Resources for Consumers

Cochrane Consumers

Consumers are the recipients of healthcare (patients or clients). Cochrane defines a consumer as "someone who uses, is affected by, or who is entitled to use a health related service; a relative or carer; or someone who advocates on behalf of a broader group of people".

Getting involved as a Consumer Representative

Every Cochrane Review Group aims to have members who will represent the consumer viewpoint in deciding which reviews are written, what questions are addressed, and how the results are presented. The Cochrane Consumer Network (CCNet) coordinates the involvement of consumers within Cochrane, and offers support, information and training opportunities. You can also meet other members of CCNet on the discussion forum once you have registered. Contact for more information about getting involved.

We invite Consumers to submit their suggestions for new systematic review titles on topics within our scope. Please download this form to submit your suggestions. We will assess these priority topic areas with a view to developing new systematic reviews.

Consumer involvement at PaPaS

If you are interested in contributing to the PaPaS review group as a consumer, we are always keen to hear from potential contributors. You can contact us for further information about the topic areas you would be interested in reading. Due to the nature of our scope we are also happy to have carers acting as consumers for some of our titles.

We routinely circulate invitations for Consumer Referees via Cochrane Task Exchange (you will need to set up an account to be able to sign up for a task). Upon acceptance, we send you the full pdf of the protocol or review, along with a checklist of questions and some guidance information. We expect your feedback to be returned within two weeks. Our peer review process is open, which means your comments will not be anonymised before sending to the authors. We send a copy of the final published version to all referees along with the authors' responses to the comments.

If you would like further information about becoming a Cochrane Consumer, have a look at the CCNet website, as well as the following documents:

Cochrane Glossary (access for registered members only)

Online Medical Dictionary

Consumer Referee Checklist for Protocols

Consumer Referee Checklist for Reviews

Consumer Referee Checklist for Overview Reviews

PaPaS Guidance for using the Checklists

CCNet Brochure