Intended for healthcare professionals


GPs should lead process of defining diseases to cut overdiagnosis, panel recommends

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 09 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1660
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

GPs should be at the forefront of defining diseases to limit overdiagnosis that can cause unnecessary treatment and potentially harm patients, an international panel has proposed.1

The independent group has recommended that GPs should lead initiatives to review and set diagnostic thresholds for diseases, using evidence based criteria and involving consumers to assess what matters to patients.

Johann Sigurdsson, coauthor from the General Practice Research Unit at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, said, “In the current process for defining disease it’s usually experts in a field, for example hypertension, who decide the cut-off points. They consider only that disease and perhaps the mortality associated with that particular disease, …

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