Giving healthcare consumers a platform to be heard

Giving healthcare consumers a platform to be heard

Cochrane Consumer Network (CCNET) supports the learning of evidence-based healthcare principles, including how to use Cochrane’s systematic reviews, and encourages consumers throughout the world to work collaboratively with healthcare providers and researchers in over 50 areas of disease-based health care to ensure that evidence is accessible to the general public.

Our annual meeting, called the Cochrane Colloquium, provides an opportunity where consumers from a variety of countries can meet. A number of meetings and workshops are organized that provide consumers with a better understanding of Cochrane and how they contribute. Last year’s Colloquium, held in Vienna Austria, we awarded ten stipends for consumers to attend.

Catherine Hofstetter from Canada:

“I have been working with the Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group and the Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group for the last few years as a consumer reviewer. I was privileged to attend the Cochrane Colloquium in Vienna in October.  The Colloquium was very well organized, with plenary sessions to start each day.  I presented at one of the rapid oral presentation sessions and found the sessions I attended to have good audience interaction.”




Helen Bulbeck from UK:

“I run a national brain cancer charity, Braintrust, and this was my first Cochrane Colloquium. I share the same ultimate objective with Cochrane – to improve outcomes for patients. Engagement with patients is fundamental to the work that we both do, so attendance at the Colloquium broadened my reach and understanding of these key aspects of my work.

We’re now exploring how we can use cancer registry data in new ways to address important questions for the brain tumour community. Thank you Cochrane for being the green shoots. I wouldn’t have done this if I hadn’t attended the Colloquium. This enabled me to continue to 'close the circle' between patient-centred care, so that I can continue to position Bainstrust as the voice of brain cancer patients and to add a wider, patient-centric viewpoint where we can."

 If you are already a consumer actively involved in Cochrane, you may wish to apply for a Consumer Stipend to cover the travel costs and other expenses associated with attending our annual Colloquium. The Colloquium this year will be held in Seoul, Korea, 23-27 October. More information about the Consumer Stipend can be found here - deadline for applications is 8 June, 2016.

If you are a consumer that is interested in being involved in Cochrane: We invite all patients, care-givers, or patient advocates to join CCNet at whatever capacity of involvement they are interested in - receiving our monthly newsletters, leaning about Cochrane and evidence-based health care, participating in discussions about consumer issues, or working with Cochrane healthcare groups in your area of interest. Just fill out this survey and let us know a bit more about yourself and how you want to be involved. We look forward to working with you and perhaps meeting you in person at a future Colloquium!

Visit the Cochrane Consumer Network website.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016