Welcome to “ThemenCheck Medizin”


What is “ThemenCheck Medizin”?

We can rely on health care in Germany. But not all medical questions about examination and treatment methods have already been answered.

If there is still an open question for you: the general public can use “ThemenCheck Medizin” to ask questions to the scientific community and submit suggestions for assessments of examination and treatment methods.

IQWiG collects these suggestions and selects up to five topics each year. In collaboration with external teams of researchers, a health technology assessment (HTA) report called a ThemenCheck report is then produced. (Please note: the original ThemenCheck reports are in German; only some are translated into English).

Would you like to propose a topic?

Certain information is required to derive a research question from a topic proposed:

  • What is the specific topic or technology and for which disease is it supposed to be used?
  • What open questions do you think the ThemenCheck report should answer?
  • Why is the topic important and what is the ThemenCheck report supposed to achieve?

Please note: topics can only be submitted in German.


In “ThemenCheck Medizin”, the general public can ask questions to the scientific community and submit proposals for scientific assessments of examination and treatment methods. In principle, all topics relating to health care are suitable: from preventive measures to screening and other diagnostic tests, to medical treatment, and to rehabilitation. Only the assessment of drugs is not part of ThemenCheck Medizin.

The scientific assessment results in a health technology assessment (HTA) report called a ThemenCheck report, which is always based on a specific list of questions, for example:

  • What are the medical advantages and disadvantages of a technology?
  • Is it better than previous technologies?
  • What costs are involved?
  • Are there ethical or legal aspects to be considered?
  • Does the technology have social implications?

Examples of previous topics of ThemenCheck reports

  • Cancer: Can accompanying music therapy contribute to better treatment results?
  • Autumn-winter depression: Do non-drug interventions such as light and vitamin therapy lead to better results?
  • Cervical spine syndrome: Influence of treatment duration and frequency of physiotherapy on treatment success

ThemenCheck reports

The scientific answers to your questions are summarized in so-called HTA reports. Here you can access all the research results published as part of "ThemenCheck Medizin".

Certain information is required to derive a research question from a topic proposed:

  • What is the specific topic or technology and for which disease is it supposed to be used?
  • What open questions do you think the ThemenCheck report should answer?
  • Why is the topic important and what is the ThemenCheck report supposed to achieve?

After giving your consent to data processing, you can enter the most important information about your topic in a form. A control page allows you to check all the details of the proposal before you send the topic to us. Your proposed topic does not have to be formulated in a scientific style - we take care of that. After submitting your proposal, we will contact you to clarify any open questions and inform you about the further procedure.

Suggest topic

Please note: topics can only be submitted in German.

Form for a topic proposal (only in german available)

The production of a ThemenCheck report for ThemenCheck Medizin begins with the search for scientific literature on the questions asked by members of the general public. Subsequently, the research results are summarized and assessed. A ThemenCheck report always assesses the benefit and harm caused by a medical technology. In addition, the economic, ethical, legal, social and organizational effects on the health care of patients are also considered.

As soon as a proposal for a topic is received, the ThemenCheck team first checks whether a research question for a ThemenCheck report can basically be derived from it. If a proposal is basically suitable, the team formulates a title and a short description of the research question. This will be discussed with you and subsequently included in the public list of topics on iqwig.de. A proposal can be clearly identified by means of the processing number.

Your personal data and the original wording of the proposal submitted will of course be treated confidentially by IQWiG and will not be published.

Once a year (around August), the list of topics is closed. Then the two-stage selection procedure starts, in which up to 5 topics are selected from all proposals on the list of topics; a ThemenCheck report is then produced for each of these topics. The selection procedure takes about 5 months in total.

The ThemenCheck team first collects scientific information on the proposals in the list of topics and processes this information for the selection of the topics. This processing is based, among other things, on the number of patients affected, the severity and burden of the disease, the availability of scientific studies on the research question, the costs of a technology or indications of health care problems. The two-stage selection of topics then begins:

Selection stage 1: A selection committee selects up to 15 topics from all proposals. The selection committee is composed of randomly selected members of the public, patient representatives and a representative of the Federal Government Commissioner for Patients' Affairs.

Selection stage 2: In the second stage, IQWiG selects up to 5 topics for the production of ThemenCheck reports after consultation with the extended advisory board.

All members of the public who suggested a topic will be informed of the results of the topic selection by e-mail.

There is no legal claim to the acceptance or selection of a proposed topic.

External teams of researchers with methodological and clinical expertise perform the scientific assessment of the respective medical technology. They do not work at IQWiG, but at other research institutions and are commissioned by IQWiG to produce the ThemenCheck reports after a tendering procedure. After a commission is awarded, IQWiG and the team of researchers agree upon the procedure for the production of the report. The procedure is based on IQWiG’s General Methods.

Two steps to an HTA report

The ThemenCheck report is produced in two steps: First, the external team of researchers prepares a preliminary ThemenCheck report, which is published and undergoes a public commenting procedure: All interested parties – experts as well as members of the general public – then have the opportunity to comment on the preliminary ThemenCheck report. The external team then evaluates the comments. If necessary, they amend the ThemenCheck report. The Institute publishes the final ThemenCheck report written by the external team together with a publisher’s comment by IQWiG.

Easily understandable results: ThemenCheck compact

Not only is the scientific report produced. There is always a document that presents the answers to the questions in the report in an easily understandable way (ThemenCheck compact – The most important facts clearly explained).

Aims of the ThemenCheck report

IQWiG forwards the ThemenCheck reports to institutions in Germany that decide on services and structure of the health care system, e.g. the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) and the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG). In this way, the results of the ThemenCheck reports aim to have a direct impact on patient care in Germany, for example, with regard to informing treatment decisions by patients and doctors, or in system decisions by the self-government of the health care system or by political bodies.

All interested parties can comment on the preliminary results of ThemenCheck reports for ThemenCheck Medizin. For example, you can point out other important arguments, studies or other publications at an early stage.

If there are still questions regarding the written comments, the Institute can also invite you to a scientific debate.

You can find further information on the submission of comments here.

With the Statutory Health Insurance (SHI) Act to Promote the Provision of Health Care (GKV-VSG) in 2015, the legislator assigned IQWiG a new task: a public proposal procedure for ThemenCheck reports. According to §139b (5) SGB V, persons insured in SHI and other interested persons can propose topics for the scientific assessment of medical technologies (health technology assessment, HTA) to IQWiG.

IQWiG selects and works on topics that are particularly important for patient care in Germany from the suggestions made by members of the general public.

For the production of ThemenCheck reports, the legislator refers to IQWiG's recognized methods.

You can submit your topic via an internet form. Proposals by letter, fax or e-mail are not possible. If you would like to propose several topics, please use the form again.

Detailed information on how we handle your data and on data protection can be found in the website's data protection declaration.