AHRQ Study Finds Evidence Lacking on Psychological Harms for Five Screening Guidelines
An AHRQ-funded study and abstract in the August issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine revealed that only a small number of studies have addressed the psychological harms of selected screening services. According to the study, more evidence exists on the physical harms of screening services compared with psychological harms, which can include anxiety, distress and reduced quality of life. A team led by researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, examined the literature assessing psychological harms of screening services reviewed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for the following five conditions: prostate and lung cancers, abdominal aortic aneurysm, osteoporosis and carotid artery stenosis. Among the available evidence, only one-third of the studies on psychological harm used both a longitudinal design and included condition-specific measures, which provide the best level of evidence on psychological harm. The authors called on clinicians and guideline panels to use a wider consideration of screening harms in research design. The study is titled, “The Psychological Harms of Screening: the Evidence We Have Versus the Evidence We Need.”
J Gen Intern Med. 2014 Aug 23. [Epub ahead of print]
The Psychological Harms of Screening: the Evidence We Have Versus the Evidence We Need.
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