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3 Definition of multimorbidity and risk of overdiagnosis
  1. Anne Møller,
  2. Tora Grauers Willadsen,
  3. Alexandra Brandt Ryborg Jönsson,
  4. Susanne Reventlow
  1. Center for Research and Education in General Practice, Copenhagen, Denmark


The definition of multimorbidity has been discussed for several years, and research in this field is challenged by various definitions of multimorbidity. Inclusion of risk factors in the definition alongside more severe diseases is widely used, however, questioning the meaning of the concept of multimorbidity. Even though, both symptoms and severity are sometimes included in the broad definitions, the inclusion of risk factors could lead to overdiagnosis. Multimorbidity is rising, and there is a need to address the help to those most in need, but many of the current definitions increase the risk of targeting the wrong patients. Furthermore, diagnoses, including the diagnosis of multimorbidity, can have both positive and negative implications for a single patient. Some patients find identity in a diagnosis whereas others suffer from psychosocial side-effects of diagnoses.

In this seminar, we will introduce you to different definitions of multimorbidity and risk of overdiagnosis in this field, and furthermore we will debate the positive and negative implications of diagnoses. Finally, we will invite you to a discussion about consequences of overdiagnosis working with multimorbidity in relation to patients, society, and future research.

Objectives To debate the risk of overdiagnosis when working with the concept of multimorbidity clinically and in research.

Method Seminar. Based on a systematic review of the definition of multimorbidity and qualitative work among patients with multimorbidity.

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