This study, showing no difference in outcomes between people who have had general health screening and those who have not understandably has been widely picked up by the media. From my lay perspective, there do appear to be some methodological issues (e.g, participant selection did not isolate other factors) but expect some experts will provide more insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the study.
From my perspective, the advantage of an annual physical is that it provides an annual review and discussion of any health issues and the opportunity to reinforce preventative health messages. Quote:
The harmful effects of checkups include:
- Overdiagnosis — diagnosing and treating with no survival benefit.
- Turning healthy people into patients, which may affect how they view themselves.
Family physician Dr. Maria Patriquin in Halifax said that a regular check-in might work better than broad checkups.
“I really like to be able to check in with patients once a year and make sure that we’ve gone through what are your individual health concerns if you have them, is there anything that we should’ve been doing that we haven’t done?” Patriquin said.
“I think unless you make it somewhat routine it can fall by the wayside.”