Overtesting and overtreatment—statement from the European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP)

  • Ketil StørdalEmail author
  • Corinne Wyder
  • Andreas Trobisch
  • Zachi Grossman
  • Adamos Hadjipanayis
EAP Statement


Child health has improved considerably, partly due to increased availability of appropriate disease surveillance and treatment. Inappropriate testing and treatment may impose a risk. There is a large and unexplained variation in the use of tests and treatments for children between and within countries. This suggests that non-scientific factors determine their use. In an era of increasing availability of health services, pediatricians have an important role in balancing risks and benefits of available tests and treatments. Examples from the medical literature of overtesting and overtreatment challenge us to reconsider current practices. Antibiotic overuse, overtreatment of bronchiolitis, and non-indicated radiological procedures are found in common practice across Europe. Choosing Wisely is an initiative to improve the quality of care by reducing unnecessary testing and treatment.

Conclusion: Clinicians have the challenge to find the optimal balance between too much and too little medicine—just appropriate.


Child Overtreatment Overdiagnosis Overtesting Antibiotics Bronchiolitis 


Authors’ Contributions

Dr. Størdal drafted the manuscript, performed literature search, and approved the final version.

Drs. Wyder, Trobisch, and Grossman contributed with comments in the writing process and approved the final version.

Dr. Hadjipanayis had the original idea of the statement, contributed with comments in the writing process, and approved the final version.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Institute of Public HealthOsloNorway
  2. 2.Ostfold Hospital TrustGrålumNorway
  3. 3.Kinderaerzte KurWerkBurgdorfSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of NeonatologyMedical University GrazGrazAustria
  6. 6.Maccabi Healthcare ServicesPediatric clinicTel AvivIsrael
  7. 7.Department of PaediatricsLarnaca General HospitalLarnacaCyprus
  8. 8.Medical SchoolEuropean University of CyprusNicosiaCyprus
  9. 9.European Academy of PaediatricsBrusselsBelgium

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