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The Medical Literature
June 2, 1999

Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: XVII. How to Use Guidelines and Recommendations About Screening

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney, Australia (Drs Barratt, Irwig, and Cumming); Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Queensland, Herston, Australia (Dr Glasziou); Avon Health Authority, Bristol, England (Dr Raffle); Oxfordshire Health Authority, Oxford, England (Dr Hicks); Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oxford, England (Dr Gray); and Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario (Dr Guyatt).


Users' Guides to the Medical Literature Section Editor: Drummond Rennie, MD, Deputy Editor (West), JAMA.

JAMA. 1999;281(21):2029-2034. doi:10.1001/jama.281.21.2029

You are a family physician seeing a 47-year-old woman and her husband of the same age. They are concerned because a friend recently found out that she had bowel cancer and has urged them both to undergo screening with fecal occult blood tests (FOBTs) because, she says, prevention is much better than the cure she is now undergoing. Both your patients have no family history of bowel cancer and no change in bowel habit. They ask whether you agree that they should be screened.

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