The People’s Review: a protocol for a systematic review powered by the public.

Date & Time
Tuesday, September 5, 2023, 4:55 PM - 5:05 PM
Location Name
Session Type
Oral presentation
Patient or healthcare consumers involvement and shared decision making
Oral session
Teaching the public to understand and use evidence
Quinn É1, Dawson S2, Holt J3, Hossain S4, Logullo P2, Smith M5, Stewart D2, Treweek S2, Young C2, Moher D6, Hynes S7
1Discipline of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of Galway; Evidence Synthesis Ireland; Cochrane Ireland, Ireland
2The People's Review Steering Group, UK
3The People's Review Steering Group, Ireland
4The People's Review Steering Group, Bangladesh
5The People's Review Steering Group, Canada
6School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada
7Discipline of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of Galway, Ireland

Background: Awareness and understanding of systematic reviews and the role that they play in healthcare is quite low in the general population. Existing work by Cochrane aims to better support people to make sense of and co-produce health evidence. The People’s Review will actively involve the public in the planning, production and dissemination of a systematic review, which will help them understand how evidence guides healthcare provided by a health service and everyday health decision-making. Our work builds on the success of The People’s Trial, in which members of the public designed, planned and took part in an online randomized trial ( with the aim of improving the understanding of clinical trials.
Objectives: The People’s Review aims to increase the public’s understanding of what systematic reviews are, how they are developed and why they matter. A secondary aim is for reviewers to learn more about and develop ways to involve people in systematic reviews.
Methods: The People’s Review includes a systematic review with public involvement throughout, from designing the research question through to knowledge translation. It will be conducted online in a multi-phase approach through a custom-built, open-access website. We will design, produce and share educational material (e.g., animated videos) to support the public’s understanding at each phase of the review. Public contributors will make key decisions about the review and participate in review tasks, utilising a ‘learning by doing’ approach. The ACTIVE framework for stakeholder involvement in systematic reviews will inform this review.
Results: The People’s Review is in the early stages of development. At the colloquium, we will present a protocol detailing how we plan to involve the public throughout the review.
Conclusions: The People’s Review, if successful, will increase the public’s capacity for critically appraising and using systematic reviews (including Cochrane reviews) to inform everyday health decisions.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: The People’s Review Steering Group includes four public partners who are supporting the development of this project. The wider public will then be invited to contribute to decisions and tasks related to the review when the website is launched through a widespread social and traditional media campaign.