Cochrane Consumer Network

Cochrane uses the term consumer, or health consumer, to describe a patient, carer and the public that have interest or first-hand experience of a variety of health conditions.

Often, individuals navigating healthcare systems can feel overwhelmed and disconnected from the decision-making process regarding their health. We recognize the vital role that health consumers play in health research, as well in the evidence synthesis process.

By actively involving consumers in our work, we aim to bridge this gap, giving them a voice and empowering them to contribute meaningfully to the generation of high-quality evidence. Their unique perspectives, experiences, and priorities enrich our research, ensuring that it remains relevant, patient-centered, and impactful.

Incorporating consumer input not only improve the credibility and applicability of our findings, but also fosters a sense of responsibility and accountability within the healthcare community. By working hand in hand with consumers, we can make evidence-informed healthcare decisions more inclusive, transparent, and responsive to the actual needs of all individuals.

The Cochrane Consumer Network is a large and growing community of over 2,000 people in 106 countries across the world. The Cochrane Consumer Network is open to any patients, carers, family members and others who are interested in high-quality health evidence, and in helping to be a part of producing and sharing evidence.

There are several ways to be involved as a Consumer in Cochrane. Do you want to join?

Check out the Cochrane Consumer Network to learn how to get involved!

What can we do together?

Consumers, including individuals with multiple sclerosis or similar central nervous system disorders, as well as their family members and caregivers, play a crucial role in our group.

They can engage through informal networks, both locally and globally. When new consumers join, they receive an introductory package that explains our group's operations and the steps involved in reviewing.

Their input is invaluable for prioritizing reviews, selecting topics, and defining relevant outcomes. Additionally, they can actively participate in the review process, including peer review and assisting authors in drafting plain-language summaries.

This is an example of our group's commitment to placing consumer involvement at the heart of MS research: Priority Setting Exercise in Multiple Sclerosis