Second Preventing Overdiagnosis conference, September 15-17, 2014, Oxford, UK

Abstract Submission open - Early Bird Registration Open - limited places available

Following the extraordinary success of the 2013 conference, we are pleased to announce the second Preventing Overdiagnosis conference, which will be hosted by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford UK. Abstract submission and early bird registration are now open, with limited places for a fee currently set at £345. Abstracts close March 27. Submit abstracts via the green button, and register via the red button on the right. You can sign up for updates on the conference, in the space to the right.

Abstracts are sought for short oral scientific presentations or posters on the problem of overdiagnosis and potential solutions. Abstract themes can relate to any of the conference sub-themes including: the prevalence of overdiagnosis, methods for researching and measuring the problem, its causes or consequences, policy interventions and communication strategies. Work on defining overdiagnosis, and placing the problem within historical and cultural contexts is also welcome. While the conference is primarily a scientific gathering, abstract submissions from policy makers, citizen or consumer representatives are also welcome, as are proposals for workshops, (around 90 minutes).

A number of workshops have already been proposed including: Methods for measuring incidence, prevalence and over-diagnosis in cancer screening; Nailing the definition of overdiagnosis; Methods for communicating about overdiagnosis; Revealing and measuring harms of screening other than overdiagnosis.

Information about Submitting an Abstract

To make a submission you will need to click on the “Submit Abstracts Here” button adjacent - and there will be a series of steps to follow. You will be asked a series of questions seeking information including the following:

• The title of your abstract; the abstract, with a maximum of 300 words; names and affiliations of any co-authors

• The category which best fits your submission: Original Study; Review of previously published work; Theory/Proposal

• Which conference sub-themes best fit your submission - you can choose up to two sub-themes from the following list: Prevalence of overdiagnosis; Methodology for measuring and researching overdiagnosis; Causes of drivers of overdiagnosis; Consequences of overdiagnosis; Policy or intervention for reducing/preventing overdiagnosis; Communicating about overdiagnosis

• Whether you prefer a poster or oral presentation, either poster or oral, or you are proposing a workshop

• A short bio of the presenter, with a maximum 150 words

You can edit submissions at any time up until the deadline, which is now midnight on March 27.

There is also additional information available about the on-line submission process.

If you have any problems there is an email address available on the online submission pages.

Keynotes for 2014 announced

We are excited to also announce the following confirmed keynote speakers for the 2014 conference at Oxford:

Jack Wennberg - pioneer and leading researcher of unwarranted variation in the healthcare industry. Founder of the Dartmouth Institute of Health Care Policy and Research at Dartmouth Medical School, United States and author of Tracking Medicine; a book which connects the problem of unwarranted variation to over- "and mis"-diagnosis.

Linn Getz - MD, Professor, Department of Public Health and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Alexandra Barratt - Professor of Public Health, University of Sydney, School of Public Health, Australia.

Margaret McCartney - GP in Glasgow, Scotland, and writer for a range of media, newspapers and journals including the British Medical Journal, and BBC Radio 4′s Inside Health.

Sir John Burn - former head of the Institute of Human Genetics, current Genetics Lead for the National Institute of Health Research and medical director of a new start-up planning to produce hand-held DNA testing devices.

Iona Heath - former president Royal College of General Practitioners, London, England.

Barry Kramer - National Cancer Institute, United States (Panel chair)

Fiona Godlee - Editor-in-chief BMJ (chair)

You can download an e-flyer for the conference here.

See the BMJ's Too Much Medicine campaign page here

What people said about the 2013 conference in Dartmouth...

“The just completed conference 'Preventing Overdiagnosis' was easily the most important meeting I ever attended”
Allen Frances, chair DSM IV Taskforce, US

“My experience in Dartmouth is going to have a great impact in my life, both as a doctor and a researcher”
Minna Johansson, GP trainee, PhD student, Sweden

"I very much enjoyed attending this conference, both for the outstanding presentations and for connecting with excellent colleagues from every discipline and clinical specialty."
Dr Georgios Lyratzopoulos, Clinical Senior Research Associate and NIHR Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge, UK

“This was a vitally important conference for those who care about their patients, are concerned about what has happened to medical research and modern medicine, and the impact this is having on the health systems of countries around the world.”
Lynda Williams, Auckland Women's Health Council, NZ

Dr Leana Wen, attending emergency physician and director of patient centered care research at George Washington University, US

"One of the most enjoyable meetings I have been to, both personally and professionally"
Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief, BMJ

Global Conference Statement released at 2013
‘Preventing Overdiagnosis’ Conference

Overdiagnosis harms people world-wide and exacerbates under-treatment by wasting much needed resources. (1) Over 320 scientists, clinicians, policy-makers and consumer advocates from almost 30 countries across 6 continents have just attended the first scientific conference on preventing overdiagnosis, and related problems of overmedicalization, overdetection, diagnosis creep and overtreatment. (2) The conference was organized by an alliance of one of the world’s most respected medical journals, BMJ and the United States’ most trusted consumer organisation, Consumer Reports, The Dartmouth Institute and Australia’s Bond University.

Over 150 presenters shared the science of overdiagnosis and proposals to wind back the harms of too much medicine, safely and fairly, consistent with people’s values. The conference builds on momentum from efforts to reduce overtesting and overtreatment, such as the Less is More,(3) Choosing Wisely, (4) Selling Sickness, (5) and the Right Care initiatives. (6)

The conference identified the following priorities:

• Strengthen the science of overdiagnosis, develop consensus around methods to measure the problem, and evaluate strategies to maximise benefits and minimise harms.

• Develop and incorporate education about overdiagnosis into standard clinical training for health professionals and students.

• Advance strategies to inform the public and policy-makers about the problem and find effective ways to communicate about what are often counter intuitive issues.

• Build on efforts in health systems around the world to reduce overdiagnosis and combat perverse incentives that turn too many people into patients unnecessarily. In particular, change how diseases are defined, by minimizing professional and financial conflicts of interest among expert panels, and by rigorously assessing the benefits and harms of expanding disease definitions.

Disclaimer: These are views of participants and should not be taken to represent the views of their employers, or governments.

(1) Illich I, Limits to Medicine. Marion Boyers. (reprint) 2000; Welch G, Schwartz L, Woloshin S. Overdiagnosed:Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health. Boston:Beacon;2011; Brownlee S. Overtreated: why too much medicine is making us sicker and poorer. Bloomsbury; 2007; Moynihan R, Doust J, Henry D (2012) Preventing overdiagnosis: how to stop harming the healthy. BMJ 344: e3502; Berwick D, Hackbarth, A. Eliminating Waste in US Health Care. JAMA 2012;307(14):1513-1516


(3) Grady D, Redberg R. Less is more: how less health care can result in better health. Arch Intern Med 2010;170:749-50.

(4) Choosing Wisely. US physician groups identify commonly used tests or procedures they say are often not necessary. Press release, 4 April 2012. .



To read the statement in French, click here

Keynote speakers at 2013 conference:

Virginia Moyer, Chair, United States Preventive Services Task Force
Lisa Schwartz & Steven Woloshin, Professors of Medicine, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, co-authors Overdiagnosed
Jim Guest, President and CEO, Consumer Reports
Otis Brawley, author How we do Harm, Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society
Peter Gøtzsche, Director, Nordic Cochrane Centre
Allen Frances, Chair DSM IV Task Force, author Saving Normal
Barry Kramer, Director, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute
Iona Heath, former president, Royal College of General Practitioners
Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief, BMJ

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