An Informed Health Choices (IHC) project developed a list of 36 ‘key concepts’ (attached) designed to help people assess claims about the effects of treatment, and to be used as a starting point from which teachers and other intermediaries could develop resources to help people understand and apply the concepts. Students 4 Best Evidence (S4BE) is an international online community for any student interested in evidence-based health care. The website comprises blogs written by students.
To develop a series of blogs and videos to explain and raise awareness of the key concepts; to encourage students to blog, providing an alternative platform for learning; to promote critical thinking and discussion of treatment claims; and to produce a key, easily accessible resource.
We invited the S4BE community (via newsletter, social media and students at Cochrane UK) to write an explanatory blog on one of the 36 'key concepts'. Bloggers were encouraged to use two key sources for researching content for the blog: Testing Treatments interactive (TTi) which provides resources linked to each key concept and the James Lind Library. Each blog was reviewed by Iain Chalmers (TTi), who provided support and feedback, and assisted us in production of a ‘quality assured’ blog series. Short videos explaining the concept were embedded into the blog, together with clear signposting to resources relevant to each concept. The blogs were published on the S4BE website, promoted among our partners, highlighted in our newsletter and disseminated via social media.
Nineteen students have written 36 blogs, each explaining one key concept. By 28 February 2018, 25 blogs had been published on S4BE, with a combined total of 62,635 views. An unanticipated result of this project was the engagement of several organizations wanting to translate the blogs and videos. Translation into Portuguese, Spanish and German has begun, with further enquiries from Croatian and Dutch groups.
The remaining 11 blogs will be published prior to the Colloquium, at which time further analysis will be carried out of the blog views and the reach and comments on social media.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:
Students from various backgrounds developed the blogs and produced the videos.