A multidisciplinary team of experts gathered around the Informed Health Choices project (available at: https://www.informedhealthchoices.org) has developed a framework for critical thinking about health claims and making treatment decisions. The project is intended for students in primary and secondary schools, but also contains materials for understanding health claims in the general population. For students, the project provides opportunities for academic advancement and encouraging a broader mindset.
A group of scientists from Cochrane Croatia joined the project and, together with colleagues from the Faculty of Kinesiology and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, are working on the implementation of the project in Croatia. So far, a lot of work has been done to translate educational materials into Croatian, and in the past year the project was presented in primary schools in Split and the surrounding area, while the implementation of education is planned in primary schools during the next school year. Further plans include high school students and project dissemination in the general population, among patients, all with the goal of promoting health literacy.
We believe that the skills of critical assessment of health claims can also be applied in decision-making outside the field of health. The project encourages the active participation of children and young people, which is a basic principle and a right guaranteed to them in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and has the potential to encourage their active involvement in society. Namely, some of today's students will become health professionals, scientists and health decision makers. They are all future citizens of this society, so it is crucial that they learn the basic skills they will need to make well-informed decisions.
The whole story also interested the media, so Slobodna Dalmacija published an article whose content can be found at the following link: https://slobodnadalmacija.hr/mozaik/zdravlje/ne-trazite-dijagnozu-i-lijek-na-googleu-znanstvenica-iz-cochrane-centra-objasnjava-zasto-je-to-opasno-otkriva-i-kojim-stranicama-mozemo-vjerovati-1021504