Help using evidence

If you are a patient (or someone with personal experience of a health condition), a care-giver or family member of someone with a health condition, or someone who supports healthcare consumers, the links below are intended to help you find  helpful evidence so that you can make informed choices.


World Health Organisation

"Working through offices in more than 150 countries, WHO staff work side by side with governments and other partners to ensure the highest attainable level of health for all people. Together we strive to combat diseases – infectious diseases like influenza and HIV and noncommunicable ones like cancer and heart disease. We help mothers and children survive and thrive so they can look forward to a healthy old age. We ensure the safety of the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink – and the medicines and vaccines they need."

UK NHS Choices

NHS Choices provides an award-winning, comprehensive health information service with thousands of articles, videos and tools, helping you to make the best choices about your health and lifestyle.  For visitors to the site from out of England, please note that some of the information is also about making the most of NHS and social care services in England only.

REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE OF ILL-HEALTH provides free, reliable information about health issues, by sharing people's real-life experiences. You can watch people sharing their stories about cancer, autism, motor-neurone disease, pregnancy, drugs, depression and much more.
If you, or someone you care about, is affected by any of the 90 subjects we cover, you can find out what happened to 40 other people in the same situation. You will find good advice and reassurance on topics such as:
- Making decisions about health and treatment
- Talking to friends and family
- Practical issues like money and travel
- Emotional wellbeing
- Impact on work or education
This website has been awarded The Information standard.


This is what Healthline says about its website:

"Healthline’s mission is to be your most trusted ally in your pursuit of health and well-being. We’re committed to bringing you authoritative, approachable, and actionable content that inspires and guides you toward the best possible health outcomes for you and your family. The reality is that funding from our advertisers allows us to cover more conditions and provide more powerful experiences, including video, animations and input from a range of experts. Be assured that we’re absolutely inflexible about our editorial autonomy. Other than input about broad topic areas, we never allow sponsors to influence the content we create."

Evidently Cochrane

Health evidence presented in an interesting and accessible  way in English.

The Patient Experience Library

A (UK) patient's-eye view of service quality. Subscribe to get access to the whole of the UK's collective intelligence on patient experience.


Patient Revolution - resources for people who need to have conversations with their health care professional about treatments

This is what  Patient Revolution say: "Clinical visits are supposed to revolve around your issues, needs and goals but we know they often don't. It is easy to look around at your visit which is scheduled for an ever shrinking amount of time and takes place in a space where a computer has been placed between you and the clinician, and assume that the story about what is causing you anxiety or joy isn't welcome. But if it is important to you, if it is affecting your life, it belongs in your visit. Our goal is to help provide patients and caregivers with the tools and support to be full partners in those clinical conversations."

UK NHS Shared Decision Making

Shared decision making (SDM) is the conversation that happens between a patient and their health professional to reach a healthcare choice together. This conversation needs patients and professionals to understand what is important to the other person when choosing a treatment.

Decision Grid

Option Grid decision aids are brief easy-to-read tools made to help patients and providers compare alternative treatment options. Option Grid decision aids help you find answers to the questions patients frequently ask.

Choosing Wisely

Patient-friendly resources that have been produced by speciality societies and Consumer Reports.

Download the Choosing Wisely app for i-Phone here

Patients Like Me

Know your options, connect with others, take action.

Decision Box

The Decision box is an evidence-based summary of the most important benefits and harms of a health care intervention. It covers a medical question that has no single best answer. It is framed to help weigh the benefits and harms of all options in light of patients’ individual health status. The clinician version of the Decision box prepares healthcare professionals to translate evidence to patients, an essential step to evidence-based practice and shared decision making. The patient version supports the discussion between patients, their health care providers and their family relatives.

Ottawa Personal Decision Guides

The Ottawa Personal Decision Guide and Ottawa Personal Decision Guide for Two are designed for any health-related or social decisions. They can help people identify their decision making needs, plan the next steps, track their progress , and share their views about the decision. Available in French, Swedish, Dutch, Danish, Spanish, German, Japanese.

A to Z Inventory of Decision Aids can be found here:

InforMED - Patient Decision Aids

Tools to help pateints and healthcare professionals make healthcare decisions together.


PubMed comprises more than 27 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.

You can find guidance 0n how to use PubMed in the Quick Start section


How to use the Cochrane Library

Help with how to find your way around the library, search, watch webinars, and online tutorials.

Plain Language Medical Dictionary

There are several plain language dictionaries available, but here are two:

GET-IT Glossary - plain language definitions of health research terms

Understanding Health Research - a tool for making sense of health studies

Learning for consumers - a pathway

A series of accessible online resources to help health care consumers and newcomers interested in health research find out more about randomised trials and systematic reviews.

Critical Appraisal Skills Programme

Tools that can be freely downloaded to help you make sense of research

Critical Appraisal Tools from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

Useful tools and downloads for the critical appraisal of different types of medical evidence. Example appraisal sheets are provided together with several helpful examples. Resources available in  a range of languages.

Testing Treatments

Making sense of claims about treatments

Download your FREE copy of "Testing Treatments" by Imogen Evans, Hazel Thornton, Iain Chalmers and Paul Glasziou. In the foreword, Ben Goldacre says "Medicine shouldn’t be about authority, and the most important question anyone can ask on any claim is simple: ‘how do you know?’ This book is about the answer to that question".

INSPIRE Research Portal

This portal is an online library of resources designed for patients and researchers who are actively engaged in the research process from start to finish. The purpose is to provide easy access to existing tools and resources for this research community.