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National and international initiatives such as choosing wisely (https://www.choosingwisely.org/our-mission/), slow medicine (https://www.slowmedicine.com.br/slow-medicine-an-international-appeal-on-mindful-healthcare/), prudent healthcare (http://www.bevancommission.org/en/prudent-healthcare) and realistic medicine (https://www.nhsinform.scot/care-support-and-rights/nhs-services/using-the-nhs/realistic-medicine) all aim to help patients work together as more equal partners with their health professional leading to better decisions about their care. The principle of ensuring patients receive the most appropriate treatment for their needs will resonate with health professionals, especially when there is an opportunity to avoid potential treatment harm and to ascertain if there is a genuine need for the treatment. However, one aspect of patient care that has, until recently, received less attention—though one, that is, implicit in the initiatives mentioned above—is that of the burden of treatment for patients. This has been defined …
Competing interests Conflict of interest None declared. Disclosure of conflicts of interest form(s) are published online as supplementary files.
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