Lambert Felix is a Research Associate at the Postgraduate Medical Institute at Edge Hill University. He also works part-time with the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth review group based at the University of Liverpool. He is a distance learning tutor for the module ‘Reporting and reviewing clinical trials,’ delivered by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He has a Master’s degree in Preventive Cardiology from Imperial College London and another MSc in Evidence Based Social Intervention from the University of Oxford. His first degree was in Physiotherapy gained from Fr Muller’s Medical College, India.
What led you to writing Cochrane Airways reviews?
In 2006, I came to Oxford to pursue an MSc in Evidence Based Social Intervention. The academics on the course were members of the Centre for Evidence Based Intervention and have contributed to several Cochrane Systematic Reviews. As the MSc progressed, I became increasingly interested in systematic reviews and so decided to pursue one on ‘self-management programme for ankylosing spondylitis’ for my dissertation. My supervisor, Professor Paul Montgomery, encouraged me to register the title with the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Review Group. Although we published the protocol, due to changing circumstances I was unbale to complete the review. Coincidentally, my current line manager, Professor Sally Spencer, is now leading on this review.
My areas of interest are prevention of cardiovascular disease and management of long-term conditions. Having worked in public health research for almost a decade, I was looking for an opportunity to focus my research in cardiorespiratory disease. I was successful for the research post at the Postgraduate Medical Institute at Edge Hill University to work on a series of Cochrane Systematic reviews on bronchiectasis. The titles for all the reviews are registered with the Cochrane Airways Group.
Are you involved in any other projects that you’d like to share?
I have contributed to over a dozen systematic reviews thus far. Currently, I am co-authoring and supporting a linked series of five Cochrane systematic reviews on antibiotic management of bronchiectasis. Protocols of four reviews are published in the Cochrane Library while the fifth one is being peer-reviewed I also support systematic review authors working on reviews registered with the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth group at various stages of their review.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your role as a systematic review author?
One of the biggest challenge that I face as a systematic review author is to deal with inadequate reporting of methods and results of included studies. Some studies do not explicitly state the study methods, which in turn make it hard to assess risk of bias. There is also inconsistency in how results are reported, for example some studies report the final score along with their standard deviation for outcomes with continuous data while others report only the mean difference between groups or change score within groups between two time points.
What do you enjoy most as a systematic review author?
As a systematic review author, I get to work as part of a team work where each team member brings in her/his strength. I enjoy supporting authors who are new to systematic reviews in guiding them at various stages. I find appraising, synthesising, and interpreting the evidence as interesting aspects of the review process. I’m very pleased with this transition from a practitioner to a researcher as through systematic reviews I’m able to contribute to evidence to inform practice and future research, and have an impact on a wider target population.
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside work/systematic reviewing?
Outside work, my main interests are engaging in physical activity such as cycling, walking, and Yoga. I like cooking, and would give credit to Jamie Oliver for his 30 minute meals for inspiring me to experiment with different types of salads. I’m interested in politics and enjoy watching David Dimbleby’s ‘Question Time.’ I also like watching sitcoms and ‘Friends’ is my all-time favourite show.