The top 10 overuse articles of 2016

What are the must-read studies on medical overuse this year? In JAMA this week, researchers Dr. Daniel J. Morgan, Dr. Deborah Korenstein, and colleagues reviewed the literature on overuse from 2016 and picked out their top ten most influential studies of the year. Here are a few of the finding from their top studies:

  • Researchers from New York Hospital and the Tulane School of Medicine found that there is little clinical benefit to ordering a “transesophageal echocardiography” (a type of heart scan) after a stroke. Using a TEE scan on 263 patients who had a stroke found potential sources of embolism and aortic plaque, but these findings changed the clinical plan for only one patient.
  • One study found a four-fold increase from 2001-2010 in the use of CT scans in the emergency room for patients with respiratory symptoms. 
  • A randomized trial on early-state prostate cancer found that treatment offers no mortality benefit compared to active monitoring but increases absolute risk of erectile dysfunction by 10% to 30%, depending on the type of treatment.
  • Researchers at UCLA and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that giving clinicians information on how much antibiotics they were prescribing compared to their peers reduced inappropriate antibiotic use from about 20% to less than 4%.

Read more about these studies on the JAMA website. And if you have overuse research of your own you are itching to share, submit an abstract to the Lown 2018 conference!