Resources for patients and the public

What is Cochrane evidence and how can it help you? On this page, you can find a variety of resources and reading materials, so that you can learn more about Cochrane, health evidence and how you can get involved.

"Cochrane summarizes the findings so people making important decisions – you, your doctor, the people who write medical guidelines – can use unbiased information to make difficult choices without having to first read every study out there..."
Sifting the evidence, The Guardian, 14 September 2016

Cochrane produces systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and policy. Each Cochrane Review addresses a clearly formulated question; for example:

Can antibiotics help in alleviating the symptoms of a sore throat?

To answer this question, we search for and collate all the existing primary research on a topic that meets certain criteria; then we assess it using stringent guidelines, to establish whether or not there is conclusive evidence about a specific treatment. Cochrane Reviews are internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care and we publish them online in the Cochrane Library.

We update Cochrane Reviews regularly to incorporate new research, so that you can base treatment decisions on the most up-to-date and reliable health evidence.

Plain Language SummariesWhat are Cochrane's Plain Language Summaries?

Each Cochrane Review contains a Plain Language Summary (PLS). They help people to understand and interpret research findings and are included in all Cochrane Reviews. PLSs are created using standard content, structure and language to ease understanding and translation.


  1. How Cochrane health evidence can help you
  2. What is Evidence Synthesis and why do we need it? An introductory video can be found here.
  3. What is Cochrane? Learn more about Cochrane and Cochrane Library 
  4. Access Plain Language Summaries of Cochrane Reviews
  5. Create a Cochrane Account
  6. Learn about health evidence and making informed health choices in the free Evidence Essentials course
  7. Find out more about Cochrane UK and Evidently Cochrane
  8. Patient and public involvement in research: What, why and how? Find out more in
  9. Find out more about Cochrane UK's Evidence for Everyday Health Choices blog series and Understanding Evidence blog series
  10. Understanding Health Evidence in COVID-19 times


  1. Join a community of patients, carers and family members in the Cochrane Consumer Network.
  2. Join the Cochrane Consumers Network on Facebook
  3. Follow Cochrane on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Instagram)
  4. Follow Cochrane UK on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Instagram)


  1. Offer your skills and experience in Cochrane TaskExchange, a platform for anyone interested in being involved in producing Cochrane Evidence. Browse available tasks, connect with members of the community and offer to take on tasks that interest you.
  2. Find out how to get involved in Cochrane Crowd. Introductory videos can be found here and here.
  3. Be involved with a relevant Cochrane Review Group.
  4. Do you want to peer review or comment on a Cochrane Review? Find out more here and here.
  5. How to share Cochrane Evidence? Top tips to work with social media.

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