Saxon Epidemiological Study in General Practice-6 (SESAM-6): protocol of a cross-sectional study

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Introduction General practitioners (GPs) are mostly the first point of contact for patients with health problems in Germany. There is only a limited epidemiological overview data that describe the GP consultation hours based on other than billing data. Therefore, the aim of Saxon Epidemiological Study in General Practice-6 (SESAM-6) is to examine the frequency of reasons for encounter, prevalence of long-term diagnosed diseases and diagnostic and therapeutic decisions in general practice. This knowledge is fundamental to identify the healthcare needs and to develop strategies to improve the GP care. The results of the study will be incorporated into the undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education for GP. Methods and analysis This cross-sectional study SESAM-6 is conducted in general practices in the state of Saxony, Germany. The study design is based on previous SESAM studies. Participating physicians are assigned to 1 week per quarter (over a survey period of 12 months) in which every fifth doctor-patient contact is recorded for one-half of the day (morning or afternoon). To facilitate valid statements, a minimum of 50 GP is required to document a total of at least 2500 doctor-patient contacts. Univariable, multivariable and subgroup analyses as well as comparisons to the previous SESAM data sets will be conducted. Ethics and dissemination The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Technical University of Dresden in March 2023 (SR-EK-7502023). Participation in the study is voluntary and will not be remunerated. The study results will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, preferably with open access. They will also be disseminated at scientific and public symposia, congresses and conferences. A final report will be published to summarise the central results and provided to all study participants and the public.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere084716
JournalBMJ open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2024

External IDs

PubMed 38697762


ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Epidemiologic Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Humans, General Practice/statistics & numerical data, Germany/epidemiology, Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data, Research Design