You cannot make informed choices without reliable information.
We are developing tools to make reliable evidence easier to access, understand and use. These include tables that summarise the findings of systematic reviews, plain language summaries of that information, frameworks for going from evidence to decisions, and a plain language glossary for research terms. We are using these tools to make the information that people need for thousands of different types of decisions easily accessible and user friendly.
Summary of Findings tables
A Summary of Findings (SoF) is a table that provides an estimate of the size of the effect of a treatment for each of the most important outcomes of interest and an assessment of the certainty of the evidence for each of those estimates. SoF tables are based on systematic reviews. We have also developed interactive SoF tables, which can be tailored to different users and are designed to improve users’ understanding and use of this evidence.
Plain language summaries
A plain language summary is a summary of evidence that a general audience, without a medical or research background, would understand and be able to use. Plain language summaries of systematic reviews of the effects of treatments include background information about the health condition, the population, and the treatment and information about the main findings of the review.
Evidence to Decision frameworks
The purpose of Evidence to Decision frameworks is to help people making healthcare decisions move from evidence to decisions by informing their judgements about the pros and cons of each option that is considered, providing a concise summary of the best available research evidence to inform judgements about each important criterion for making a decision, and helping to structure thinking and discussion.
GET-IT stands for the Glossary of Evaluation Terms for Informed Treatment choices. The aim of this glossary is to facilitate informed choices about treatments by promoting consistent use of plain language and providing plain language explanations of terms that people might need to understand if they wish to assess claims about treatments.
Cochrane reviews are systematic summaries of evidence, particularly of evidence of the effects of healthcare interventions (“treatments”). They are intended to help people make practical decisions. For a review to be called a ‘Cochrane review’ it must be in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and adhere to a structured format and quality standards.
Epistemonikos is a collaborative, multilingual database of research evidence. It was developed and is maintained by systematically searching electronic databases and other sources for relevant systematic reviews and broad syntheses of reviews. The aim of Epistemonikos is to provide rapid access to systematic reviews in health. It is continually updated by searching multiple sources of systematic reviews and broad syntheses.