Consumer Referees play an important role in Cochrane Reviews

Evidence-based health care is a combination of best research evidence, including the expertise of both health professionals and patients.

Authors of Cochrane reviews may consider a question for a review because of their own interests and experiences as a clinician or a healthcare researcher. These are not always the questions that are of most concern to healthcare consumers and their families and carers. Therefore, consumers participate as Consumer Referees to:

  • Prioritise topics for new reviews 
  • Ensure that a review question is relevant to people requiring health care 
  • Identify outcomes that are important for consumers 
  • Improve access to reviews by ensuring that the review can be read by a wide audience, and the language is sensitive to consumers
  • Weigh the benefits against the potential harms – from a healthcare user perspective

Value of Consumer Input

Consumers in Research discusses the significance of including consumers in research and the importance of providing a consumer perspective in systematic reviews. It is an easy to read document written in a question and answer format.  A glossary of Cochrane terminology and an explanation of the terms and references used in the notebook are included as a reference material.

Learn more about the special role of Consumer Referees.

You may also e-mail rmorley@cochrane.org for more information.