About HERG

A brief internet search will turn up hundreds of videos and blogs of people sharing their experiences of health and illness, but these stories are not necessarily reliable or representative. What makes Healthtalkonline.org different is that we work with a research group at Oxford University’s Department of Primary Care to ensure our information is balanced and reliable.

The unique partnership between The Health Experience Research Group or ‘HERG’ (formerly The DIPEx Research Group) and The DIPEx Charity began in 2001. Drs Ann McPherson and Andrew Herxheimer had had the idea to develop a website that would provide reliable information about ordinary people’s experiences of health and illness. The steering group behind the initiative agreed that do this properly would require the input of a professional, academic research team.

Since 2001 the team have interviewed over 2000 people about experiences of more than 75 health related issues. HERG uses rigorous and systematic qualitative research methods designed to provide a full range of patients’ perspectives so that our users know what they might expect to experience when diagnosed with a particular condition or illness. They recruit and interview 30-40 individuals of all backgrounds for each health condition and to analyse what they tell us about their experience.

We hope that visitors to our site find experiences that they can relate to and that will help people to make informed decisions about their health, backed up by solid evidence.