Health counseling in Swedish health care

Main Article Content

Helena Reimertz
Fredrik Spak
Hanne Tønnesen


Background According to the guidelines by the National Board of Health and Welfare, systematic health counseling
(HC) should be carried out at all levels of Swedish healthcare from 2011. Region Skane in the Southern Sweden further
supported the implementation by extra re-imbursement for HC.
The aim of the present study was to analyze what characterized the patients that received HC regarding age groups,
gender, diagnoses and primary or specialist care.

Methods A register study based on Region Skane’s patient data registry for the year of 2012. It included 8,068,652 visits
in primary and specialist care among 1,420,322 patients. Based on the diagnoses in the medical records this data register covered all healthcare units, primary and specialist healthcare, public and private in the region.

Results Only 269,511 visits among 174,172 patients included HC, so 12% of the patients and 3% of the visits included HC. More men than women received HC in both primary and specialist care; 1.32 (1.31-1.34) and 1.32 (1.31-1.34)
respectively. Significantly more of the visits included HC in the specialist care; 1.52 (1.51-1.53). In both primary and
specialist care the most common code for HC was the one associated with the economic incitement.

Conclusion In spite national guidelines and extra reimbursement systematic implementation of HC is still a challenge in
both primary and specialized health care.

Article Details

How to Cite
Reimertz H, Spak F, Tønnesen H. Health counseling in Swedish health care. ClinHealthPromot [Internet]. 2016 Dec. 31 [cited 2022 Nov. 30];16(2):49-54. Available from:
Original article
Author Biography

Fredrik Spak, Section of social medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Sweden

Hanne Tønnesen

WHO-CC, Clinical centre for Health Promotion Health Scienes, Lund University, Sweden
WHO-CC, Clinical Centre for Health Promotion Health Sciences, Bispebjerg-Frederiksberg Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Health Science, University of Southern Denmark

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