It's #PODC2015 time: Preventing Overdiagnosis 2015 is here

After an incredible General Council (the annual meeting of the Canadian Medical Association), it is now time for me to zip off to Bethesda, MD for Preventing Overdiagnosis.

Although I attended last year in Oxford, this will be my first time speaking at the conference; I have the fortune of working with Dr James Rickert (who challenges conflict of interest in orthopedics and puts the patient first) in order to present a workshop around some of the criticisms (and related solutions) for the Choosing Wisely campaign (at 11:30, Weds Sept 2nd).

I would say that I am Choosing Wisely's biggest fan, and biggest critic. I am looking forward to the opportunity to hear more thought from my peers about the campaign and what the next steps might entail. There is so much hope and opportunity with this initiative and it's a great time to strengthen it and to reach higher!

This conference will also be a great opportunity to reflect on the past couple of years and the progress that so many people have made, and to meet up with colleagues to hear about their planned work going forward. There will be quite a few curious and critical-thinking Canadians in attendance, including (I hear):

-   Dr. Laurent Marcoux (former head of the Quebec Medical Association, one of the key developers of their Action Plan for Overdiagnosis

-    Dr. Roland Grad (researcher in family practice currently looking at harnessing infoPOEMs to identify low-value tests and treatments)

-    Dr. Rita McCracken (finishing her PhD, an expert on polypharmacy/deprescribing in the elderly)

-    Dr. Tracy Monk (humble yet highly effective champion and practicer of patient centered, evidence-based, and relationship-based care)

-    Dr Alan Cassels (co-author of Selling Sickness and highly sensible drug policy researcher)

-    Joanna Trimble (family member and advocate for confronting polypharmacy and sedative overuse in the elderly, at Is Your Mom On Drugs?)

-    Dr. Danielle Martin (head of Canadian Doctors for Medicare and outspoken advocate for doing more with less)

-    Dr Sacha Bhatia (chair of evaluation and can-do pioneer for Choosing Wisely Canada)

-    Dr Jennifer Young (leader of the Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There workshop with the Ontario College of Family Practitioners)

Go Canada!

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. The entire conference will be comprised of like-minded peers from around the world. I can't wait to get started tomorrow; see you there!!!

 

Quaternary Prevention, P4

We still lack a unifying name, but initiatives like "Right Care," "Choosing Wisely," "Preventing Overdiagnosis," "Prudent Healthcare," and others all seek to describe, categorize, confront, or improve upon the status quo of what's being done: too much medical stuff and too little caring for people.

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    Jamoulle M. Quaternary prevention, an answer of family doctors to overmedicalization. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 2015, 4(2), 61–64

Jamoulle M. Quaternary prevention, an answer of family doctors to overmedicalization. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 2015, 4(2), 61–64

 

Quaternary Prevention

You may have read lately about Quaternary Prevention (Prévention quaternaire) or P4, a major initiative of this movement. This – in the words of Ray Moynihan – "awkwardly titled" idea came originally from Dr Marc Jamoulle (@jamoulle), a Belgian GP, almost 30 years ago.

He coined the term "Quaternary Prevention" to describe 'an action taken to identify a patient or a population at risk of overmedicalisation, to protect them from invasive medical interventions and provide for them care procedures which are ethically acceptable.' Essentially, it is a process that explicitly considers and thus enables avoidance of iatrogenic harm. 

"Quaternary prevention should take precedence over any alternative preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic, as dictated by the principle of primum non nocere." (Wikipedia)

P4

*NB*: Be careful not to confuse Jamoulle's term P4 with the more popular P4; predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory (P4) medicine, with a focus on detecting and dealing with disease before it even exists, may (arguably) be the antithesis to Quaternary Prevention.

Jamoulle's idea came first, anyway. His original 1986 article Information and computerization in general practice (en français) started the discussion around quaternary prevention, with a particular focus on how information technology can dehumanize healthcare. He has refined the idea, with presentations at WONCA world conferences and many publications (listed here).

View Dr Jamoulle's page on Quaternary Prevention "P4" or read more

Although the cumbersome title will probably dissuade related initiatives from taking the name and falling under the umbrella of 'quaternary prevention,' we are all united in the spirit of our efforts. I remain in awe that Jamoulle and others had the wisdom to begin the discussion of harms of overdiagnosis in a time while mammography was just gaining momentum, ADD was rarely diagnosed and yet to be redefined as ADHD, and I was still in diapers.

CONFERENCE: Preventing Overdiagnosis 2015 #PODC2015

I registered for this year's Preventing Overdiagnosis conference in Bethesda, MD (near Washington, DC).

You should too, before the spots are all filled up! Last year's in Oxford was incredible. Lots of inspiration, intriguing research and practical solutions to solving this problem on a 1:1 or international level.

If you are interested to see what other events are happening around the subject of 'too much medicine,' the 'right amount of care,' and so on, you can see them on the Events section of this site.

Comment here if there is something missing!

See you in Bethesda :)

 

Source: http://www.preventingoverdiagnosis.net/

7 Themes from Preventing Overdiagnosis #PODC2014

In September I was lucky enough to attend the Preventing Overdiagnosis conference in Oxford, UK. I learned about new resources and people that I could connect with, changed some of my beliefs, and generated even more questions for myself/the health care system.

In my reflection, 7 major themes emerged:

  1. Nomenclature

    • under-use is as much an issue as over-use
      • like food, we want our medicine neither over- nor under-cooked [David Haslam]
    • how do we define the problem? what terms are being used to describe this/similar issues? [see glossary for some] can we create a common term?
    • causes of overdiagnosis are on a spectrum
      • good intentions -- wishful thinking -- vested interests [Stacy Carter]
         
  2. Cognitive/Labeling Biases = Problematic

    • flawed thinking: doing something better than nothing, "more is better"
      • the more resources exist, the more they are used
    • actions motivated by fear (of death, illness, uncertainty)
    • labeling bias
      • is there any other way we can see patients besides by labeling them with diagnoses? [William House, Andrew Morrice]
      • creating a "WAR ON CANCER" galvanizes people, breeds an ideology and creates fundamentalists
         
  3. It Is about conversations, not certainties

    • mostly grey areas, no blanket rule for everyone; evidence, guidelines, recommendations must be interpreted for each patient
    • pathology is a continuum, never/rarely yes or no
    • "correct" is not always effective

    • use existing skepticism/understanding to inform others

      • eg. people have begun to understand the harms of the overuse of antibiotics; parlay that into other areas
         

  4. Individuals vs. populations

    • for Patient X to not have a stroke, 76 other people have to be on statins
    • it is not possible to know at an individual level if something is overdiagnosis
    • evidence often does not apply to the person sitting in front of you
       
  5. Health Care delivery is flawed

    • changing the way we delivery primary care might be the heart of the solution
    • "consumer"-driven Predictive, Preventive, Personalized, Participatory (P4) medicine is scary & narcissistic [Henrik Vogt]
    • neo-paternalism may have a role
    • industry is scary
      • for-profit medicine is the biggest enemy of "Less is More Medicine"
      • this drives the medicalization of normal life, which makes us sicker!
    • the technology for genetic-based medicine is a long way off from being helpful
       
  6. Screening fails in ways we never imagined

    • patients equate screening with access to care [Laura Batstra]
    • "why is screening exempt from the ethical responsibilities to do no harm?" [Alexander Barratt]
    • preventative medicine has disappointing outcomes [Linn Getz]
       
  7. Evidence is lacking

    • it's not just a lack of quantity or quality
    • do we really need clinical trials to prove the obvious? can't we just do the right, ethical thing? [Dan Mayer]

Did you take away the same points as I did? Something completely different?

I'm already looking forward to the conference next year, in Bethesda, USA.

Plans for Less is More

After the Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference, I took almost a month off, which we spent tootling around Iceland in a LandRover and enjoying the food and culture of Brussels, Brugge, and Paris.

Back home now, I am also back into the swing of things. It is full speed ahead! In brief:

  • Today, Dr James McCormack (@medmyths) and I will be presenting to the UBC Medicine students in their Doctor, Patient, and Society (DPAS) 420 class on Less is More in Medicine
     
  • I'll be doing various talks on this subject for the Family Medicine Forum (Nov 15, Quebec), Vancouver General Hospital Family Practice Rounds (Dec 9, Vancouver), the UBC CPD Post Graduate Review in Family Medicine (Feb 25, Vancouver), and the Rural and Remote Medicine conference (Apr 10, Montreal)
     
  • To the website, I've added a Media section, which will list any news articles or talks related to the site, and a Declaration section, detailing no conflicts of interest. Many other updates are needed!
     
  • I have tones of notes from the Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference and will try to summarize some of the themes in a following blog post, and update portions of the website accordingly (like the People section - lots of great names to add)

There's so much being written on this subject right now, it is hard to keep up. As busy as it makes me, it is a good problem to have.

 

See you Monday at: Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference #PODC2014

I'm off to the Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference in Oxford, UK. It starts on Monday. It's the first time I'll be at a large gathering of people who are all interested or active in the area of overdiagnosis / less is more medicine / appropriateness in health care / prudent medicine / minimally-disruptive medicine or whatever you call it!

I'll get to meet and hear talks from a few important people in this movement, including Drs Margaret McCartney, Iona Heath (who I had the pleasure of meeting in Vancouver when she spoke here), Fiona Godlee, and Paul Glasziou. I believe representatives from the QMA will also be there to talk about their Action Plan for overdiagnosis.

Without exception those presenting are passionate thinkers; I'll meet many like-minded individuals, learn about all kinds of remarkable efforts, and do my best to share the highlights here.

See you there!