How our content is structured

You can access all of the information on InformedHealth.org using the menu on your smartphone or the green navigation bar on your desktop computer at the top of each page, under the categories:

  • Topics and topic areas: A to Z and grouped according to general topic areas.
  • Search: Convenient full-text search of all our information.

Our "topics" are structured using “tabs,” and provide information about specific medical conditions and health-related issues. Depending on how comprehensive the topic is, it might include the following tabs and types of articles:

  • Overviews: These introduce a topic, providing background information and access to more in-depth information (“Learn more” and “Research summaries”). Overviews have a fixed structure which you can find on the left of the text.
  • Learn more: These articles provide more in-depth information about certain aspects of a topic, such as medications for the treatment of an illness, or specific diagnostic procedures. Our “Learn more” articles may also describe the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options, or offer insights into aspects of living with a particular illness.
  • Research summaries: These are objective, brief summaries of the latest findings on a research question described in the title. They usually summarize the results of studies, for instance the results of one systematic review (or rarely several) or of an IQWiG report. They also describe the study/studies in more detail and explain how the researchers came to their conclusions.
  • Real-life stories: In our real-life stories, patients or people who are close to them share the experiences they have had with a certain medical condition or medical intervention. Real-life stories offer an insight into how people live with an illness and cope with it in everyday life.
  • Extras:
    • Films (animated videos) or Quizzes aim to help improve our users’ general medical knowledge and provide a better understanding of medical conditions.
    • In brief: These brief informative texts, not specific to single topics, explain things like bodily functions and anatomy, treatments and diagnostic tests, as well as the principles and methods of evidence-based medicine (EBM).

"In brief" information can also be found under “Topic areas,” in several A-Z lists organized according to different categories (“The human body,” “Treatments and diagnostic tests” and "Evidence-based medicine").

Glossary: An online glossary of medical and scientific terms. Glossary terms within articles are underlined with a dotted line – if you click on them an explanation of the word appears in a separate window. The glossary contains important words and technical terms that can't be explained in a short sentence within the article.

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany). General methods. Version 5.0. Cologne: IQWiG; 2017.

IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helping people understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and health care services.

Because IQWiG is a German institute, some of the information provided here is specific to the German health care system. The suitability of any of the described options in an individual case can be determined by talking to a doctor. informedhealth.org can provide support for talks with doctors and other medical professionals, but cannot replace them. We do not offer individual consultations.

Our information is based on the results of good-quality studies. It is written by a team of health care professionals, scientists and editors, and reviewed by external experts. You can find a detailed description of how our health information is produced and updated in our methods.

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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?

Updated on January 16, 2020
Next planned update: 2023

Authors/Publishers:

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

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