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Primary care
Overdiagnosis paradigm: not suitable for decreasing the overuse of antibiotics
  1. Gloria Cordoba,
  2. Carl Llor
  1. Center for Research and Education in General Practice, Institute of Public health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gloria Cordoba, Center for Research and Education in General Practice, Institute of Public health, University of Copenhagen, København, 1014, Denmark; gloriac{at}


This paper summarises the discussion during the workshop on ‘Overdiagnosis and overtreatment of infectious diseases in general practice. How and where to break the endless loop?’ The workshop was organised as part of the overdiagnosis conference carried out in August 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. During the workshop, participants from all over the world reflected on the challenges of embracing the overdiagnosis paradigm as a tool to advance understanding and to find solutions to the unnecessary use of antibiotics in primary health care. It was concluded that the narrow view of the overdiagnosis paradigm does not provide theoretical resources to address the problem of the inherent connection between diagnostic error and treatment decision. In contrast to the overdiagnosis paradigm, the too much medicine paradigm is an umbrella term suitable to frame actions that recognise the complexity of the decision-making process during the consultation and its impact on overtreatment.

  • general medicine
  • infectious diseases
  • primary care

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  • Contributors GC: had the idea for the article. GC and CL: performed the literature search; wrote the article.

  • Funding This study was in part supported by læge Sofus Carl Emil Friis og Hustru Olga Doris Friis’ legat and University Institute in Primary Care Research Jordi Gol.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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