Meet the Editor: Jayne Harrison

In this feature, we introduce you to Cochrane Oral Health's editor Dr Jayne Harrison, a consultant orthodontist, who tells us a little about her involvement and interests - both inside and outside of Cochrane. 

Where do you currently work and what you do there?

I am currently work at Liverpool University Dental Hospital (LUDH), UK, where I am a consultant orthodontist and Training Programme Director for the orthodontic specialty registrars and higher specialty training trainees. 

Clinically, I personally treat patients with severe, complex and handicapping malocclusions, most of whom require orthodontic treatment together with orthognathic surgery and/or complex restorative treatment. I also supervise orthodontic treatment carried out by 11 Speciality Trainees & 2 higher specialty training trainees. 

I lead monthly regional Orthodontic/Restorative multi-disciplinary team (MDT) clinics for patients with multiple congenitally missing teeth or complex restorative needs, and fortnightly orthognathic treatment MDT clinics for patients with severe handicapping facial deformities.

I also have active research, audit and teaching commitments. I am currently collaborating with international review teams maintaining and undertaking Cochrane Reviews whilst also supervising Doctoral research & clinical audits and teaching clinical topics and critical appraisal for the trainees.

Describe a typical day for you.
Most days revolve around the orthodontic clinic at LUDH where I will be treating my own cohort of patients, seeing new patients or running MDT clinics with my restorative and/or maxillofacial colleagues as well as supervising treatment carried out by the trainees.

The days are busy but fly past and are, in the main, enjoyable and rewarding. I’m home for supper with the family but start work on my other ‘jobs’, including Cochrane, when the house goes quiet.

What prompted you to work in this area?
I enjoyed working with children and adolescents as an undergraduate, and then in my junior hospital posts I was fortunate to be able to participate in more orthodontic treatment clinics.

I became fascinated about how it all worked and amazed by the positive impact that treatment had on patients, especially those with severe malocclusions which often caused the patient great social embarrassment. 

What are the major challenges that still remain in your field?
In the UK, funding and disparities in the provision of and access to care remain a problem. From a treatment point of view, I think that managing patients with severe hypodontia is challenging in terms of their orthodontic treatment, the long-term implications of replacing their missing teeth and the impact this treatment may have on their face.

Regarding research, the biggest challenge is seeing things from patients’ point of view, but it’s encouraging to see several key researchers working on this.

How did you first encounter Cochrane?
Professionally, I was introduced to the Cochrane Collaboration in 1994 whilst working on my PhD. I was exceptionally fortunate to be introduced to Bill Shaw, Helen Worthington and Ian Chalmers just as Cochrane Oral Health was being established with colleagues in the US and the rest, as they say, is history.

At the same time but on a personal level, I also found myself in need of Cochrane’s evidence when diagnosed with breast cancer and was trying to find out and decide what was the best treatment for myself.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being involved with Cochrane?
The openness and supportive ethos of the organisation, the collaboration between colleagues who may work hundreds or thousands of miles apart and the shared goal of bringing all the evidence together in the reviews. 

Who (or what) has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
From a Cochrane point of view, Bill Shaw and Helen Worthington have been had a big influence over the years however, all the colleagues at Cochrane Oral Health have influenced me in one way or another.

Clinically, I think my orthodontic trainers who gave me the clinical skills I have used and developed over my career. From a research point of view, Kevin O’Brien and Sue Cunningham have had a big impact.

What are three words you would associate with Cochrane?
Openness, collaboration and integrity.

What do you do in your spare time?
What spare time!!! I have two teenage children who still need quite a lot of my attention and my taxi service. I do find time to enjoy playing tennis (badly), pottering in the garden, having meals with friends & family and visiting our house in France.