Objectives In the last decade, the industry of general health checks has been growing rapidly in China, increasingly people are keen on physical examination. However, there is very few study focusing on general health checks and overdiagnosis compared with the great amount of such studies conducted in many western countries. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore and analyse the drivers of the prevalence of general health checks in China and its consequence especially overdiagnosis.
Method literature review and in-depth interview with stakeholders were used in this study.
Results The drivers of the prevalence of general health checks in China are various and complicated, including policy support and government guidance, health system and medical insurance system need to be improved, occurrence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in China grows faster than expectation and the improvement of public health literacy and attitude to general health checks. Last but not least is the guide of Media and the cultural differences between East and West countries. The general health checks in China is at high risk to develop to overdiagnosis, yet it is not enough for the government or researchers to pay attention to it.
Conclusions The current popularity of general health checks and its potential effect on overdiagnosis are inevitable in the development of social economy and health system in China. All stakeholders need to pay attention to this big issue of the situation of general health checks in China and its serious consequence like overdiagnosis. Meanwhile, the government, practitioners, policy makers and scientific researchers should pay attention and deal with them as soon as possible.
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