Programme no. 101-SY
Quality Improvement
Unnecessary treatment and procedures in primary health care in the Nordic countries
Hans Blomberg*1, Carl Edvard Rudebeck*2, Hálfdán Pétursson*3, Göran Sjönell*4
1Sipoo Health Center,Sipoo,Finland, 2The Research group of General practice, The Institute of Community medicine,The Arctic university of Norway,Tromsö,Norway, 3General Practice Research Unit, Department of Public Health and General Practice,Norwegian University of Science and Technology,Trondheim,Norway, 4Kvartersakuten Mörby Centrum,Mörby,Sweden
* = Presenting author

1) To introduce SFAM´s (the Swedish Society of Primary Care) discussion list of 'unnecessary' treatments and procedures in general practice.
2) To identify and discuss similarities and differences between the Nordic countries regarding unnecessary interventions in general practice.
3) To discuss ways to challenge over diagnosis and overtreatment in general practice.


One tendency of modern medicine is a focus on identifying and treating individuals running a risk of disease rather than having true disease. Related phenomena are screening for/exclusion of very rare conditions and making common ailments of everyday life into conditions demanding treatment. Along with the growth of screening for risks, the responsibility for many diagnostic procedures, have been decentralized from hospitals to primary care. This development is the same in all Nordic countries.
In 2013, SFAM appointed a task force to investigate the evidence of the benefit of some widespread treatments and diagnostic procedures that had been challenged by recent research and surveys.  In May 2014 the group concluded with a list of seven 'unnecessary' treatments and procedures to start a broad discussion in general practice in Sweden.


SFAM´s list of 'unnecessary' treatments and procedures will be presented and the workshop will widen the scope to all the Nordic countries. Is there the same trend all over? How can we together challenge this modern trend of over diagnosis and overtreatment?

Method: The panel will start by introducing SFAM´s discussion  list of unnecessary interventions. The subject will be discussed in smaller groups with focus on country-specific differences and ways for improvement. Finally, viewpoints from the smaller groups will be summarized and presented in plenum for a general discussion.
Other considerations: -