Cochrane Vascular is continually aiming to increase our links with patients (consumers) and the public and to involve them further with our reviews.
We have worked with a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group based at the Northern Vascular Centre at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. During this project 18 plain language summaries were assessed by the group. Three main themes of feedback were identified:
- smaller sections with relevant headings preferred
- complex terminology should be avoided and lay terms were suggested
- the need for information on the certainty of the evidence was not obvious to some members of the group
As a result of these meetings review authors improved their plain language summaries and Cochrane Vascular still uses the feedback to comment on newly submitted reviews.
We actively look for patients and members of the public to provide comments on all our protocols, new reviews and review updates by posting tasks on Task Exchange. People who do this are known as Consumer reviewers. Anyone wishing to comment on how we can make our reviews easier to read and more accessible is very welcome to do so. Once tasks are listed on Task Exchange we post details on social media to maximise the reach of our involvement requests.
Patients and members of the public who are involved are acknowledged in the published review and on our website (if they wish to be!).