Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare (CUE) is a national coalition of health and consumer advocacy organizations committed to empowering consumers to make the best use of evidence-based healthcare (EBHC). CUE, organized in 2003 when the USCC invited advocacy groups to join a consumer advocate-scientist partnership, is a pioneering effort to improve consumers' ability to engage in and demand high quality healthcare.
Currently, the 37 member organizations represent: cancer, geriatrics, temporomandibular joint disorders, minority health, addiction, environmental health, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health, mental health, women’s health, and disabilities. The Coalition is committed to a representative membership that addresses the needs of Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) priority populations. As a result, CUE is an educated, diverse, and committed advocacy network.
One of CUE's most important accomplishments to date is the creation of an online course for consumer advocates, "Understanding evidence-based healthcare: A foundation for action." After taking this web-based course on evidence-based healthcare and critical appraisal skills, consumer advocates and others will be able to:
- Understand what evidence-based healthcare is and how they can use it to inform their own healthcare decisions;
- Find reliable sources of evidence-based information; and
- Critically appraise information found in clinical guidelines, healthcare web sites, the lay news media, and journal articles (primary research and systematic reviews).
Registration for the course, click here.
Initial funding from the AHRQ has enabled the USCC to nurture CUE’s development and to provide a secretariat and staff. CUE is guided by an elected Steering Committee providing overall direction and policy and program development.
The USCC provides training on EBHC; coordinates CUE projects; and has organized and facilitated annual CUE meetings. As the scientific partner to CUE, the USCC provides a part-time Consumer Coordinator to manage CUE’s activities. USCC staff members are a resource for CUE and collaborate with CUE to help it define and implement its goals.
The mission of CUE is to promote the health of populations and the quality of individual healthcare by empowering consumers, public health policy makers, and healthcare providers to make informed decisions based on the best current evidence through research, education, and advocacy. CUE members:
- Obtain training about critical appraisal, EBHC, and the Cochrane Collaboration;
- Participate in CUE projects and initiatives;
- Attend annual CUE meetings;
- Educate their constituencies about critical appraisal and EBHC; and
- Provide consumer input into the Cochrane Collaboration’s systematic reviews of healthcare interventions
Why is CUE important?
Consumers are key stakeholders in health and healthcare decision making. Consumers help to:
- Raise funds for health research; and
- Advocate for local and federal legislative changes. CUE Letter to President-Elect Obama Transition Team
Consumers need access to high quality health information and critical appraisal tools.
Consumers are bombarded with healthcare information from the print media, TV, radio, Internet and their healthcare providers. Interpreting the accuracy and validity of information is often difficult, as reports can be conflicting and evidence may seem to change over time. Consumers and consumer advocates need the tools to interpret, analyze, and understand this influx of information.
United by a common interest in integrating understanding and interpretation of EBHC into their advocacy activities, CUE member-organizations work to strengthen the voice of consumers and provide leadership in healthcare research.
Link to CUE Bylaws and Mission Statement
Links to CUE Meeting Reports
CUE members are encouraged to join the Cochrane Consumer Network (CCNet) and participate in the Cochrane Collaboration as authors, consumer reviewers, and referees of Cochrane reviews.
For information, or to submit suggestions or expressions of interest, please contact:
Nancy Fitton, MHS
USCC Program Coordinator
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
615 North Wolfe Street, Box W5010
Baltimore, MD 21205
US Cochrane Center | 615 N. Wolfe Street, E6012 | Baltimore, MD 21205
phone 410-502-7205 | fax 410.502.4623
Acknowledgement: Written material included on this website has been derived from the Cochrane Brochure, the Cochrane Manual, and other Cochrane sources. Although we make every attempt to keep material up-to-date, we welcome corrections and updates to our pages.