Date of this Version

5-20-2015

Document Type

Journal Article

Grant Number

NHMRC Grant ID: 633003; 527500

Publication Details

Published Version

Moynihan, R., Nickel, B., Hersch, J., Beller, E., Doust, J., Compton, S., Barratt, A., Bero, L., & McCaffery, K. (2015). Public opinions about overdiagnosis: A national community survey. PLOS ONE.

Access the journal

© Copyright, The Authors, 2015

The open data set is available here

Distribution License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN

1932-6203

Abstract

Background

Despite evidence about the "modern epidemic" of overdiagnosis, and expanding disease definitions that medicalize more people, data are lacking on public views about these issues. Our objective was to measure public perceptions about overdiagnosis and views about financial ties of panels setting disease definitions.

Methods

We conducted a 15 minute Computer Assisted Telephone Interview with a randomly selected community sample of 500 Australians in January 2014. We iteratively developed and piloted a questionnaire, with a convenience sample (n=20), then with participants recruited by a research company (n=20). Questions included whether respondents had been informed about overdiagnosis; opinions on informing people; and views about financial ties among panels writing disease definitions.

Findings

Our sample was generally representative, but included a higher proportion of females and seniors, typical of similar surveys. American Association for Public Opinion Research response rate was 20% and cooperation rate was 44%. Only 10% (95% CI 8%–13%) of people reported ever being told about overdiagnosis by a doctor. 18% (95% CI 11%–28%) of men who reported having prostate cancer screening, and 10% (95% CI 6%–15%) of women who reported having mammography said they were told about overdiagnosis. 93% (95% CI 90%–95%) agreed along with screening benefits, people should be informed about overdiagnosis. On panels setting disease definitions, 78% (95% CI 74%–82%) felt ties to pharmaceutical companies inappropriate, and 91% (95% CI 82%–100%) believed panels should have a minority or no members with ties. Limitations included questionnaire novelty and complexity.

Included in

Public Health Commons

Share

COinS
 

This document has been peer reviewed.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.