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141 Thinking creatively about what it means to ‘communicate about overdiagnosis’ with lay people
  1. Tomas Rozbroj1,2,
  2. Tessa Copp3,
  3. Romi Haas1,2
  1. 1Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  2. 2Cabrini research, Melbourne, Australia
  3. 3University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia


Background Lay people find communications about overdiagnosis counter-intuitive and difficult to understand. Efforts to engage them on overdiagnosis concepts have had modest success. Yet informing lay people about overdiagnosis matters. It leads to more informed clinical decision-making, facilitates informed consent, and constitutes an important element in strategies to reduce the burden of low value care. So how do we cut through with our messaging? We need to think outside the box.

In this workshop, we will explore the different ways in which lay people understand overdiagnosis, and the implication of those understandings for crafting communications. In the workshop, we will play with abstract ideas, such as about the natures of knowledge and understanding, and leverage them into applied insights about how lay people might make sense of overdiagnosis concepts.

The workshop will draw on evidence from a recent meta-synthesis of research about lay understandings of overdiagnosis and from ongoing empirical work to examine how lay people respond to overdiagnosis concepts. It will also draw on broader overdiagnosis literature, as well as insights from social psychology, philosophy and communication science.

The workshop will be a bit weird, but hopefully stimulating, fun, and most importantly help us develop ideas for novel, creative communications about overdiagnosis.

Themes The workshop will focus on the following themes, designed to give attendees a framework for considering communications about overdiagnosis:

  1. Exploring the different meanings that ‘overdiagnosis’ can have, and their implications for communications.

  2. Exploring the different levels at which people can ‘understand’ overdiagnosis, and the extent to which accuracy is important.

  3. Consider principles guiding the crafting of communications about overdiagnosis for lay people.

  4. Examine ways that overdiagnosis messaging may be influenced by:

    • Context in which communications occur.

    • Medical conditions or situations in relation to which overdiagnosis is communicated.

Format The Preventing Overdiagnosis conference provides a unique opportunity, in that it brings together experts from diverse disciplines, areas of expertise and locations, to collaborate on addressing overdiagnosis. Our workshop format is designed to leverage this opportunity.

The workshop will have a guided peer learning format. The workshop facilitators will introduce key ideas, and attendees will work together to explore and apply those ideas to their areas of practice.

The ideas that will be co-developed among the workshop participants will be recorded and systematised into an online resource. This resource will remain available for attendees post-conference, to inform future work related to communicating overdiagnosis.

Intended Audience This workshop is tailored to those communicating about overdiagnosis to patients or the public. However, it will be relevant to anyone interested in exploring what ‘overdiagnosis’ means to different people, and the different ways in which we can come to understand it.

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