“Encouragement, practical and emotional support”

Neuruppin, 7 December 2021

The website www.krankheitserfahrungen.de (illness-related experiences) was expanded in November to include a new section about experiences with COVID-19. Christine Holmberg, MHB professor of social medicine and epidemiology, is in charge of the group project to compile the reports which have now been published. “Persons with positive SARS CoV-2 tests and infected with COVID-19 have reported their personal experiences with this disease. They describe their time in isolation and quarantine; they have messages for other affected persons, relatives, friends and families; they have requests to medical doctors and health authorities; or they just list what kind of assistance they would have needed during that period.”

The pertinent section of the website currently offers reports by persons tested positively for the Corona virus. These reports are available as texts for reading and also in audio format. The plan is to expand the website by further topics and to add further personal experience reports from about 40 people between now and next summer.

Funding for data collection and setting up the section on COVID-19 comes from the Federal Centre for Health Education BZgA. Other sections with experience reports address ADHS in children and adolescents, breast cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic pain, colon cancer, diabetes type 2, epilepsy, eating disorders, medical rehabilitation and prostate cancer.

Prof. Holmberg on the idea behind the website www.krankheitserfahrungen.de: “These are real-life reports about how to cope with health and illness on a day-by-day basis. This low-access offer of scientifically sound information and assistance is intended to encourage other affected individuals and to provide practical and emotional support.”

The website www.krankheitserfahungen.de is the licensed website of the database project for individual patient experience (DIPEx Germany), based at the MHB Institute of Social Medicine and Epidemiology and currently funded by the non-profit organisation Krebsallianz. DIPEx Germany, a member of the umbrella organisation DIPEx International (www.dipexinternational.org), aims at an improved understanding of health and illness experiences. Experience is compiled according to uniform scientific standards, analysed and made available to a wider public. This is of benefit to affected persons and their families, health professionals, political decision-makers and researchers alike. International collaboration serves to create a unique pool of experience for cross-country analysis, and findings are subsequently published on internet platforms such as www.krankheitserfahrungen.de.