Background: Since 2014, our centre (CEBCM) has been committed to translating Cochrane review abstracts and plain-language summaries (PLSs) into simplified Chinese (SC), and 51 volunteers (out of 91 trained) are currently active in translation activities. To 13 March 2017, 187 Cochrane review abstracts have been translated (and10 more monthly) and published. Despite the increase in translation, there is a need for wider awareness of the review abstracts as China has a large population with comparatively limited access to the Cochrane reviews.
Methods: Developed in January 2011, WeChat, a social media, is now the leading cross-platform mobile phone application in China. It has been installed in over 94% of smart phones to June 2016 and currently possesses 806 million active users. Based on the communication and agreement with Cochrane, we started to share Cochrane translations via official accounts of CEBCM as well as Specialty Committee of Evidence-Based Medicine under the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine (CAIM). In each post, we provided an introduction to Cochrane reviews as well as the link to the original text in Cochrane.org.
Results: We started sharing in January 2017 and the sharing became a weekly digest from March 2017. Translations of a variety of Cochrane products, including PLS, podcasts and blogshots, have been shared with WeChat and read by different groups of people. Physicians and researchers can read the latest Cochrane evidence, while teachers and students have a wider opportunity to understand Cochrane reviews, lay people start to know Cochrane and evidence-based medicine, translators learn when translating and are encouraged to spread Cochrane evidence when acknowledged for their translation. Each post averages 400 readings and the number is increasing.
Conclusion: WeChat is efficient in disseminating Cochrane messages to increase public awareness. We will continue working on the project under the guidance of Cochrane and China Cochrane Centre. We hope to improve the quality as well as quantity of our dissemination via better and wider cooperation in the future.