Screening Programs

Screening programs are used for the early detection of disease to decrease mortality and to increase quality of life. This subject is important in both clinical practice and public health, since screening involves a substantial part of the population. As people are already ill when a disease is detected, it is used for secondary prevention. Early detection means detecting a disease at an earlier (presymptomatic) stage than would usually occur in standard care, as patients have no clinical complaints and therefore no reason to seek medical care. A necessary condition for screening tests is the availability of intervention for the detected illness and a better effectiveness of the intervention when provided early. This entry describes important criteria to assess the pros and cons of screening ...

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