INTO THE SYSTEMATIC REVIEW … My intership experience!!

– Prativa Basnet –

During the orientation courses of public health programme we had been informed about some of the organizations that we could possibly work as an intern and gain hands-on experience in the field of our interest. I deeply wanted to get involved in some research work to learn and contribute to the publications but was not hopeful I might find any opportunity.

In one of the lectures for the course Research Process in Public Health, I had an opportunity to know more about the Finnish Institute of Public Health and the cochrane review work. I didn’t wait longer to send my CV and express my interest to work as a volunteer in a systematic review. Fortunately, my call was heard and I was invited for an interview and then after solemn discussion on my experience, interest and motivation the reaction was positive.

Things started to roll on. I was assigned to work in an existing systematic review already done by the Cochrane Work Review Group. The main author of the paper was Henk Van der Molen from Netherlands. I got introduced with him on the second day of the internship. He was happy to include me in his team and that made me even glad to begin the work as a team. I had to update the recent evidences and publications on the subject we were working in. Basically as the process of systematic review, with the existing search strategy we retrived all the articles published after September 2012. The articles were screened in the webtool considering the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Initially the title screening was done followed by the abstract screening. From the filtered articles, the full text review was done and we choose the articles for the recent update that met the selection criteria. The PICO answer format for each article was followed. The data extraction was done from each of the articles and tallied the information with the team and agreed upon for every component. For each of the article the risk of bias assessment was done and using the software RevMan5.3 the information was updated and analysed. Though I have worked for many years in health programs in my country, working in a systematic review like this was something I was doing into for the first time. I was fortunate because the team members were so kind and patient to brief me in detail. So in a positive team, I got to learn and complete the work in a very smooth manner. We had interrupted time series studies that I had to deal and understand. To learn to interpret the results and summarize the most current scientific evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to prevent injuries associated with construction work; grading the quality of each evidence based on GRADE approach was interesting. After months of hardwork, finally the review work was complete and so was my term of internship. I am hopeful the publication will be soon available publicly!