A GROWING global movement to combat overdiagnosis is finding resonance with GPs, according to leading Australian campaigners.
The issue will be the focus of a conference, Preventing Overdiagnosis, to be hosted this year by the Dartmouth Institute in the US in partnership with the British Medical Journal, consumer organisation Consumer Reports and Queensland’s Bond University.
“There’s growing scientific evidence suggesting many people are being overdiagnosed across a lot of different conditions, from asthma to breast cancer, from high blood pressure to low bone density,” the conference website states.
Clinical epidemiologist and GP Professor Jenny Doust is on the conference steering committee and believes moves to include grief in the DSM-5 reflects the worrying trend to overdiagnose.
“This is of particular interest to GPs because we are at the cutting edge,” she said.
“We are recognising that medicalising more and more aspects of normal life is not always going to benefit the patient.”
Bond University professor of public health, Chris Del Mar, urged GPs to “pour on a sprinkle of critical views” during diagnosis.
“People interested in specific diseases have bees in their bonnets for all sorts of reasons, yet they are the experts who define a disease. The definitions of some diseases are being extended, not the incidence,” he said.
“There has been no counterforce and the conference is a way of attracting attention to this. This topic resonates.”