Screening and overdiagnosis : public health implications

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Version: Final published version
Serval ID
serval:BIB_E11F4A9AA1F4
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Publication sub-type
Review (review): journal as complete as possible of one specific subject, written based on exhaustive analyses from published work.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Screening and overdiagnosis : public health implications
Journal
Public Health Reviews
Author(s)
Bulliard J.-L., Chiolero A.
ISSN
2107-6952
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2015
Volume
36
Number
8
Pages
1-5
Language
english
Abstract
Overdiagnosis is the diagnosis of an abnormality that bears no substantial health hazard and no benefit for patients to be aware of. Resulting mainly from the use of increasingly
sensitive screening and diagnostic tests, as well as broadened definitions of conditions requiring an intervention, overdiagnosis is a growing but still largely misunderstood public health issue. Fear of missing a diagnosis or of litigation, financial incentives or patient's need of reassurance are further causes of overdiagnosis. The main consequence of overdiagnosis is overtreatment. Treating an overdiagnosed condition bears no benefit but can cause harms and generates costs. Overtreatment also diverts health professionals from caring for those most severely ill. Recognition of overdiagnosis due to screening is challenging since it is rarely identifiable at the individual level and difficult to quantify precisely at the population level. Overdiagnosis exists even for screening of proven efficacy and efficiency. Measures to reduce overdiagnosis due to screening include heightened sensitization of health professionals and patients, active surveillance and deferred treatment until early signs of disease progression and prognosis estimation through biomarkers (including molecular) profiling. Targeted screening and balanced information on its risk and benefits would also help limit overdiagnosis. Research is needed to assess the the public health burden and implications of overdiagnosis due to screening activity.
Open Access
Yes
Create date
17/11/2015 15:05
Last modification date
20/08/2019 16:05
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