Intended for healthcare professionals


Consumer health information needs to be rigorous, complete, and relevant

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 22 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:240
  1. Ruairidh Milne, senior lecturer in public health medicine (,
  2. Nina Booth-Clibborn, research associate,
  3. Sandy Oliver, research officer
  1. National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment, Mailpoint 28, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 7PX
  2. Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT
  3. Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London, London WC1H 0NS

    EDITOR—Barker and Gilbert emphasise the importance of evidence being relevant to those who may use it.1 Their example is patient involvement in decision making in health care. As members of a working group for the Centre for Health Information Quality (, we considered what “evidence based” means for consumer health information about treatment effects.2 We suggest that three dimensions need to be considered: rigour, relevance, and completeness.

    All health information, including that for consumers, …

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