Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Here you will find a short collection of answers to frequently asked questions about They are divided up into the sections “General questions,” “Questions about the publisher” and “Questions about the content”.

General questions

Yes, you can. We cannot cover everything, but we are very interested to hear your suggestions. You can also help us decide which aspects of a topic to cover.

Please use the contact form to send us suggestions.

We cannot answer personal health questions. Please consult a doctor or other suitable person.

You can keep up-to-date with new topics and updates on our website by:

Please follow the links for more information.

You can do this in two ways. Please either use

  • the link to the contact form, which you will find at the top and bottom of each page, or
  • the comment function in the action bar at the end of each article.

Yes. We do not record your answers with any information that might identify you. We generally do not keep any personal details that could be used to identify our users. You can read more about how we protect your privacy here.

Questions about the publisher

This website is published by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany). The institute was founded in 2004. It is an independent, scientific institution of the private and non-profit Foundation for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. The foundation aims to support evidence-based decision making in the German health care system.

The use of is free of charge. Like the rest of IQWiG, this website is funded by levies on the costs of inpatient and outpatient medical services, so ultimately from the contributions of the members of all German statutory health insurance funds (GKV). accepts no private sponsorship and no advertisements.

Questions about the content

Our information is based on current research. To keep up-to-date, we regularly search the international literature. We do not only look at the results of one study, but instead look at the whole picture. In this way we cover the pros and cons of treatment approaches and advice.

We also find out what is important to patients. And we involve external experts in the development of our information.

Evidence-based health information aims to be objective and to communicate the best research results. We will let you know what has been scientifically proven and what is still unknown. This means that our information does not claim to have all the answers.

We believe that knowing the current research results can help you when you think about your health care options, talk to your doctor and make your decisions.

We will continue to watch the as it grows, and update our information when necessary. What can be expected from new treatments, what safety concerns have emerged and are there new findings about what works and what does not work?

But has limits. We do not yet know for sure all that we need to know about the effects of health care. Where there are unknowns, patients’ values and preferences play an important role when making decisions together with doctors or other advisers.

There are more than 30,000 medical and health journals. They publish far more information than anyone can read, and the information is not always useful.

Systematic reviews help us keep on top of the flood of information. To do a systematic review, researchers look through large databases to find all the studies they can on a certain topic. They then systematically analyze the best studies to get a full picture of what is known and what is not known.

We continually look out for new systematic reviews in the area of health care, and regularly update our information. You can see how up-to-date each article is by checking the “Updated” date shown at the bottom of each article.

Comment on this page

What would you like to share with us?

We welcome any feedback and ideas - either via our form or by We will review, but not publish, your ratings and comments. Your information will of course be treated confidentially. Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required fields.

Please note that we do not provide individual advice on matters of health. You can read about where to find help and support in Germany in our information “How can I find self-help groups and information centers?

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Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany)

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