Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice

Structure of the Red Book

    1. Structure of the Red Book

Structure of the Red book 

Recommendations are listed in the table of recommendations for each topic under the following categories:


Case finding  

Preventive advice and activities

How to use the Red book

The Red book should be used to guide both systematic (planned) opportunistic screening and preventive activities in day-to-day general practice.



Lifecycle chart, screening and case finding age bars (pending)
Use the lifecycle chart to quickly check which activities should be performed according to your patient’s age group. Similarly, the age bar in each topic highlights which age groups the specific topic recommendations apply to.


Prevalence and context of the condition/phase
Read this section to understand the prevalence of the disease/s, condition/s or phase in the Australian population.


Table of recommendations
The table of recommendations divides the recommendations into screening, case finding and prevention activities.
Read the table under each topic for a summary of graded recommendations, including:

  • whether the activity is recommended or not recommended
  • who the recommendation applies to
  • whether the activity has planned, regular intervals or can be undertaken opportunistically.

Further information on the process and recommendation grade levels is available in the Methodology section.


Further information
Drop down to this section to read more information about the topic, including justifications for the recommendations made in the table.


Considerations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Check this section if your patient is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Links to relevant recommendations in the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (3rd edition) are provided if there are additional activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


Specific populations
Read this section to check for population groups that require a different approach to screening, case finding and prevention.



Refer to this section if you would like more information about the specific topic from RACGP guidelines or other recommended resources.

Further reading

The RACGP produces a range of clinical guidelines and practice resources to assist GPs and their practice teams, including several companion resources to the Red book:

For all health professionals who deliver primary healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (3rd edition)

For effective implementation of preventive activities in general practice: Putting prevention into practice: Guidelines for the implementation of prevention in the general practice setting (Green book)

For improving and monitoring the quality and safety of health services: Standards for general practices (5th edition) (the Standards).

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Related documents

  Lifecycle-chart.pdf (PDF 0.12 MB)