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Translating Cochrane reviews to lay people through the web: the IN-DEEP project

Date and Location




Friday 20 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Cinzia Colombo

Contact person

Cinzia Colombo
Abstract text
Background: the IN-DEEP project, Integrating and deriving evidence, experiences and preferences: Developing research-based health information applicable to decision making and self-management by people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), is a collaboration between research teams in Australia and Italy, undertaking two parallel projects. The aim is to make high-quality evidence accessible and meaningful to PwMS and their families. Objectives: to discuss the implications of our project findings for the provision of evidence-based information to consumers. Methods: the Australian and Italian teams each conducted a mixed-method study; drawing upon the information needs of PwMS to create a website that presented Cochrane reviews (CR) of MS treatments. Extensive formal and informal user testing with consumers and other stakeholders was undertaken during development. The websites went live in 2012 with an online evaluation survey. Results: due the iterative nature of the projects and differing information needs, the Australian and Italian websites took different approaches, but both were strongly endorsed by consumers. The Italian website as a first topic covered a CR on the effects of recombinant interferons for MS with additional methodological information. The Australian website included a number of different CRs. Lessons learnt include the importance of understanding consumer needs, the complexity of being faithful to the volume/quality of the evidence and to say it clearly, and effective strategies to involve lay people in the selection of treatment topics and in the production and dissemination of evidence-based information. Conclusions: preparing accessible summaries of evidence for consumers identifies potential improvements for Cochrane reviews, eg the importance of Summary of Findings tables, but also challenges of providing the full range of information which people need to manage their health. Working in partnership with consumer organisations will aid this process. Funding: Fondazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla (Italian arm); Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia, Multiple Sclerosis Australia ACT/NSW/VIC (Australian arm).