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April 11, 2011

Diagnostic Tests: Another Frontier for Less Is MoreOr Why Talking to Your Patient Is a Safe and Effective Method of Reassurance

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine (Drs Redberg, Katz, and Grady) and Epidemiology (Dr Katz), University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(7):619. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.465

During the past several months, the Archives has published a number of articles demonstrating that more treatment is not necessarily better. Proton pump inhibitors for persons with nonulcer dyspepsia, opioid medications for persons with chronic nonmalignant pain, and statin medications for persons without coronary artery disease are all examples of the widespread use of medications with known adverse effects despite the absence of data for patient benefit for these indications. Epitomizing the theory of less is more, one study found that 58% of medications could be discontinued in elderly patients and that quality of life improved with drug discontinuation.1

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