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Clinical guidelines

Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice 9th edition

The RACGP has published the Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice 9th edition (Red Book) since 1989 to support evidence-based preventive activities in primary care. The Red Book is now widely accepted as the main guide to the provision of preventive care in Australian general practice.

The Red Book is designed to provide the general practice team with guidance on opportunistic and proactive preventive care. It covers primary (preventing the initial occurrence of a disorder) and secondary (preventive early detection and intervention) activities. The Red Book provides a single entry point to common conditions seen in Australian general practice and offers practical advice on the kind of screening and services that should be provided to the general population.

This edition:

  • equips general practitioners and their teams with a comprehensive and concise set of recommendations for patients in general practice, with additional information about tailoring advice depending on risk and need
  • provides recommendations based on current, evidence-based guidelines for preventive activities, focusing on those most relevant to Australian general practice
  • includes screening activities where evidence has demonstrated that benefits outweigh harms, as many preventive activities have the potential to be associated with harm
  • provides the evidence and reasons for the efficient and effective use of healthcare resources in general practice.
  • provides recommendations aimed at major disadvantaged groups at higher risk of disease and those who are less likely to receive preventive care
  • includes information in areas where the evidence is uncertain or contentious
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