Doing less in healthcare: recognising and tackling overuse

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Come and listen to Prof Armstrong talk about the challenges of avoiding medicalisation and addressing over treatment in healthcare.

About this Event

The Yorkshire Quality and Safety Research Group continues its programme of seminars:

Doing less in healthcare: the challenges of recognizing and tackling overuse.

Professor Natalie Armstrong, Professor of Healthcare and Improvement Research & Health Foundation Improvement Science Fellow, SAPPHIRE Group, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester


Overuse of healthcare interventions and the harms of ‘too much medicine’ are increasingly being discussed as significant problems in contemporary healthcare with arguments being made for a move towards less medicine and avoiding medicalisation. Much research in clinical contexts has addressed issues of defining and intervening to address overdiagnosis and overtreatment. But little attention has been paid to the complexities of ‘not doing’ in medicine, including how this is understood and talked about by those providing and commissioning healthcare, and by patients themselves. This talk will consider some of the challenges involved in seeking to tackle overuse, arguing that even when professionals and patients may wish to do less rather than more, the system within which care is delivered and received can make this challenging to achieve.


A medical sociologist by background, Natalie’s work uses sociological ideas and methods to understand health and illness and to tackle problems in the delivery of high-quality healthcare. Natalie’s work covers a number of healthcare topics, although she has a long-standing special interest in women’s and children’s health and in preventative healthcare. While originally trained in sociology departments, Natalie has worked ever since in health sciences environments and is committed to applied research and the practical impact of social science learning within healthcare and healthcare improvement. In 2017 Natalie was awarded a Health Foundation Improvement Science Fellowship, which she is using to apply social science theory to the topic of overdiagnosis and overtreatment within the UK health system, and how this can be balanced with efforts to prevent under-treatment.


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Who should I contact with questions about this event?

Please contact the seminar organisers Siobhan McHugh ( or Helen Smith (   

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