Questioning Disease Definitions

A new study in early 2016, which interviewed British doctors, has some very interesting findings about their attitudes to the condition known as “Chronic Kidney Disease”.  The full text of the study, published in BMJ Open, is available here for free.

“CKD” was defined in 2002, and labels many people who will never experience any kidney disease. It is a good example of a controversial disease definition which is being questioned by doctors and others.

Extracts from the findings and discussion from the BMJ Open piece are here:

“The introduction of ‘CKD’ as a new disease construct conflicted with most GP professional values and personal understandings of general practice medicine.”

“I think when it first came in as an idea…we all rolled our eyes and went ‘Oh my God’, you know? They’re creating an illness that doesn’t exist.” (GPD)

“The inclusion of the words ‘chronic’ and ‘disease’ in the term CKD was also identified as a source of tension for clinicians.”

The 4th Preventing Overdiagnosis conference, which discusses studies like this one, is being held in Barcelona, September 20-22, 2016.