Resources for Consumers

Cochrane and systematic reviews

The Cochrane Consumer Network have a variety of resources and training materials that may be useful for consumer members. Their consumer learning page gives an introduction to the Network and an explanation of evidence-based healthcare.

Cochrane Evidence Essentials offers an introduction to Evidence Based Medicine, clinical trials and Cochrane evidence, and has been co-produced by healthcare consumers, researchers and specialists from Cochrane's Central Executive Team, with contributions from a range of experts in their fields. It is free for anyone with a Cochrane account to use.

You may also find the Consumer Network’s videos introducing consumer involvement in Cochrane useful.

In addition, Cochrane Training also have an online training resource looking specifically at consumer involvement.

The following learning modules and webinars from Cochrane Training may be of interest:

More information on consumers' role within Cochrane Incontinence is also available here.

Plain language summaries

All Cochrane Reviews are required to have a plain language summary (PLS), which sums up the evidence found in the review without using medical jargon.

Consumers play a key role in ensuring that our plain language summaries in particular are understandable to the patients, public and carers.

Cochrane Norway have developed a resource giving advice to authors on how to write a plain language summary. This may be useful to consumers when acting as a peer reviewer.

Plain language summaries are available to search and read via the Cochrane website.


Cochrane Community has developed a glossary of common terms that are often used in Cochrane Reviews.

We have also developed our own glossary filled with terms commonly found in Cochrane Incontinence reviews. We greatly welcome any suggestions for additions to this glossary.