5 questions that determine whether a test will lead to overdiagnosis

The biggest marker is whether the benefits outweigh the harms, say researchers

Two University of Sydney researchers have come up with five questions they hope will help patients, researchers and doctors more quickly identify whether a new test is useful or results in harmful overdiagnosis.

The problem of ever more sensitive tests and their effects on patients, who face further invasive testing and a disease label, but without real health improvements, is being tackled on a number of fronts.

NPS MedicineWise, in its Choosing Wisely campaign, encourages doctors to think carefully before ordering a test.

This has resulted in a range of 'do not dos' produced by specialty colleges to cut the number of unnecessary tests.

Using the example of the high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assay introduced in Australia in 2010, here are the five

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