Consumer Engagement and Involvement

Patients and carers play a vital role in Cochrane

Cochrane uses the term consumers to represent patients, carers and family members with first-hand experience of a healthcare condition. Cochrane has a long and rich history of involving consumers globally in all aspects of our work.

Cochrane supports involvement and engagement in health research because it:

  • promotes transparency, accountability and trust in the way that research is produced;
  • results in evidence that addresses consumers’ needs, reduces waste in research, improves the translation of research into policy and practice, and ultimately leads to improved benefits for health systems and outcomes for patients;
  • is consistent with current health research approaches and is expected or mandated by our funders, partners and consumers.


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How we are engaging with healthcare consumers

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Consumer involvement in practice

  • Consumers involved in the governance of Cochrane - Cochrane's Consumer Executive’s mission is to advocate for, and offer leadership to, the Cochrane community about consumer involvement and engagement, and to represent the priorities and concerns of healthcare consumers (patients, carers and the public).
  • Members of the author team - Lived experience of the healthcare condition, as a patient or carer, can make a substantial contribution to the research question, research design, interpretation of data, and dissemination and knowledge translation of findings.
  • Members of advisory groups - Advisory groups provide oversight and input throughout the whole review process.  The authors can turn to them for advice or input when specific issues arise during the review process.
  • The Covid 19 consumer rapid response group - A global volunteer group with a range of lived experience, including people who have recovered from COVID-19 and those who have been care-givers.
  • Consumers as peer reviewers - Consumer peer review involves giving feedback on Cochrane protocols and reviews before they are published to ensure they are relevant and accessible.  This ensures better outcomes for patients.

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Learning for consumer engagement and involvement

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