Dr Ray Moynihan has won a prestigious fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council to examine the increasingly recognized problem of overdiagnosis. The research fellowship will have a focus on how disease definitions are expanding and in some cases labeling many people unnecessarily. He is undertaking the fellowship with colleagues at Bond University’s Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice, under the supervision of globally respected Professor Paul Glasziou.
Preventing Overdiagnosis in Quebec City, August 2017
The 5th international Preventing Overdiagnosis conference will be in Quebec City, Quebec, from August 17 to 19, 2017, hosted by the Quebec Medical Association. For more information and to submit an abstract or register see: http://www.preventingoverdiagnosis.net/
Community focus groups raise questions about how diseases are defined
A new paper published in the international open access scientific journal, PLOS ONE reports on the results of community focus groups with Australia women – investigating views about overdiagnosis and low bone density, or osteoporosis.
Questions over patient group links with industry
A commentary published in January in the leading United States medical journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, calls for much greater transparency and independence between patient advocacy groups and the pharmaceutical industry.
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.
Preventing Overdiagnosis 2016 will be in Barcelona
Following the successful 2015 conference at the National Institutes for Health in the United States, the 4th international Preventing Overdiagnosis scientific conference will be held in Barcelona in 2016. Dates will be announced soon. For more information click http://preventingoverdiagnosis.net
Dr Iona Heath free public lecture in Sydney
One of the great minds in medicine, British GP Dr Iona Heath, is giving a free public lecture at the University of Sydney, August 5 at 6pm. You need to register, and you can find details here
Preventing Overdiagnosis conference at NIH
The 2015 international Preventing Overdiagnosis conference will kick off September 1 at the National Institutes of Health in the US. More info here
Overselling genetic testing – published in China Newsweek
Recommended Reading – The Circle
You can read Ray’s latest BMJ column – inspired by Dave Egger’s classic novel “The Circle” here
The BMJ column explores the critically acclaimed novel’s take on the future of medicine – and our obsession with measuring everything.
From the February BMJ column: “Leaving aside concern about government or corporate misuse of data, our obsession with quantification—unmodified by uncertainty and by clear awareness of limitations—carries its own tyranny. Our faith in medical numbers, sometimes little more than fabricated fictions arbitrarily interpreted, demands a reality check.”