General Practitioners' Discretion of Preventive Needs

  • Sofie Ilsvard Aarhus University
  • Marie Østergaard Møller KORA - Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research


This article examines general practitioners’ discretion in preventive contexts. Based on semi-structured interviews with 15 general practitioners, we examine how lifestyle is used in their discretionary practices in contexts of healthcare prevention. Despite common educational background and professional ideology, GPs’ do not share lifestyle and our analyses show that this matters to their discretion of patients’ need for lifestyle intervention.  The correspondence between general practitioners’ preventive strategies and their own lifestyle preferences is interpreted as evidence of autonomy in general practice where general practitioners act relatively autonomously and differ in their interpretation of how preventive policies should be exercised in practice towards patients.

Keywords:  discretion, lifestyle, health prevention and promotion, street-level bureaucrats, general practitioners


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Ilsvard, S., & Møller, M. Østergaard. (2015). General Practitioners’ Discretion of Preventive Needs. Professions and Professionalism, 5(3).