Section for General Practice
Research group


Group for health service research (HELFORSK) works with research on the health service with emphasis on the general medical service, primary health care and collaboration where general practice is included.

Main content

The research group is affiliated with the section for general medicine at the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care. Several of the members are also employed by the General Practice Research Unit (AFE) and the National Centre for Emergency Primary Health Care (NKLM) at NORCE.

PhD Projects

PhD CandidatesProject title
Kristian Rikstad MyklevollGeneral practitioners' response to red response alarms
Dag Ståle NystøylAcute medical events
outside of hospitals, focusing on the interaction between anesthesiologist-staffed services and municipal emergency primary care
Marit NymoenThe need for specialised mental health care
Heidi Marie Kirkeng MelingCollaborative depression care: aspects facilitating or hindering sustainable work participation
Jesper BlinkenbergHospital acute admissions
Camilla KjellstadliHome deaths in Norway
Sahar PahlavanyaliContinuity of care in general practice
Stein VaboFracture treatment in primary health care
Sara TahirGeneral practitioners and the coordination of care for marginalised young adults with depression
Ingjerd JøssangThe patient as a subject in general practice dialogues about medically unexplained complaints and symptoms
Nina-Margrethe Tennebekk TheodorsenPrevention and treatment of Diastasis Rectus Abdominis during pregnancy and the postpartum period
Sharline RiiserDepression care in general practice - Patient pathways, variation, and premises of the regular GP scheme
Anneli Borge HansenMedication treatment and follow-up of depression in general practice
Ina GrungThe general practitioner's role in depression care: Expectations and experiences of doctors and patients
Vivian MidtbøTelephone advice in the emergency primary care center
Anne Mette Gravaas BergetFunction, participation, and quality of life. A follow-up study of people with disabilities in a rehabilitation process
Jørgen BreivoldConditions for rejecting unreasonable demands from patients in general practice

Associate PhD projects

Ingrid Oma LangelandUser saftey culture in child health clinics and school health services
Thomas OmdalWomen's cohort in Hordaland


Annual reports


Improvement of Health Services (Impement it) contact person Miriam Hartveit.

Implementation and compliance with recommended practices are incomplete in all parts of the health service. Therefore, patients do not always receive recommended treatment or may be over-treated. "Implement it" aims to streamline the adoption of new, better practices and treatment measures in the health service. Initially, we have studied the introduction of antibiotic management systems, intervention packages for early detection and response to deterioration in patient condition, and medication reconciliation. Furthermore, we follow the efforts of general practitioners to ensure the proper use of radiological referrals. In the final phase, we will test the structured method we are developing to introduce a new practice. The research project and the interventions we study are carried out in collaboration between hospitals, general medical research environments and practices, in addition to international collaboration. The project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council (2021 - 2025).

Safety Culture in Primary Halth Care (SIP) contact person Gunnar Tshudi Bondevik.

Adverse events in primary health care are common. Patient safety culture is about the extent to which healthcare workers' attitudes, priorities, actions, and routines contribute to preventing - and learning from - adverse events and patient harm. The Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ) measures the six patient safety factors: teamwork, safety climate, job satisfaction, working conditions, stress recognition, and perception of leadership.

In this project, patient safety culture is examined in general practitioner offices, emergency medical services, nursing homes, home care services, child health and school health services, municipal mental health services, and municipal acute care units.

Safety Culture in Out-of-Hours Primary Care Services in Europe (SAFE-EUR-OOH) contact person Gunnar Tshudi Bondevik.

Five European countries (Italy, Croatia, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and Norway) collaborate in the project Safety Culture in European out-of-hours services (SAFE-EUR-OOH). In this project, the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire is used in a study on patient safety culture in out-of-hours primary care services. We investigate similarities and differences in healthcare workers' attitudes towards patient safety in these countries – and how different organization and culture may affect the results.

Utilization of Health Services in Norway contact person Steinar Hunskår.

The project focuses on which patients are admitted as emergencies to hospitals, what diagnoses they have, and whether they have contact with a general practitioner or emergency medical services before admission. Keywords include variation in admission rates and continuity. We use data from several health registers. The project is funded by the National Competence Centre for Emergency Primary Health Care (NKLM), and is a collaboration between NKLM and IGS. You can find the project's website here.

Integrated and equitable pathways of depression care, facilitating work participation (The Norwegian GP-DEP Study) - contact person Sabine Ruths.

The general practitioner plays a key role in the follow-up and treatment of depression, but knowledge about the overall service provision for patients with depression is limited. Through registry-based studies, we examine whether the general practitioner scheme contributes to equitable health services and whether the services promote employment. We illuminate patients' and professional groups' experiences with coordinated health services through interviews and questionnaires. The project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council 2019-2022. The research group at NORCE and UiB collaborates nationally (Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Institute of General Practice and Mental Health) and internationally (NIVEL Institute, University of Gothenburg, and Warwick University). Five PhD projects are included. You can find the project's website here.

SELFIE - contact person Sabine Ruths

SELFIE is a Horizon2020 EU project (2015-2019) on integrated health and care services for people with multimorbidity. In Norway, we evaluate (1) Good patient pathways in the municipality for the elderly and chronically ill, and (2) Medication-assisted rehabilitation (LAR) Bergen. We evaluate whether the new models contribute to improving patients' health and well-being and reducing costs. Design: prospective cohort study with control group, based on questionnaire surveys among patients. Erasmus University leads the project, with researchers from UiB and NORCE participating in Norway. You can find the project's website here.

Screening for Undiagnosed Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes: General Practitioners' Attitudes and Practices - contact person Stefán Hjörleifsson

The purpose of the study is to assess how general practitioners adhere to recommendations for screening for undiagnosed diabetes and gestational diabetes in the current guideline for gestational diabetes. Five focus group interviews were conducted with a total of 30 general practitioners (four small groups and one guidance group) in 2020. Analysis and writing of scientific articles have been carried out in 2021.

More Internships and Better Guidance for Medical Students in General Practices (FRONESIS) - contact person Steinar Hunskår.

The project aims to ensure that medical education in Norway has an adequate number of internships in primary health care, of good quality, and with competent internship supervisors. The project will map, develop, and test new models for internships for medical students, with the aim of more, longer, and better internship periods, and to develop guidance competence among internship supervisors. The partner is Kunnskapskommunen Helse Omsorg Vest, with around 90 general practices where the internship models will be tested. Read more about the project here.

Rehabilitation Cohort West - contact person Øystein Hetlevik

The project aims to gain more knowledge about who receives rehabilitation services at a rehabilitation institution and how patients fare after their rehabilitation stay. It examines the functional problems and other health issues patients have before rehabilitation. By following up patients after one and three years, we aim to see if there is a change in function and health. In addition, we examine which health services patients use. This is a prospective cohort study (N=985) using internationally validated instruments/questionnaires. Validation of instruments not previously tested for the patient population will be conducted in the project.

Patient-reported data is linked with socio-demographic and socio-economic registry data and data on the use of health services, participation in the workforce, and sick leave. Registry data is obtained from Statistics Norway (SSB), the Norwegian Patient Registry (NPR), and the Norwegian Directorate of Health (KUHR).


Group members outside of UiB