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Research Unit of General Practice

Research areas

The unit's research strategy is centered around the encounter between the patient and general practice.

The Research Unit’s foremost goal is to contribute to the improvement and development of the health of patients in the healthcare system, with particular focus on the efforts in and around general practice.

The Research Unit of General Practice houses an interdisciplinary environment with research collaboration between general medicine, psychology, theology, sociology of religion, anthropology, medical risk communication, statistics, health economics, occupational therapy, nursing, midwifery, and public health science. The unit’s interdisciplinary collaboration incorporates multiple methods, both within quantitative and qualitative research.

Research areas

Symptoms, healthcare-seeking and diagnosis

Symptom experiences among people in the general population are common, but the interpretation of symptom experiences differs and only few symptoms are presented to the healthcare system. This research area focuses on the description and analysis of symptom experience among people in the general population and the individuals’ interpretation of symptoms and subsequent healthcare-seeking behaviour.

Read more about Symptoms, healthcare-seeking and diagnosis

Organisation of general practice

General practice is currently facing a number of challenges regarding the overall organisation and regulation of the sector. The contribution of this research group is to describe and analyse some of these challenges through interdisciplinary collaboration between general practitioners, economists and other professionals.

Read more about Organisation of general practice 

Existential and spiritual care

The purpose of the group is to investigate the existential and spiritual needs of individuals who are ill, and investigate how these needs can best be meet by the healthcare system through strategic and professional health care practices, which prioritises is focus holistically on the individual's many needs - physical, mental, social and spiritual.

Read more about Existential and spiritual care

Medical risk analysis and medical risk communication

How various measures of risk and benefit are understood and best communicated.
How the communication is perceived among doctors and lay people.
The impact of risk communication on doctors’ diagnosis and treatment strategy and patients’ acceptance of and persistence to an agreed treatment plan.
The applied methods vary from register-based cohort studies, internet-based surveys to clinical intervention studies.

Read more about Medical risk analysis and medical risk communication

Relationships in general practice

The purpose of the group” Relationships in general practice” is to generate research-based knowledge of the significance relationships have on health, illness and healing, which will benefit citizens, health professional and society.

Read more about Relationships in general practice

Health promotion and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases

Lifestyle-related diseases, such as type-2-diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular diseases pose a major and global public health problem. Worldwide, 422 million people are currently diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of mortality, accounting for 29.6% of all deaths (15.6 million deaths) worldwide.
This research group seeks to contribute to a reduction in lifestyle-related diseases by conducting explorative studies and intervention studies in a variety of distinct, yet related areas.

Read more about Health promotion and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases

Quality development - Audit Project Odense (APO)

APO is an independent project at the Research Unit for General Practice in Odense. APO is a resource center for quality development and continuing education in general practice, which also caters to other categories of personnel working in primary health care - e.g., general practitioners, physiotherapists and practitioners. APO's purpose is to develop and execute quality development projects based on activity registration, as well as to analyze the work in general practice in connection with specific projects.

Read more about Audit Project Odense (Only in Danish)

IT and digital health research

The Center for digital health research is aimed at changing the way that health and healthcare are currently being performed, through national and international collaboration and development, innovation and evaluation of digital health solutions

Read more about IT and digital health research (under construction)

Cross-sectoral patient handovers 

Specialization and centralisation of care is increasing in most healthcare systems.
It aims to save resources and increase quality of care. If to succeed the ability to conduct smooth patient handovers is crucial. This includes cross-sectoral handovers between the general practitioner, municipalities, and hospitals. Each handover involves increased risk of mishaps in the patient’s care trajectory, not only due to information and time wasted, but also due to loss of plan, target, values, relations, and trust when patients are handed over.

Research in medical education

The aim of the team in medical education research is to optimize medical education with a focus on a patient-centered approach and through research identify ways to enhance learning and to diminish barriers for professional development.
The research team in medical education explores different aspects of medical education for pre-graduate students, doctors in general practice specialist training and GPs CME.


Read more about the research projects at the Research Unit of General Practice

See overview of research publications

Last Updated 01.12.2023