Quality assurance: Involvement of experts and patients

The process of producing our information usually takes several months. During this time, our draft versions are reviewed and revised internally and externally several times. Although we are, of course, not able to please each and every expert and reader, we try to take as many comments into consideration as possible.

Internal peer review

Experts from other departments of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) are also involved in the production of our information. For example, they assure the quality of the search for suitable literature, as well as the selection and evaluation of the systematic reviews. The experts in our institute include doctors, healthcare researchers and scientists, as well as statisticians and specialists in the fields of psychology and the social sciences.

External peer review

We send drafts of our information to independent experts who are specialized in the topic area. We review their comments internally, and make improvements to our draft versions accordingly.

Comments and testing by users

Before publishing information on our website, we give patient representatives, experts and representatives from industry the opportunity to submit comments on our information within four weeks.

Members of IQWiG’s Board of Trustees are asked to give us feedback too. The Board of Trustees includes medical societies, patient representatives, consumer advice centers, associations of dentists, doctors, and psychotherapists, as well as religious institutions, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry.

Alongside the peer reviews, each article is read by people who are often personally affected by the medical condition in question. This “testing by users” takes place at the Hannover Medical School (MHH, Germany).

After four weeks, the comments from the peer reviews and user testing are then discussed at an editorial meeting, and taken into consideration when we finalize our information.

German Network for Evidence-based medicine. Gute Praxis Gesundheitsinformation. Berlin: 2015.

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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We welcome any feedback and ideas. 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?

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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