Evidence-based medicine for consumers: a role for the Cochrane Collaboration


Medical Library Association


Quality of health information on the Internet has been a concern since health information first began appearing on the Web. Evidence-based medicine tools, traditionally intended for physicians, may benefit consumers as they participate in making health care desisions. This article describes a rationale for Cochrane reviews as an evidence-based medicine tool for consumers. The Cochrane Collaboration, a global force for systematic literature reviews, has strict procedures for developing literature reviews. Criteria for Cochrane reviews are compared with critical evaluation skills commonly taught to consumers regarding the use of Websites. The Cochrane Collaboration's Consumer Network has established a separate Website, with review synopses written for an audience of consumers. Suggestions for further research into consumer use of the Cochrane Library and consumer involvement with the Cochrane Collaboration are discussed.

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