and wrote the odd blog. With the help of several people across Cochrane the review got flagged to the Science and Media Centre in London and I was invited to give a press conference on the findings, something I had never done before. This was certainly a learning experience and it led to some recorded TV and live radio interviews. This was a fascinating experience and certainly one I did not expect. I am currently contributing to another review at the other end of the cardiology disease spectrum, " Mechanical assist devices for acute cardiogenic shock". I have been an editor for the heart group for the past 2 years. The role is not onerous and it gives me valuable insight and experience into a range of other reviews.

 Enca Martin-Rendon, author and editor:
As a Cochrane author, the help and advice that I have received from the Cochrane Heart Group has always been excellent. This includes the care they take in publicizing the Cochrane reviews widely.  
But 2015 has strengthened the relationship between us (authors) and the Cochrane Heart editorial team even more. We were awarded an NIHR Cochrane Incentive grant to update one of our reviews. This mammoth work would not have been possible without the extraordinary help of the Cochrane Heart editorial team. They have managed to engage authors, internal and external peer-reviewers and production editors in a timely manner, so the update of our review saw the light on 30 September 2015. 
The Cochrane Heart Group aims to be the centre for evidence-based decision-making in the field of cardiovascular medicine.  And we are very pleased to be part of it. 
Cheers!

Rod Taylor, author and editor:
I undertook my first Cochrane review in 2001: ‘Exercise-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation for Coronary Heart Disease’. Since then I have been involved in a number of Cochrane reviews and with UK and international colleagues, we have grown the portfolio of Cochrane reviews of cardiac rehabilitation to 10 Cochrane titles (8 full reviews and 2 reviews in progress at protocol and title stage)! This would not have been possible without the support from Cochrane Heart Review Group that has included partnering with NIHR infrastructure Cochrane review funding (2008 to 2010) assistance with the design and running of literature searches, facilitating co-publication of summary versions reviews in peer review journals, and fast-tracking of title and protocol reviews (e.g. to in order fit in with the timescale one of postgraduate student undertaking MSc degree so they can contribute towards to a review). The Cochrane rehabilitation Cochrane portfolio has provided an important and reliable source of contemporary evidence used in many clinical guidelines including NICE, ESC and AHA. Our Cochrane reviews have provided an means to identify key research gaps that we have used to leverage funding of ongoing clinical trials - REACH-HF, ISRCTN86234930; CADENCE, ISRCTN34701576). 

 Toby Mercer, peer reviewer: 
I find peer reviewing interesting and worthwhile. My aim is to support the Cochrane Heart Group’s systematic reviews so they can be of best use for patients, healthcare professionals and governments. During the last few months, it has been a privilege and an enjoyable challenge to review two reviews and two protocols.
Peer reviewing systematic reviews and protocols is an edifying experience. It has moved me on in terms of understanding the methodical and thorough approach described in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions