5 Responses to “NHS Healthchecks – what’s the evidence?”

  1. Rafe Nauen October 2, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    see twitter feed from me!
    http://bit.ly/hjbQAX shows that aspirin was what you call a placebo for many thousands of years!

  2. Elizabeth (Aust) October 3, 2013 at 3:33 am #

    These health checks are finding their way into office situations as well. I don’t think it’s appropriate that employees be offered screening, some may feel obliged or pressured or feel embarrassed having to explain why they don’t want to screen, especially with breast screening.
    My husband was shocked to hear that BreastScreen would be doing a presentation in his office. A woman who “thinks” she was saved by breast screening is recruiting firms for these talks. My husband spoke to the person organizing the event and suggested it was inappropriate or at the very least, women should be handed a copy of the NCI summary before/after the talk.

    Needless to say the talk was a sales pitch for screening, no mention of uncertain benefit or over-diagnosis. Also, the benefits were greatly exaggerated and the scary statistics were used, 1 in 8 will get breast cancer!

    My husband was viewed as a bit odd for questioning the appropriateness of having a screening authority in the office, he felt he could only do so much.
    The NCI summary was not provided to women, although my husband has spoken to several women in the office who heard about his concerns.

    It really is quite shocking that most women here are still completely in the dark. BreastScreen is pulling out all stops to reach the govt-set screening target, we also, have a new campaign with celebrity involvement, urging us to screen. “Don’t be a statistic – get screened”.

    It’s disappointing when intelligent women urge women to just screen, ignoring informed consent, the individual and the evidence. We complain that women are so often told what to do, yet that seems to be the approach from all angles, including women’s groups. Most mean well or they think they were saved by screening, but it’s incredible that so few bother to check the evidence before joining the, “Get Screened” chorus.
    My husband’s office also, provides free skin checks, preventative health check (blood pressure, blood tests etc.) and flu shots. He is dead against the firm meddling in healthcare and believes these are private matters that should be left to the individual. Naturally, his partners can’t see the problem and think it’s a good thing to do for employees and of course, the “saved” employees agree with them.
    Sometimes it feels like we’re trying to hold back the tide with sandbags. I do have control over some things though, there is no screening offered in my office.

  3. Jane October 4, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    I sometimes think you can’t fight the fact that some people just want to behave like sheep.

    A colleague of mine has recently received an invitation from her GP to attend a “Health “Check”. She made an appointment. When I asked her why, she replied “why not, it’s free”.

  4. dearieme October 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    There’s no need to read the whole justification being offered: the moment you come across “precautionary principle” is the moment when you know that it’s junk.

  5. Elizabeth (Aust) October 16, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    Some of the companies that have been discussed on this forum are now in Australia. My 81 year old mother has received an “invitation” in the mail, scans to look for aneurysms. My mother is compliant with most medical requests, (unlike her daughter) but she was aware enough to know these were “invitations” from private profit-making companies, not the Govt or her doctor. (of course, the latter is also, IMO, influenced by profit-making interests)
    The “invitations” have been shredded, but it concerns me that some people may take up these invitations. I haven’t seen any official warnings here about these non-evidence based scans/checks that can and do harm people.
    My mother wonders why they sent it to her, I assume they’ve sent them to everyone over a certain age, using the electoral roll or some other public source of information.

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