New advice for managing some common health conditions


14 Dec 2016
The latest recommendations from Australia’s medical experts on the screening, testing and treatment of a range of common health conditions – including Alzheimer’s disease, coeliac disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer and sexually transmitted infections – were released under the Choosing Wisely Australia® initiative in October. 

The recommendations developed by Australian medical societies and colleges aim to guide important conversations between clinicians and their patients about the relevancy of particular tests, treatments and procedures. The ultimate aim is to improve the quality of healthcare for each individual and eliminate any unnecessary testing or therapies. 

Genetic testing

The Human Genetics Society of Australasia said that with genetic information being made more widely available, their recommendations would assist both clinicians and patients with conversations about making wise choices related to genetic testing—ensuring safe, ethical and effective use of genetic information in healthcare. Read the recommendations.

Gastroenterology

Professor Anne Duggan from the Gastroenterological Society of Australia says, “Our list of recommendations supports high-quality care for gastroenterology patients. One of the recommendations is to not undertake genetic testing for coeliac disease. As a coeliac gene can be found in one third of the population and a positive result does not make coeliac disease a certainty, serological testing is the appropriate first line screening tests for coeliac disease. Read the recommendations.

Treatment of cancer – radiation oncology

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists’ Faculty of Radiation Oncology released five recommendations on whole-breast radiation therapy, management of low risk prostate cancer, bone metastases, brain radiation therapy and locoregional (recurrence of cancer cells at the site as the original tumour) therapy. Read the recommendations.

Sexual health medicine

Sexual health medicine is the specialised area of practice concerned with healthy sexual relations. President of the Australasian Chapter of Health Medicine, Dr Graham Neilsen, says, “Many of our Choosing Wisely recommendations focus on screening and testing which is not generally helpful for people who have not experienced symptoms. Some of the tests we specify in our list can often be inaccurate and there are the potential harms of receiving false-positive results, which leads to social and emotional distress. Read the recommendations.

Read the full list of recommendations

Last reviewed 14 December 2016