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There are a substantial number of healthcare claims made every day, many through mainstream media. These can have distinct effects on individuals, their families and the wider society. Given the vast number of claims that are generated, it is important that healthcare professionals are proficient in “critical appraisal”, which allows a skilled judgement to be made as to whether these claims are useful or relevant to patients.

But why should these skills be limited to just healthcare professionals? A number of organisations provide support and resources that allow members of the general public to gain sufficient skills to be able to challenge health care claims. For example, NHS Choices provides a guide on how to read health news, highlighting the reasons why it is important not to “automatically believe the headline”. Similarly, Sense about Science have developed the askforevidence.org campaign to help members of the public identify what is, and what is not, reliable evidence upon which to make healthcare claims.

The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the practice, teaching and dissemination of high quality evidence-based medicine to improve healthcare in everyday clinical practice. One of the current ongoing projects is to foster critical thinking about healthcare claims in school children. The EvIdeNce into Schools and TEachINg (EinSTein) project involves a number of partners who share that agenda including TestingTreatments, the Education Endowment FoundationJames Lind Initiative and Informed Healthcare Choices Group.

In this session we will provide some background information to the work being done with school children, as well as hear from members of the Education Endowment Foundation and Ask for Evidence campaign.

Chaired by Dr Kamal R Mahtani - Deputy Director, Centre for Evidence Based Medicine.

Speakers include:

  • Pete Henderson, Education Endowment Fund
  • Sarah Pannell, Lingfield School & Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Hamish Chalmers, Doctoral Researcher & Ask For Evidence Ambassador.

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