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BACKGROUND A wide range of self-tests are available where contact with a health professional is not necessary. OBJECTIVE To investigate factors that influenced members of the public to use self-tests. METHODS Questionnaires, sent to 2335 adults from two general practices in North Birmingham, asked whether recipients had used self-tests and sought(More)
BACKGROUND Cancer-related self-tests are currently available to buy in pharmacies or over the internet, including tests for faecal occult blood, PSA and haematuria. Self-tests have potential benefits (e.g. convenience) but there are also potential harms (e.g. delays in seeking treatment). The extent of cancer-related self-test use in the UK is not known.(More)
BACKGROUND Self-tests that people can do without a health professional are widely available, but there is little information about how many people have used one. Our aim was to describe the prevalence of use. METHODS An initial questionnaire, sent to 8048 adults registered with six general practices in North Birmingham and Warwickshire and Worcestershire,(More)
BACKGROUND The Government has promoted self-care. Our aim was to review evidence about who uses self-tests and other self-care activities (over-the-counter medicine, private sector, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), home blood pressure monitors). METHODS During April 2007, relevant bibliographic databases (Medline, Embase, Cumulative Index to(More)
We aimed to describe the availability in the United Kingdom of self-tests that are used to diagnose or screen for conditions without involving a health professional. A systematic Internet search identified 104 unique self-tests related to 24 named conditions including cancers, chronic conditions and infections. These self-tests require various samples(More)
BACKGROUND Bowel cancer is common and is a major cause of death. Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials estimates that screening for colorectal cancer using faecal occult blood (FOB) test reduces mortality from colorectal cancer by 16%. However, FOB testing has a low positive predictive value, with associated unnecessary cost, risk and anxiety from(More)
BACKGROUND Self-tests can be used by members of the public to diagnose conditions without involving a doctor, nurse or other health professional. As technologies to design and manufacture diagnostic tests have developed, a range of self-tests have become available to the public to buy over-the-counter and via the Internet. This study aims to describe how(More)
BACKGROUND Bowel cancer is common and is a major cause of death. Most people with bowel symptoms who meet the criteria for urgent referral to secondary care will not be found to have bowel cancer, and some people who are found to have cancer will have been referred routinely rather than urgently. If general practitioners could better identify people who(More)
BACKGROUND The growth of the Internet has enabled the public to more readily access information about health and disease. Available websites include those that provide possible diagnoses for particular symptoms and those that then assist people to decide whether to self-treat or consult a doctor. OBJECTIVE To describe the possible impact of the use of(More)