Cochrane Library health communication priorities

Cochrane_LogoDoctors, clinicians and health professionals are not speaking in a voice that can be understood, especially by marginalised groups’.

The Cochrane Collaboration is a global, independent, not-for-profit organisation based in Australia, dedicated to producing up-to-date, accurate information about health policy and healthcare. Their high quality reviews are used internationally to deliver best practice, not only by health professionals, but also by many ‘consumers’ – patients, their family members and carers, organisations representing their views and the public – to inform their own healthcare decisions.

In March 2015, Cochrane undertook a wide-ranging consultation process with representatives from all these areas. They shared their health communication priorities, in order to choose new topics for their reviews and to ensure they would be as useful as possible to the health community.

Amongst their findings, the following five points struck a chord with the Luto team:

  • The public don’t always have enough health literacy to navigate the health system and make informed health decisions.
  • Patients don’t always understand their health problems, treatment options or their rights.
  • Patients often experience information overload and are unable to retain all information.
  • ‘Official’ health information can be contradictory and hard to understand, both written and online.
  • Consumers and carers have particular issues understanding key medication information.

The co-design approach employed by the Cochrane Collaboration is an instrumental part of our own research at Luto, whether we’re conducting one-to-one interviews to examine the usability of a device, moderating a focus group to gauge public opinion, or running a workshop to gain feedback from service-users. We also work closely with our clients – pharma and non-pharma companies alike, to make health information better.

The more clients that can be involved in the process of user-testing, the better the outcome.” Professor Theo Raynor.

You can read more about our co-design approach and how user-engagement can help you understand how users interact with your health communications here.