Walking the tightrope: Communicating overdiagnosis in modern healthcare

Kirsten J. McCaffery*, Jesse Jansen, Laura D. Scherer, Hazel Thornton, Jolyn Hersch, Stacy M. Carter, Alexandra Barratt, Stacey Sheridan, Ray Moynihan, Jo Waller, John Brodersen, Kristen Pickles, Adrian Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)
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Communication that empowers the public, patients, clinicians, and policy makers to think differently about overdiagnosis will help support a more sustainable healthcare future for all, argue Kirsten McCaffery and colleagues

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberi348
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2016


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