Projects at the Institute of General Practice

The Institute of General Practice is active in a number of projects, primarily in healthcare research aiming at the best possible treatment for ambulatory patients.

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Current research projects

ERIM: Emergency support for primary care clinicians

Project management
Robert Koch Institut (RKI)

Contact at the Institute of General Practice
Dr. Lorena Dini, Institut für Allgemeinmedizin, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Project Finance
Bundesministerium für Gesundheit

Project Content
The aim of the study is to devise supporting information materials, which provide primary care clinicians with specific and evidence-based advice regarding unusual biological incidents. They will serve as templates for new material to be developed in the future as required.
Up-to-date, timely, practice-oriented and user-friendly information is crucial for the successful management of unusual biological incidents caused by special pathogens. To be able to respond quickly, relevant information materials should be developed and tested in preparation to meet the high demand for information in case of an incident.
Different actors, such primary care clinicians, clinical staff and health authorities, have varied information needs and preferences in crisis situations. In the course of the project, information materials tailored specifically to primary care clinicians will be develop to supplement existing, comprehensive reference documents (e.g. RKI Ebola framework concept).

Project Duration
01.08.18 bis 30.06.2020

KARDIO-Study – Left cardiac catheter in case of chest pain and coronary heart disease

Consortium leader
Department of General Practice/ Family Medicine at the University of Marburg
(Prof. Norbert Donner-Banzhoff)

Consortium partners
• Institute of General Practice, CharitéUniversitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
• Institute of General Practice and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
• Department of General Practice, University Medical Centre Göttingen/Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany
• Department of General Practice, University Medical Centre Würzburg/Julius-Maximilian-University Würzburg, Germany
• Philipps-Universität Marburg (Department of General Practice/ Family Medicine)
• Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (Department of Health Economics and Health Services Research)
• Department of Health Services Management, Ludwig-Maximilians-University München, Germany
• Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg (Faculty of Social and Health Care Sciences)

Healthcare institutes and organisations
• DGK German Cardiac Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kardiologie Herz und Kreislaufforschung e. V.), Düsseldorf, Germany
• Stiftung Institut für Herzinfarktforschung (Foundation Institute for Research into Myocardial Infarction)
• ÄZQ German Agency for Quality in Medicine (Ärztliches Zentrum für Qualität, ÄZQ), Berlin, Germany
• Standing Guideline Commission of the Association of Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF); Institute for Medical Knowledge Management, Marburg, Germany

Health insurance companies
• Federal Association of the Local Health Care Funds (AOK), Berlin, Germany, Research Institute of the Local Health Care Funds (WIdO), Berlin, Germany
• BARMER (Health Care Insurance), Wuppertal, Germany
• Techniker Krankenkasse (Health Care Insurance), Germany 

Project staff at the Institute of General Practice
Dipl.-Psych. Sandra Fahrenkrog
Thomas Sturz
Martha Koppelow / Judith Kraft

Project Finance
Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) (Aktenzeichen: 01VSF16048)

Project Content
In Germany, the frequency of cardiac catheter examinations varies strongly from region to region. The KARDIO-study examines if these differences are due to dissimilar morbidity structures or rather due to differences in healthcare and treatment routines.
Regional varieties and influencing factors
In two sub-projects, we analyze the frequency of left cardiac catheter examinations based on routine data of several health insurance companies. Based on these findings, we interview patients and doctors in regions with high coverage of medical services and low coverage of medical services in order to identify possible influencing factors.
Development of local clinical pathways
In another sub-project, doctors develop local clinical pathways for patients with symptoms indicating a coronary heart disease (chest pain) in four selected regions. The project aims to improve the medical care of these patients. A specific feature of this project is that the participating actors (general practitioner, cardiologists, representatives from hospitals, radiologists, nuclear medicine specialists) actively shape the regional and inter-sectoral cooperation (bottom-up approach). The Charité Institute of General Practice is responsible for conducting the study in the region Frankfurt/Oder.
Family doctors, cardiologist, emergency rooms in the Frankfurt/Oder region are very welcome to participate in this project.
For further information, please contact Sandra Fahrenkrog: 030 / 450 514 115 or sandra.fahrenkrog(at)

Project Duration
01.04.2018 - 31.03.2020

PICTURE – PTSD after ICU Survival, Caring for Patients with Traumatic Stress Sequelae following Intensive Medical Care

Principal Investigator
Prof. Dr. Jochen Gensichen – LMU München

Project coordination
Dr. Susanne Schultz- LMU München

Project staff
Dr. Sabine Gehrke-Beck
Dr. Konrad Schmidt
Kerstin Theisen

Project finance

Project content
PICTURE is a randomized, controlled trial troughout Germany with study centers in Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin and Tübingen - led by the Institute of General Practice of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich.
An increasing number of patients in Germany are treated in intensive care units (ICU) surviving life-threatenig conditions. Being discharged, a considerable number of theses patients suffers from psychological problems.
Intensive care treatment possibly leaves fearful memories as the experience of violence or other traumatizing events. Some patients suffer for months and years from sleeping disorders, overexitation, nightmares or emotional withdrawal.
Usually, the general practitioner (GP) cares for these patients in the long term. However, patients with mild post-traumatic stress-disorders often are not recognized in everyday GP practice.
These patients are not willing or able to talk about their memories. This is why they are often misunderstood as “difficult” patients.

So far, therapeutic concepts and treatments for patients with such post-traumatic stress disorders are missing in general practice.
At the same time, long waiting time is common to be referred to psychotherapy.
Narration Exposure therapy is a prooved talking treatment for trauma-spectrum disorders.
Within this study, a short version of narration therapy has been developed for GPs to close this gap.

GPs are trained to use this short version of narration therapy to talk with their patients about their threatening experiences in a specific way to reconsolidate their memory.
GPs and intensive care specialists from the different locations work together to identify patients who might benefit from this therapy already at the ICU.
If this therapy proves to be successful, effective and safe, GPs may use it for patients with mild post-traumatic stress disorders to enable both an early and low-threshold care and to bridge long waiting times of specialist care.

Project duration
01.01.2018 - 31.12.2019

WOMEN 5.0 Regional Health Care Service Provision by Gynecologists and General Practitioners for Women 49 Years of Age and older

Project Homepage         Further Information  Lecture List

Principal Investigator
Dr. Lorena Dini

Project Staff
Barbara Trusch, M.Sc. Psychology
Cornelia Thierbach, Dipl.-Soz.
Martha Koppelow

Project Finance
Innovationsausschuss beim G-BA

Project Content
Due to consequences of the demographic change and the reduced access to medical specialists for gynecology and obstetrics (Gyn), women of middle age and beyond living in rural areas will be affected by a decreased availability and consequently be underserved with gynecological care.
The main aim of this project is to explore and describe the current provision of health care service by Gyn and general practitioners (GPs) and to identify innovative potentials based on inter-disciplinary medical care, i.e. the redistribution of tasks attributed and delivered by specialists (task-shifting) and other possible approaches to properly face the imminent undersupply.
Secondary data from the stock of the Robert-Koch Institute will be analyzed (nationwide representative random sample including 2.300 women aged 49 years or older). Furthermore, a regional randomized survey of primary health care providers from Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Berlin (around 1.000 GPs and 500 Gyn) will be conducted. Finally, women of middle age and beyond living in these regions will be interviewed (semi-structured telephone based interviews).
Based on the development of a service tasks catalogue a proposal for developing an inter-disciplinary patient-centered care model will be elaborated.
The evaluation of this previously unexplored interface between ambulatory services in general practice and gynecology allows the identification and analysis of relevant indicators for improving the health care service delivery to women 49 years and older that are necessary to formulate interventions in order to improve the access and fairness in the provision of services to the elderly female population.

Project Duration
01.07.2017 - 29.02.2020

COMPASS - Coordination of Medical Professions Aiming at Sustainable Support

Project Manager
Prof. Dr. Christoph Heintze

Project coordination
Dr. Susanne Döpfmer

Project staff
Judith Stumm, MScMPH
Dr. Lisa Peter

Project finance
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

COMPASS is a partial project of the NAVICARE project which is conducted in cooperation with the Institute for Public Health, the Institute of Medical Sociology and Rehabilitation Science, the Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Center for Stroke Research Berlin. (CSB).
The projects aims to analyze and to reduce barriers and inequalities in the care of patients with age-associated diseases. For this purpose “optimal care” is regarded from the patients’ perspective and from the perspective of medical and non-medical providers. Different research groups examine the barriers and resources of optimal care from a variety of perspectives. They identify vulnerable patient groups as well as exiting resources that help patients to navigate through the care system. COMPASS puts a special focus on multi-morbid patients in primary care. Additionally, the projects enables the establishment of an active, sustainable cooperation network for patient-oriented care.

Project Duration
01.02.2017 - 31.01.2020

EMACross - Emergency and Acute Care for Respiratory Diseases beyond Sectoral Separation

Project Homepage and further information

Project Management
Prof. Dr. Christoph Heintze

Project Coordination
Dr. Felix Holzinger

Project Staff
Sarah Oslislo

Project Finance
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Project content
EMACross is part of the Berlin emergency room research network EMANet which has been developed since 2016

In emergency rooms, patients with very different disease patterns are treated. Quite often it is necessary for the emergency patients to be admitted to hospital for further diagnostic workup and therapy. Other patients, however, can be discharged home after examination or treatment in the emergency room. This frequently occurs with respiratory diseases (infections of the respiratory tract).
Aim of the study EMACROSS is to improve not only outpatient care in emergency rooms, but also the cooperation with general practitioners and other ambulatory care providers. In the study, we focus on patients with respiratory diseases. We want to find out, how and why patients decide to seek help in emergency rooms. Furthermore, we would like to find out how medical care was before the treatment in the emergency rooms and what comes after the emergency consultation. The study is financed by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) and is conducted in 8 emergency rooms in the district of Berlin-Mitte.

Project duration
01.12.2016 - 30.11.2019

Previous research projects

These projects are only listed on our German website.