Hallo, I send my warm greetings to all of you at the Conference!
I much regret that I cannot be with you because I would have liked to meet you and take part in your discussions, and I am sorry not to see the beautiful city of Kazan.
I wish you a very lively, interesting and successful day.
What is very important to me is that in your work you give as much attention to the harms that treatments can do as to their benefits, both in your scientific work and in your practice.
It is also important to teach patients (and family members) about their illnesses and tests and treatments, to listen carefully to what they tell you, and to encourage them to ask questions.
It is also very useful to start collecting people’s personal illness experiences systematically, and making them accessible to everyone on the Internet. We began to do this in Britain 15 years ago - you can see the results on www.healthtalk.org and www.youthhealthtalk.org.
Now research groups in a dozen other countries are building such collections (see www.dipexinternational.org), and I hope that Russia will also be able to join in. This is qualitative research and so is quite separate from the Cochrane Collaboration, but I hope it will more and more converge with Cochrane in the future.
I look forward to hearing in due course about the outcome of the Conference!
Andrew Herxheimer, Cochrane Adverse Effects Methods Group, co-convenor, UK Cochrane Centre, UK