Dr Christopher Cates is a Senior Clinical Research Fellow in the Population Health Research Institute, and works as the Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Airways Review Group.
The Cochrane Airways Groups supports production and publication of Cochrane systematic reviews of the evidence from research and randomised trials related to airways diseases. These include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis (a long-term lung condition where the airways of the lungs become abnormally widened, leading to a buildup of excess mucus), sleep apnoea (a condition that causes interrupted breathing during sleep), interstitial lung disease (lung diseases affecting the interstitium, a part of the lungs' structure) and chronic cough.
It is part of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international, independent, not-for-profit consortium dedicated to providing up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of healthcare. The group maintains a clinical trials register for asthma and COPD.
Details of the work of the editorial base at St George’s, University of London can be found on the Cochrane Airways Group website.
The Cochrane Airways Group has around 250 reviews available at the Cochrane Library.
Dr Cates has an interest in the methodology of systematic reviews and is an active member of the statistical methods group of the Cochrane collaboration.
Dr Cates started as a systematic reviewer with the Cochrane Airways Group at St George's in 1995 and has authored a number of systematic reviews summarising the risks and benefits of a variety of inhaled treatments and vaccinations for asthma and COPD. His first review compared spacers to nebulisers for delivering inhaled treatment to people with acute asthma, and spacers have now become the recommended delivery method for children in many asthma guidelines, such as the SIGN/BTS Asthma Guideline. He has been co-ordinating Editor since 2003.
Dr Cates has worked in primary care as a GP in Hertfordshire for 23 years, and has a particular interest in applying evidence in practice. In 1999 his practice was awarded Beacon status for successfully reducing antibiotic prescribing in children with ear infections. His website includes an online calculator which will create Cates plots ( ‘smiley face' plots that visually communicate the risks and benefits of treatment). The plots help explain how the effects of treatment apply to high-risk and low-risk patients, and how benefits and risks of treatments can be compared. These plots have been adopted as part of the Patient Decision Aids initiative from the National Prescribing Centre (NPC) in Liverpool and available on the NPC legacy website.
Kew KM, Dias S, Cates CJ. Long-acting inhaled therapy (beta-agonists, anticholinergics and steroids) for COPD: a network meta-analysis. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews 2014;3:CD010844 doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010844.pub2
Cates CJ, Wieland LS, Oleszczuk M, Kew KM. Safety of regular formoterol or salmeterol in adults with asthma: an overview of Cochrane reviews. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews 2014;2:CD010314 doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010314.pub2
Cates CJ, Stovold E, Welsh EJ. How to make sense of a Cochrane systematic review. Breathe 2014;10(2):134-44 doi: 10.1183/20734735.003514
Cates C. Maintenance treatment for adults with chronic asthma. BMJ 2014;348:g3148 doi: 10.1136/bmj.g3148
Cates CJ, Welsh EJ, Rowe BH. Holding chambers (spacers) versus nebulisers for beta-agonist treatment of acute asthma. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews 2013;9:CD000052 doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000052.pub3
Cates CJ. Inhaled corticosteroids in COPD: quantifying risks and benefits. Thorax 2013;68:499-500 doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2012-202959
WHO. Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases: guidelines for primary health care in low resource settings: WHO Press, 2012.
Poole P, Black PN, Cates CJ. Mucolytic agents for chronic bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews 2012;8:CD001287 doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001287.pub4
Cates CJ. Safety of tiotropium. BMJ 2011;342:d2970 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d2970
Cates C. An evidence based approach to reducing antibiotic use in children with acute otitis media: controlled before and after study. BMJ 1999;318(7185):715-6 doi: 10.1136/bmj.318.7185.715
Dr Emma Welsh - Managing editor
Liz Stovold - Trials search coordinator
Emma Jackson - Editorial assistant
Dr Steve Milan - Updating assistant
Professor Anne Chang (Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, Australia)
Professor Francine Ducharme (Department of Paediatrics, University of Montreal, Canada)
Dr Mike Greenstone (Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, North Humberside, UK)
Associate Professor Anne Holland (La Trobe University Melbourne, Australia)
Mr Toby Lasserson (Cochrane Editorial Unit, 11-13 Cavendish Square London, UK)
Professor Phillippa Poole (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Associate Professor Milo Puhan (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA)
Professor Brian Rowe (Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)
Dr Sally Spencer (Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University, UK)
Dr Julia Walters (School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia)
Professor Haydn Walters (Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia)
Associate Professor Richard Wood-Baker (Tasmanian School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia)
Dr John White (York District Hospital, UK)
Professor John Wright (Bradford Institute for Health Research, Bradford Royal Infirmary, UK)
Associate Professor Ian Yang (School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Australia)
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the largest single funder of this Cochrane Review Group.
Dr Cates teaches doctors, medical students and other health care professionals on the topics of critical appraisal of the medical literature, and using evidence for the benefit of patients.
Dr Cates also teaches on courses for those undertaking systematic reviews at the UK Cochrane Centre in Oxford.