Examples Where Harms May Result from Overdiagnosis
The Do No Harm Project
- Screening tests. "All screening programmes do harm; some do good as well, and, of these, some do more good than harm at reasonable cost." - Sir Muir Gray
- Older patients.
- Incidental findings on imaging or labs.
- Diagnosis and treatment of mild abnormalities (i.e. A1c of 6.5%, blood pressure of 152/88).
- When the patient voices regret about a past test or treatment decision - this may indicate that they were not fully informed of the potential downsides of testing or treatment when the decision was originally made. In our view, this is a harm. Many patients opt for less testing and treatment when fully informed and experience less regret after the decision has been made.