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Patient Educ Couns. 2008 Dec;73(3):551-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2008.08.020. Epub 2008 Oct 28.

Health literacy and patient information: developing the methodology for a national evidence-based health website.

Author information

1
Department of Health Information, German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care IQWiG, Cologne, Germany. hilda.bastian@iqwig.de <hilda.bastian@iqwig.de>

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To define evidence-based health information and the conceptual framework and methodology of Germany's national health information website.

METHODS:

Description of the political and methodological processes in the development of the website Gesundheitsinformation.de/Informed Health Online developed by the Institute of Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

RESULTS:

Autonomy, empowerment and health literacy were useful theoretical concepts to guide the definition of evidence-based health information and the objectives and methodologies used for developing this website. These choices had direct practical consequences for the patient information.

CONCLUSION:

Evidence-based patient information involves the use of evidence and systematic methodologies in several facets of information provision. These include a process of information development that minimises bias, evidence as the information basis for the content, and the use of evidence-based communication techniques. To be empowering and support patient autonomy, information should be patient-centred and non-directive.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Health websites are communication interventions which can have very different objectives and methods. A conceptual framework can help guide these choices and provide a basis for subsequent evaluation.

PMID:
18963722
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2008.08.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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