Overdiagnosis

Despite aiming to benefit people found to be at risk of disease or with early disease, it seems possible, even probable, that a major push towards personalised prevention will increase the harms caused by anxiety, investigation and unnecessary treatments in many individuals. 

Many would caution that the benefits of personalised prevention might be offset as users are made anxious and undertake actions and interventions that might not eventually be beneficial to them. The phenomena through which this occurs are often gathered together under the general theme of ‘overdiagnosis’ or ‘too much medicine’.

In this report, we are concerned with the many ways in which harm arises from activities grouped under the theme. We have chosen to use the term overdiagnosis as the overarching label.

This report was produced as part of the My healthy future project.

Authors:

Dr Emma Johnson, Policy Analyst

Tanya Brigden, Policy Analyst

Alison Hall, Head of Humanities

Dr Ron Zimmern, Chairman

Dr Hilary Burton, Associate

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