Preventive and health-promoting activities in general practices in Germany: A scoping review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleContributedpeer-review


  • Mirjam Dieckelmann - (Author)
  • Dania Schuetze - (Author)
  • Meike Gerber - , University Hospital Frankfurt (Author)
  • Andrea Siebenhofer - (Author)
  • Jennifer Engler - (Author)


General practices are rooted in the local community and considered to be particularly well-positioned for engaging in preventive and health-promoting activities. The overall aim of the scoping review is to identify priorities and gaps in research published in the past 20 years on preventive and health-promoting activities provided by general practitioners or their teams in general practices in Germany. MEDLINE and Embase databases were systematically searched in November 2020. Papers were selected in dual-review mode and extracted in single-review mode. Data analysis was finished by May 2021. In total, 530 papers were included in the synthesis. Little research has been carried out into collaboration opportunities both within the general practice team and in communities as a whole, with specialists (18%), hospitals (9%), and health insurance companies (6%) being the most frequent cooperation partners of GPs. 15%–20% of papers each dealt with ‘early detection’, ‘information provision’ and ‘cardiovascular prevention’. Secondary (53%) and tertiary prevention (43%) was more often the subject of research than primary (39%) and quaternary prevention (15%). Healthy subjects (26%) were less often studied than people with pre-existing conditions (42%) and risk factors (48%). Little information was available on preventive activities in terms of gender, young people, migration background, housing conditions or educational background. Personal counselling (15%) was the most frequently described approach to health promotion in general practices, along with printed information materials (10%). This scoping review provides information on which to base targeted interventions and future research that can contribute towards transforming general practices into promoters of health within the community.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2025-2036
Number of pages12
Journal Health & social care in the community
Issue number6
Early online date3 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

External IDs

Scopus 85127407966
ORCID /0009-0007-6620-3782/work/142255887


Sustainable Development Goals


  • general practice, Germany, health education, outpatient care, preventive health services, primary health care, systematic review