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The necessary shift from diagnostic to prognostic research [Debate]

Dinant, Geert-Jan G. J., Buntinx, Frank F. and Butler, Christopher Collett 2007. The necessary shift from diagnostic to prognostic research [Debate]. BMC Family Practice 8 , p. 53. 10.1186/1471-2296-8-53

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Abstract

Background Do doctors really need to establish an etiological diagnosis each time a patient presents? Or might it often be more effective to treat simply on the basis of symptoms and signs alone, relying on research and on our experience of outcomes for patients who presented in similar ways in the past? Discussion At a time of increase health care costs especially in pharmaceuticals and expensive diagnostic tests, this article uses examples from recent research to address this question. Our examples come from general practice, because that is where doctors frequently see patients presenting with a yet undifferentiated disease which is consequently difficult to diagnose. The examples include respiratory tract infections, low back pain and shoulder pain. Finally we discuss the 'something is wrong' feeling. Summary We conclude that, in addition to diagnostic research, a renewed focus on prognostic research is needed.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1471-2296
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 03:34
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/61706

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