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UPIM-Check - User-friendly Patient Information Material Checklist

Instrument to assess and optimise the quality of patient information material (PIM)

Für Informationen zur UPIM-Check in Deutsch, bitte hier klicken. 


Patient information material (PIM) are intended to help patients or their relatives (target group) to better understand a disease and to find suitable care services. Thus, an informed decision (e.g. for or against a treatment) can be made.

High-quality PIM must be appropriate to the target group in terms of language and design in order to make a meaningful contribution to patient education, care, quality assurance and research.

What is the UPIM-Check?

The UPIM-Check is an assessment and optimisation tool for PIM that is suitable for all user groups (patients, care providers, researchers). The UPIM-Check can be used to simultaneously: (1) check the quality of a PIM, and (2) develop impulses for the improvement of the respective PIM. It can also be useful for the development of new PIM.

The UPIM-Check is similar to a questionnaire. It consists of 31 criteria, which are divided into four areas: Correctness & validity of content; Readability of content; Structural readability; Graphical readability.

How to use the UPIM-Check?

An internationally understandable traffic light rating system is used to indicate how well a criterion is fulfilled by the PIM to be evaluated (see figure). For each criterion, a text field is available in which suggestions for improvement can be entered in the case of "yellow" (sufficient) or "red" (unsatisfactory). In this way, PIM can not only be evaluated, but also improved.

Who can use the UPIM-Check?

Thus, the UPIM-Check addresses ALL persons who use, develop and evaluate PIM, e.g. patients, relatives, self-help representatives, care providers, researchers and policy makers. Due to its simple applicability, patients in particular should be enabled to participate in the development and improvement of PIM on a scientifically sound and equal level.

How was the UPIM-Check developed?

The UPIM-Check was developed using the Participatory Health Research (PGF) approach.

In a team consisting of employees of the House of the Cancer Patient Support Associations of Germany, the Cancer Society North Rhine-Westphalia and the IMVR (University of Cologne), a preliminary checklist was first created, which was based on quality criteria from the scientific literature (step 1). This was then improved by the team in several optimisation loops (step 2).

In order to further optimise the checklist, it was presented to both patients and care providers, who provided valuable information on the comprehensibility and feasibility of the checklist (step 3). This resulted in the final version of the UPIM-Check. Another group of patients was consulted to evaluate whether the instrument meets scientific requirements such as reliability and validity (step 4).

The UPIM-Check has also been translated into English and tested by people from self-help organisations in English-speaking countries (step 5).

Where do I get the UPIM-Check?

We are very pleased that you want to use the UPIM-Check.

The instrument is available free of charge as a PDF download (see UPIM-Check downloads). So far, the UPIM-Check is available in English and German. Please cite the UPIM-Check as follows when using it:

Krieger, T., Salm, S., Mollenhauer, J., Cecon, N., Dresen, A., Houwaart, S., Schwickerath, K., Göttel, A., & Arning, A. (2020). UPIM-Check (User-friendly Patient Information Material Checklist). Cologne, Bonn, Duesseldorf: University of Cologne, House of the Cancer Patient Support Associations of Germany, Cancer Society North Rhine-Westphalia.

It is very exciting for us to learn who uses the UPIM-Check for which projects. Therefore, we would be pleased if you contact us and we could exchange ideas (see contact persons).


UPIM-Check downloads (Please click on the image to download.)

Who do I contact with questions about the UPIM-Check?

Do you want to learn more about the UPIM-Check, have suggestions or would you like to translate the UPIM-Check into another language?

Feel free to contact Sandra Salm or Dr. Theresia Krieger, who were both involved in the development of the UPIM-Check.


 Sandra Salm, M.Sc.

 Dr. Theresia Krieger



 Phone: 0221-478-97131

 Phone: 0221-478-97154





Further information

Publications on the development of the UPIM-Check

Salm, S. et al. (2021) Participatory development and preliminary validation of the User-friendly Patient Information Material Checklist (UPIM-Check). Manuscript in preparation.

Salm, S., Houwaart, S., & Krieger, T. (Oktober 2020). Partizipative Entwicklung eines anwendungsfreundlichen Instruments zur Bewertung von Patienteninformationsmaterialien – UPIM-Check. Poster presentation at the 19. Deutscher Kongress für Versorgungsforschung, digital.

Publications on the application of the UPIM-Check

Krieger, T. et al. (2020) Assessing and optimising Patient Information Material for newly diagnosed cancer patients in Germany with Participatory Health Research: experiences and results from an integrated, cross-sectoral psycho-oncology (isPO) project. Manuscript submitted.

Rackerseder, J. (2021). Erstellung von Patienteninformationsmaterialien in Form einer Website unter Einbeziehung der Zielgruppe im Rahmen des Projektes isPO [Unpublished master’s thesis]. University of Cologne, Cologne.

Salm, S. (2020). Optimizing the patient information material for cancer patients using the participatory health research approach. European Journal of Public Health, Volume 30, Issue Supplement_5, September 2020, ckaa165.1436,