The Federal University of Santa Catarina-UFSC is a respected Brazilian public higher education institution, founded in 1960 in Florianópolis, capital of Santa Catarina, a state in the South of Brazil. UFSC has 120 undergraduate courses and 149 graduate programs, comprising an university community formed by more than 40 thousand people1. The university structure is divided into 15 centers, within which is the Health Sciences Centre, in which the Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Nutrition, Pharmacy and Speech Therapy courses are located.
This report aims to present the story of the creation of the Brazilian Centre for Evidence-Based Research-COBE2, instituted in July 2014 within the Department of Dentistry.
This story started when an associate professor from UFSC, Dr. Graziela De Luca Canto, was accepted to do a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada3. She was supervised by Dr. Paul Major and Dr. Carlos Flores-Mir, both with high level experience in evidence-based dentistry. Late 2014 she returned to her Alma Mater the UFSC and quickly set up the COBE, counting with the support of an adjunct professor in the Department of Dentistry, Dr. Luiz Mezzomo, who had been part of his ITI Fellowship at the Eastman Dental Institute for Oral Health Care Centre, London, United Kingdom4. They organized the first systematic review’s course at UFSC, in a class with only 10 participants, all of which were dentists.Although the COBE was initially designed to work in the field of Dentistry, in this first course the coordinators realized the need to transform it into an interdisciplinary centre. In 2015, an interdisciplinary course was offered and this first interdisciplinary group had a huge success in its publications, totaling eight articles published in high quality journals 5-12.
Since them, this Centre has been successful in teaching evidence-based concepts to cohorts of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral students, faculty members as well as fully licenses health providers. The focus became to work in an interdisciplinary way, aiming to bridge the gap between researchers and clinicians (know-do gap) and creating international research networks. In this interdisciplinary phase, a new hired professor from Dentistry Department, Dr. André Porporatti, started to be a new collaborator.
The Centre was created with the objective of promoting evidence-based research, producing systematic reviews and training qualified human resources to critically analyze and produce evidence synthesis.
Among the activities developed at the Centre, there are continuing education courses, the creation of a systematic review course in the graduate program in the Graduate Program in Dentistry at UFSC, the collaboration in the creation of a systematic review’s course in the Graduate Program in Dentistry and in Health Sciences at University of Brasília-UnB13, the insertion of a systematic review class in the undergraduate course in Dentistry at UFSC, lectures, organization events and publication of articles and book chapters. In 2020, as a result of the project, the group also launched the book Revisões Sistemáticas da Literatura: Guia Prático14.
During this period, more than 20 continuing education courses have been given, in which more than 500 researchers have already been trained. The courses cover the following topics: Introduction to the study of systematic reviews, methods of synthesis of knowledge, search in databases, gray literature, reference managers, meta-analysis, study designs, analysis of the risk of bias and the certainty of evidence, and writing systematic review articles.
Aiming to celebrate the 5 years of successful work, in 2019, COBE organized the 1st Brazilian Conference on Evidence-Based Research-COBRAPE. Renowned international researchers such as David Moher (University of Ottawa), Carlos Flores-Mir (University of Alberta), and Vanessa Garcia Larssen (Johns Hopkins University) were speakers in the event.
In these 6 years, the Centre built an international partnership with researchers from Australia, Canada, France, The United States, Israel, and Turkey, having worked with more than 30 different international authors. Besides that, COBE built partnerships with national educational institutions, the most consistent of which with the UnB, with which the group have more the 25 coauthored papers with Dr. Eliete Guerra.
More of 85 systematic reviews have been published already since the Centre’s creation. Among these published papers, the recent partnership with Dr. Eliete Guerra team at UnB in the article Oral Manifestations in Patients with COVID-19: A Living Systematic Review15, made an important contribution of Dentistry in all world.
The structure of the Centre continues to be strongly influenced by the University of Alberta, whose partnership remains active, which can be proven by more than 37 systematic reviews published in co-authorship, mainly with Dr. Carlos Flores-Mir.
The impact of COBE’s work can also be analyzed in the results of the Scopus database, where UFSC is listed as the fourth institution in Brazil in number of systematic reviews published in the field of Dentistry.
Another important indicator of the success of the group is the fact that the coordinator of the Centre, Dr. De Luca Canto, is listed as the second expert in the world in “systematic reviews” by experscape16.
The main challenges encountered on this path were: (1) teaching something not directly related to the clinic to clinical professionals, (2) the lack of funding from government agencies, (3) the few amount of time to dedicate to the Centre, since all professors continue with their routine activities, (4) the absence of human resources enough to collaborate with the new projects.
At this moment, the Centre is in the process of transformation. The systematic review’s courses were adapted to online format by using the Moodle platform17, including different resources, such as synchronous classes and asynchronous activities such as videos, exercises, tutorials and recommended readings. This transition allowed researchers from various parts of Brazil and also some from other parts of Latin America to have access to the courses.
The main challenge for 2021 will be to translate the courses into English or Spanish, further promoting internationalization.
This impact story serves as a source of inspiration for other groups in the world. It is a way of thanking the University of Alberta, as well as everyone who contributed to the creation and improvement of the Centre. The Brazilian Centre for Evidence Based Research is a proof that the seeds planted by internationalization grow and bear good fruits. We hope that our story inspires the world’s major institutions in developed countries to invest in supporting other institutions around the world.
Graziela De Luca Canto (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7986-8317)
Associate Professor, Brazilian Centre For Evidence Based Research, Department of Dentistry, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Acknowledgments: Thanks to all that contribute for this project and was not cited in the text, mainly, Carla Massignan, Cristine Stefani, Gustavo Porfírio, Karyn Lehmkuhl, Helena Polmann, Isabela Porto de Toledo, Jessica Conti Reus, Julia Meller Dias de Oliveira, Lia Honeff, Maria Goreti Savi, and Patrícia Pauletto.
1.Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, retrieved from https://estrutura.ufsc.br.
2.Brazilian Centre For Evidence-Based-Research, retrieved from http://cobe.paginas.ufsc.br
3.University of Alberta, retrived from https://www.ualberta.ca/index.html
4.Eastman Dental Institute for Oral Health Care Center, retrieved from https://www.ucl.ac.uk/eastman/
5.Assad DX, Elias ST, Melo AC, Ferreira CG, De Luca Canto G, Guerra EN. Potential impact of mTOR inhibitors on cervical squamous cell carcinoma: A systematic review. Oncol Lett. 2016. https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2016.5157
6.Ferreira EB, Vasques CI, Gadia R, Chan RJ, Guerra EN, Mezzomo LA, De Luca Canto G, Dos Reis PE. Topical interventions to prevent acute radiodermatitis in head and neck cancer patients: a systematic review. Support Care in Cancer. 2017 Mar;25(3):1001-1011. doi: 10.1007/s00520-016-3521-7.
7.Guerra EN, Rêgo DF, Elias ST, Coletta RD, Mezzomo LA, Gozal D, De Luca Canto G. Diagnostic accuracy of serum biomarkers for head and neck cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016 May;101:93-118. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2016.03.002.
8.Leonardi Dutra K, Haas L, Porporatti AL, Flores-Mir C, Nascimento Santos J, Mezzomo LA, Corrêa M, De Luca Canto G. Accuracy of cone beam computed tomography and conventional radiography on periapical bone lesions: a systematic review. J Endod. 2016 Mar;42(3):356-64. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2015.12.015.
9.Massignan C, Bolan B, Cardoso M, Aydinoz S, De Luca Canto G, Mezzomo LA. Signs and symptoms associated with the eruption of primary teeth: a systematic review. Pediatrics. 2016, 137 (3) e20153501; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2015-3501.
10.Porto De Toledo I, Stefani FM, Porporatti AL, Mezzomo LA, Peres MA, Flores-Mir C, De Luca Canto G. Prevalence of otologic signs and symptoms in adults with temporomandibular disorder: a systematic review. Clin Oral Investig. 2017 Mar;21(2):597-605.doi: 10.1007/s00784-016-1926-9.
11.Stechman-Neto J, Porporatti AL, Porto de Toledo I, Costa YM, Conti PC, De Luca Canto G, Mezzomo LA. Effect of temporomandibular disorder therapy on otologic signs and symptoms: a systematic review. J Oral Rehab. 2016 Jun;43(6):468-79. doi: 10.1111/joor.12380.
12.Takaschima A, Marchioro P, Sakae TM, Porporatti AL, Mezzomo LA, De Luca Canto G. Antithrombotics and needle blocks in ophthalmic regional anesthesia: a systematic review and meta-analysis for hemorrhagic complications. Plos One. 2016. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147227
13.University of Brasília, retrieved from https://www.unb.br
- De Luca Canto et al. Revisões sistemáticas da literatura: guia prático. 1. ed. Curitiba: Brazil Publishing, 2020.
15.Amorim dos Santos J, Normando AGC, Carvalho da Silva RL, Acevedo AC, De Luca Canto G, Sugaya N, Santos-Silva AR, Guerra ENS. Oral Manifestations in Patients with COVID-19: A Living Systematic Review. Journal of Dental Research. 2020
16.Expertescape, retrieved from https://expertscape.com/ex/systematic+review.
- Moodle Grupos UFSC, retrieved from https://grupos.moodle.ufsc.br