Description: Health consumers now have unprecedented access to health information, from published research to consumer health websites to electronic health records to peer narratives. Yet, consumers face challenges in acquiring, assessing and using health information. There is a growing need for professionals to support consumers in navigating the sea of information.
Course Goals: Health care consumers/patients now have unprecedented access to health information, from published research to consumer health websites to electronic health records to peer narratives. At the same time, health care and disease management is increasingly moving from formal institutions to homes and communities. Nevertheless, consumers/patients also face tremendous challenges in acquiring, assessing and using health information. There is a growing need for professionals to support health care consumers/patients in their efforts to effectively navigate this sea of information. In this course, students learn how to apply an information perspective to health-related decisions faced by consumers/patients in the digital era. Students learn how to search health sciences research literature using a range of reference, bibliographic and pre-filtered ("evidence-based") sources. They also learn to apply evidence assessment techniques, including critical appraisal methods, to the health sciences literature. Students learn how to apply basic methods of research synthesis to health-related questions, and evaluate strategies for personalizing evidence for consumers/patients. Students will also apply the skills needed to train and support consumers/patients in effectively using key health sciences resources.
•Summarize, analyze and evaluate key features of a range of health sciences information sources.
•Implement effective searches for health sciences information, and successfully evaluate search results.
•Generate and implement training in optimal use of health information sources.
• Critically appraise published health research.
• Apply basic methods of research synthesis to health-related questions.
• Evaluate strategies for personalizing evidence for consumers/patients.
Competencies: The course directly supports the following HBHE competency:
3) Apply basic principles of research and evaluation methodology relevant to understanding and modifying health status and health behavior
While relevant to all sub-competencies within 3), the course is particularly targeted towards:
e. Critique and synthesize scientific evidence, including evidence review
f. Translate research findings into public health practice, including dissemination of proven interventions