Understanding Evidence-based Healthcare: A Foundation for Action

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This web course has been created by the United States Cochrane Center as part of a project undertaken by Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare (CUE), and is designed to help consumer advocates understand the fundamentals of evidence-based healthcare concepts and skills. Registration is open and free of charge. Participants are encouraged to finish the course in three months. We recommend that participants complete only 1-2 modules at a time. Participants must commit to filling out evaluation forms upon completion of each module.

This course was funded in part by:

  • A conference grant (#R13 HS13368) from The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (K. Dickersin, Principal Investigator)
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Course Developers:Course Developers - Dickersin,Mayer 

  • Kay Dickersin, MA, PhD
    US Cochrane Center,
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
    Project concept, initial module framework, content oversight, feedback and revision
  • Musa Mayer, MS, MFA
    AdvancedBC.org
    Consumer Advocate
    Primary developer of individual modules and script, lecturer

Course Objectives:
Learning Curve
Our goals in this course are to provide consumer advocates with the tools they need to:

  • Successfully navigate the world of medical information,
  • Critically appraise research studies,
  • Influence the creation of responsible public policy in healthcare, and
  • Help the people they serve to make healthcare choices based on the best available evidence.

Course Description:

 In these six modules, we will illustrate key concepts with compelling real-world examples, covering the following topics and issues. Run times do not take into account interruptions or a second review of selected slides.  

  • Module 1. INTRO: What is evidence-based healthcare and why is it important? (45 minutes)
  • Module 2. ASK: The importance of research questions in evidence based healthcare. (40 minutes)
  • Module 3. ALIGN: Research design, bias and levels of evidence. (1 hour)
  • Module 4. ACQUIRE: Searching for healthcare information. Assessing harms and benefits. (1 hour 10 minutes)
  • Module 5. APPRAISE: Behind the numbers: Understanding healthcare statistics. Science, speed and the search for best evidence. (1 hour 20 minutes)
  • Module 6: APPLY: Critical appraisal and making better decisions for evidence-based healthcare, Determining causality. (1 hour)

Online registration is now open!

If you have any questions about this web-based course please email or call the US Cochrane Center at 410-502-7205.