Doctors know most scans for low back pain are useless, but they have trouble convincing patients.
Reducing health-care waste relating to unnecessary tests has been a major priority for researchers, governments and health services for decades. But how do we change the behaviour of doctors?
Arguments that immature children are incorrectly diagnosed with ADHD are simplistic.
It's not necessarily the case children who are young for their year are being inappropriately diagnosed with ADHD. This is a simplistic analysis.
Addyi (flibanserin) is far from a pink viagra.
The drug's limited effectiveness and side-effects should cause potential users to rethink their purchase.
Expanding the definitions of disease can cause a cascade of overtesting and overtreatment.
Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office/Flickr
The creation of new “pre-conditions” is turning millions of people into patients across the globe.
Among the 61 recommendations is: ‘Don’t order chest x-rays in patients with uncomplicated acute bronchitis’.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Harm doesn’t just come in the form of side-effects or further testing. The "cons" of any treatment also include the costs, which can be financial, emotional, and the costs of the individual’s time.
A snapshot of 2015: health reviews, Health Check series, thalidomide series, Medicare versus private health insurance.
AAP; Shutterstock; Julian Smith/; Dave Hunt/AAP
This was the year of the health review – mental health care, Medicare, private health insurance, the pharmacy industry ... and the list goes on. But how much movement was there on policy?
GPs have increased their test ordering by more than 50%. Imaging for back pain is one of the key culprits.
The evidence suggests too much medicine is doing us harm, particularly when treating knee pain, back pain, chest pain and screening for prostate cancer.
Ineffective care exposes patients to complications and side-effects and waste precious health care resources.
To avoid ineffective treatments, we need a new way to identify and reduce questionable care. A new Grattan Institute report shows how to do it.
Biomedical science has made our lives immeasurably better, but it’s time to accept that too much medicine can be as harmful as too little.
By forgetting that medicine postpones death rather than saving lives, we persuade ourselves it might somehow keep extending our life and come to view death as a failure of medicine.
Over the past decade, the use of pathology laboratory tests is thought to have increased every year.
Abd allah Foteih/Flickr
While the extent of the problem is unclear, we know that hospitals doctors overuse diagnostic tests. Involving patients in decision-making may be one of the best options for improving the situation.
Half a million fewer statins were dispensed to patients in the eight months following the Catalyst broadcasts.
In October 2013, Catalyst broadcast a segment highly critical of statins, a class of drug used for lowering cholesterol.
An independent UK inquiry estimated that perhaps one in five of the cancers detected via breast cancer screening are overdiagnosed.
Researchers have been talking about the dangers of overdiagnosis for some time. But now a national survey shows most people aren't told about the risk it poses to their health – and they want to know.
Acute non-specific low back pain is a very common problem that usually gets better without any treatment.
David Rabbit Wallace/Flickr
Not so long ago, getting an x-ray for acute back pain was the norm. And they are still used far more frequently than is necessary.
Well-informed men see prostate cancer testing as an individual decision rather than a public health priority.
Miguel Pires da Rosa/Flickr
Screening for prostate cancer using the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test for men with no symptoms is controversial: experts are divided, and Australians are not routinely well-informed. Prostate cancer…
Across 38 years in tobacco control, I have been asked countless times in media interviews if I ever smoked. It’s often an early question. I always unhesitatingly explain that I did: I stopped in my mid…
Most people overestimate the benefits and underestimate the harms of medical intervention.
“It might do me some good and it won’t hurt to give it a go.” How often have you heard a phrase like this? Most people have naïve optimism about medical care. That’s the finding of a systematic review…
Whether the harms of statins outweigh their benefits depends on how you balance them up.
A panel convened by medical journal BMJ to investigate whether it was right to correct rather than retract two pieces featuring a mistake about side effects from statins has endorsed the journal’s decision…
Over the centuries, the name cancer has become synonymous with dreaded disease.
Earlier this year, leading American cancer scientists called for a set of changes to deal with the problem of over-diagnosis and over-treatment caused by cancer screening. Efforts to raise awareness and…
Mamming involves resting breasts on a flat surface and taking a photo.
Social media can help raise awareness of health issues, engaging people in discussion and encouraging them to take action. But thoughtless adherence to such trends has the potential to cause harm. New…
Screening older people for minor memory changes will lead to over-diagnosis and potentially harmful treatments for conditions…