Walking the tightrope: Communicating overdiagnosis in modern healthcare

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Journal Article

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Published version

McCaffery, K.J., Jansen, J., Scherer, L.D., Thornton, H., Hersch, J., Carter, S.M., Barratt, A., Sheridan, S., Moynihan, R., Waller, J., Brodersen, J., Pickles, K., & Edwards, A. (2016). Walking the tightrope: communicating overdiagnosis in modern healthcare. BMJ, 352(i348), 1-5.

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2016 HERDC submission

© BMJ Publishing Group Ltd 2016




Overdiagnosis and overtreatment have serious implications for individuals, healthcare systems, and society,1 2 and effective strategies are urgently needed to help the public, clinicians, and policy makers address this problem. Communication about overdiagnosis has been highlighted as essential for moving forward but presents several challenges, such as the potential to confuse the public, undermine trust, and adversely affect people who already have a diagnosis. Various communication based strategies offer real promise; we describe what is known and what we need to know to communicate effectively and safely about overdiagnosis and overtreatment.



This document has been peer reviewed.