Centres: Centre for Primary Care and Public Health.

Research Groups: Women’s Health Research Unit.

Full title: Evidence-based Medicine Collaboration Network for guideline development, teaching and dissemination

Acronym: EBM Connect


EBM CONNECT is funded by the Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES). It aims to harness the combined research expertise of several centres in evidence-based medicine or EBM. We focus on development of state-of-the-art methodology for systematic reviews and practice guidelines in maternal health. These contribute towards improving research synthesis skills throughout the European Union and the developing world and towards promoting effective healthcare through research based practice and policy.  Not only does the centres benefit from staff exchange to develop their own skills, this project advances the frontiers in research synthesis.  It creates the ability to conduct multinational projects and establish an electronic platform for research communication and collaboration. By establishing a worldwide agenda and a critical mass through the exchange, it generates momentum that will allow development to continue. This is vital with reference to improving maternal health, as this is an area where disparity exists not only worldwide but also between EU member states.

The exchange scheme is based around three main objectives. First, it increases research skills through the sharing of each participant’s expertise. Second, it develops new methods for searching, quality assessment and meta-analysis to improve the standard of reviews and guidelines produced. This includes appraisal and adaptation of these reviews and guidelines to ensure they can be utilised widely within and outside the EU, including translation into Chinese and Spanish.  Third, it establishes a cutting edge research seminar series for widespread dissemination of the work.   

We have well-established and internationally recognised generic expertise in evidence synthesis in maternal health, with highly qualified specialists in individual centres. We also have previous experience of multinational cooperation in researching and advancing evidence-based medicine research through multicentre cooperative studies and projects (WHO-RHL, EU-EBM consortium  (www.ebm-unity.org)  (Leonardo da Vinci Programme), SUPPORT (EU FP6)). We seek to hone and broaden research synthesis skills through effective staff exchange and to broaden the scope of this work to facilitate our ultimate goal of influencing policy making in maternal health.


Shakila Thangaratinam

Khalid Khan

Anushka Tirlapur


  1. Systematic review workshops (Shanghai, March 2011)
  2. GRADE workshops (Argentina, December 2010, 2011, April 2012)
  3. Statistics for systematic reviews (Argentina, 2011)
  4. 1st Katherine Twining research meeting (London, June 2011)
  5. 2nd Katherine Twining research meeting (QMUL, June 2012)
  6. Research methodology in maternal health (Amsterdam, September 2012)
  7. Research methodology workshops (Argentina 2010, 2011, 2012)
  8. Pre-term birth collaborative meeting (QMUL, July 2013)
  9. Systematic review writing workshop (Argentina, January 2014)


  1. Chen Q-J, HouS-P, MeadsC,Huang Y-M, HongQ-Q, ZhuH-P, ChengL-N and EBM-Connect. Mifepristone in combination with prostaglandins fortermination of 10-16 weeks' gestation: a systematic review. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 2011; 159:247-54.
  2. Khan KS, Borowiack E, Roos C, Kowalska M, Zapalska A, Mol BW, Mignini L, Meads C, Walczak J for the EBM-Connect Collaboration. Making GRADE accessible: a proposal for graphic display of evidence quality assessments. Evidence Based Medicine 2011; 16(3):65-69.
  3. Zhu Q-X, MD, Meads C, Lu M-L, Wu J-Q, Zhou W-J, Gao E-S. Turning Point for Semen Quality: A Population-based Study in Chinese Men. Fertility and Sterility 2011 Sep;96(3):572-6
  4. Kleinrouweler C, Wiegerinck M, Ris-Stalpers C, Bossuyt P, van der Post J, von Dadelszen P, Mol B, Pajkrt E; for the EBM Connect Collaboration. Accuracy of circulating placental growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 and soluble endoglin in the prediction of pre-eclampsia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 2012 Jun;119(7):778-787
  5. E. Fox, S. A. Tirlapur, A. M Gülmezoglu, J.P. Souza MD, K. S. Khan and EBM-CONNECT Collaboration. Assimilating evidence quality at a glance using graphic display: Research synthesis on labor induction. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2012 Aug;91(8):885-92.
  6. Breijer MC, van Doorn HC, Clark TJ, Khan KS, Timmermans A, Mol BW, Opmeer BC. Diagnostic strategies for endometrial cancer in women with postmenopausal bleeding: cost-effectiveness of individualized strategies. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2012
  7. Asuquo B, Vellore AD, walters G, Manney S, Mignini L, Kunst H. A case-control study of the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes due to tuberculosis during pregnancy. J Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2012
  8. Garcia-Blazquez V, Vincente-Bartulos A, Olavarria-Delgado A, Plana MN, van der Winden D, Zamora J: EBM Connect collaboration. Accuracy of CT angiography in the diagnosis of acute gastrointestinal bleeding: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Radiol. 2013 May; 23(5):1181-90
  9. Li Y, Wu J, Yu J, Gao E, Meads C, Afnan M, Ren J, Rong F. The EBM Connect collaboration. Is fetal macrosomia related to blood pressure amongst adolescents? A birth cohort study in China (submitted to Journal of Human Hypertension). J Hum Hypertens. 2013 Apr 18
  10. Roos C, Borowiack E, Kowalska M, Zapalska A, Mol BW, Mignini L, Meads C, Walcak J, Khan KS for the EBM Connect Collaboration. What do we know about tocolytic effectiveness and how do we use this information in guidelines? A comparison of evidence grading. BJOG. 2013 Sep 10.
  11. Leung EY, Malick SM, Khan KS; the EBM-CONNECT Collaboration. On-the-Job Evidence-Based Medicine Training for Clinician-Scientists of the Next Generation.Clin Biochem Rev. 2013 Aug;34(2):93-103.