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Evidence Based Health Care (EBHC): Consumers & Journalists

Resources for evidence based searching, evidence based practice skill development, and teaching EBHC

Cochrane Collaborative Consumer Network


AHRQ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality  Consumer and patient resources.  

Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. Its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. There are more than 1,300 members of AHCJ.

Bad Science. Ben Goldacre writes a weekly column, Bad Science, in the Saturday edition of The Guardian newspaper and publishes expanded versions of the columns with reader comments on his website Devoted to satirical criticism of scientific inaccuracy, health scares, pseudoscience and quackery, it focuses especially on examples from the mass media, consumer product marketing, problems with the pharmaceutical industry and its relationship to medical journals, and complementary and alternative medicine.

CHAIN - Clinician-Consumer Health Advisory Information Network   CHAIN provides timely and practical information to health-care professionals, patients, family members, medical faculty, and others about emerging issues concerning the safe and effective use of drugs, devices, and biological products.

Cochrane Collaboration Consumer Network     Understand the role consumer advocates can play in the Cochrane Collaboration.

Quick or easy access to quality filtered or evidence based informationGreat for advocates, policy makers, journalists Current awareness or alerting service via RSS or email. Cochrane Library - via Wiley   Users Guide 
Browse the EPOC (Effective Practice and Organization of Care) Cochrane Group by clicking the Browse "By Review Group" link.

Premier evidence based medicine resource composed of
- the Database of Systematic Reviews containing systematic reviews and meta-analyses conducted by Cochrane Study Groups,
- the Database of Reviews of Effects including systematic reviews and meta-analyses from non-Cochrane sources, many with structured abstracts with comments on the reviews and full text of the review is available via Find Journals,
- Central Register of Controlled Trials indexes many trials not included in MEDLINE,

-Great for advocates, policy makers, journalists HTA and NHS EED include evidence based reviews of technology and economic issues.

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs  Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs is a free public education service from the nonprofit Consumers Union, that helps users identify which medicines can effectively meet specific medical needs and provide better value for the price.

Evidence based practice tools and calculatorsDISCERN    Use a quality filtering tool to determine the validity and reliability of health information.  

Great for advocates, policy makers, journalistsDisease Mongering   This website is devoted to the study of  the techniques of 'disease-mongering', in particular the expansion of the boundaries of disorders, the medicalization of normal life events. The portrayal of risk factors as diseases is prevalent in the medical marketing world. A tongue-in-cheek  video looks at the strategies used to create new diseases and promote their treatments to the public. Use the  Disease Mongering Engine  to make up your own disease names and demonstrate how easily irresponsible individuals and groups can harness the terminology of psychiatry and medicine for profit. (More on this tool)  

 Subscription requiredDoctor Evidence This fee based service provides evidence based information packets tailored to your medical profile and preferences to assist with diagnosis and treatment decision-making. The site also provides referral to specialists for treatment

Great for advocates, policy makers, journalists"Go Figure" Archive by Michael Blastland, BBC News Blastland makes understanding everyday applications of statistics fun!  (See

How to understand risk in 13 clicks BBC News Magazine March 11, 2009 ) 

Harding Center for Risk Literacy Should I have a flu vaccination or not? Is it safer to travel by car or by plane? Can early-detection screening tests for cancer prolong my life? Questions like these are the research focus of a team of six scientists led by Professor Gerd Gigerenzer, director of the Center.

Great for advocates, policy makers, journalistsHealth News Review is a website dedicated to improving the accuracy of news stories about medical treatments, tests and procedures and helping consumers evaluate the evidence for and against new ideas in health care.

How to understand risk in 13 clicks BBC News Magazine March 11, 2009 

Medical Information on the Internet: Guide for Health Reporters and Consumers This web-based tutorial designed by the Medical Library Association leads health reporters and consumers to quality health care information on the Internet.

Medscape Reference (formerly eMedicine World Medical Library)  Free, up-to-date, evidence-based information. Searches can be restricted to a consumer option for information from online textbooks and a growing collection of consumer treatment guidelines.  Registration Required.

Quick or easy access to quality filtered or evidence based information Current awareness or alerting service via RSS or email. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database   The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database provides up-to-date evidence based clinical data on natural medicines, herbal medicines, and dietary supplements used in the western world. The database is compiled by pharmacists and physicians who are part of the Pharmacist's Letter and Prescriber's Letter research and editorial staff. The Medlineplus version is a free (taxpayer supported) consumer health information website hosted by the National Library of Medicine.

- via Medlineplus (free version)

NHS Choices  A comprehensive information service that helps to put you in control of your healthcare.

Evidence based practice tools and calculatorsPatient Decision Aids from the Ontario Health Research Institute  Tested, evidence based guides to help patients make tough health care decisions.  

Great for advocates, policy makers, journalistsScience-ish Julia Belluz checks the latest health headlines against the evidence—and holds politicians, opinion leaders, and journalists to account. 

Quick or easy access to quality filtered or evidence based informationSummaries for Patients: Annals of Internal Medicine Search your topic in the top right search box, then look down the "Narrow your search" list and click on the link for "Summaries for Patients". 

The NNT  This site communicates the benefits and harms of screening, diagnosis, and therapy in a simple understandable number.   

Testing Treatments interactive (TTi)  This website takes the principles explained in the book, Testing Treatments. and provides examples to enhance understanding of fair testing of treatments.

Thomas Legislative Information   U.S. federal legislative search engine. 

Understanding Evidence-based Healthcare: A Foundation for Action   This web course has been created by the United States Cochrane Center as part of a project undertaken by Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare (CUE), and is designed to help consumer advocates understand the fundamentals of evidence-based healthcare concepts and skills. Course registration will be offered every month. Participants will have three months to complete the course and must commit to completing all evaluations.  Gateway to U.S. federal, state, county, and municipal websites.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force The USPSTF is an independent panel of non-Federal experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine and is composed of primary care providers (such as internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, nurses, and health behavior specialists). The USPSTF conducts scientific evidence reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services (such as screening, counseling, and preventive medications) and develops recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems. These recommendations are published in the form of "Recommendation Statements."

Use of Stories in Clinical Research and Health Policy    JAMA. 2005;294(22):2901-2904.   These thoughtful suggestions for policy makers outline techniques for telling compelling anecdotes when data is not sufficient to express specific concerns in the health policy arena.

Evidence based practice tools and calculatorsVisual Rx   Chris Cate's evidence based medicine tool creates visual displays to communicate risk information to patients using 100 happy or sad faces in green, yellow, and red. Visual Rx is designed to calculate Numbers Needed to Treat (NNT) from the pooled results of a Meta-analysis and produce a graphical display of the result.

The Why? Files   Created by the National Institute for Science Education to analyze current science topics as reported in the media.  Browse the archives or use the search form to find a topic.

Bad Science (Blog)

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Cochrane Consumer Network Blog

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KQED State of Health Blog

Author Eve Harris is a 2012 attendee of this workshop.

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The Why? Files

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