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Choosing Wisely Canada
Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations target overuse of unnecessary medical procedures

No CT scans needed after minor head injuries AND no psychostimulants as a first treatment in preschool children with ADHD among new recommendations.

Edmonton, June 2, 2015 – Avoiding CT scans for mild head injury and avoiding psychostimulants for preschool children with ADHD top the list of new recommendations released by Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) today.

The CWC recommendation concerning CT scans was developed by the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) and recognizes that most adults and children with minor head injuries do not suffer from serious brain injuries requiring hospitalization or surgery. Further, performing CT head scans without signs of significant injuries can expose patients to unnecessary radiation that can increase a patients’ lifetime risk of cancer.

Avoiding psychostimulants as first treatment for preschool children with ADHD recognizes the need to assess children for environmental stressors such as neglect, abuse or exposure to domestic violence before jumping to drugs as the solution. In some cases, education and support of parents followed by advice on behavioural management and community placement might be the solution. This recommendation was developed through the collaborative effort of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Today’s release of 49 new recommendations, unveiled in conjunction with the CAEP 2015 Annual Conference in Edmonton, brings the total of CWC recommendations available to patients and physicians to over 150. Now 29 Canadian medical specialty societies have released Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations. Choosing Wisely Canada has also been very well received by numerous public and patient advocacy groups. Many of these organizations have praised the CWC effort to provide information for patients that allows them to better engage with physicians in the management of their care.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is a lead partner in CWC, which is focusing on linking best available medical evidence to both physicians and their patients. Choosing Wisely Canada uses plain language and patient-friendly materials to complement the lists of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question.” Patient materials are being disseminated broadly through online, social media and other channels.


“The recommendations released today target overused and unnecessary tests and treatments that physicians and patients should avoid in these circumstances,” said Dr. Wendy Levinson, chair of Choosing Wisely Canada. “Avoiding these tests and treatments when they are not needed will improve care and prevent possible side effects.”

“The physician-patient relationship is based on communication, trust and the sharing of information to ensure the highest quality of care and Choosing Wisely Canada is a critical tool for both sides of the examination table,” said Dr. Chris Simpson, Canadian Medical Association.

National medical specialty societies releasing new lists of procedures that should be avoided:

For further information, or to arrange an interview contact:

Ciana Van Dusen
CMA Communications
tel: 613.731.8610 x 2229

Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) helps physicians and patients engage in healthy conversations about potentially unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures, and to help physicians and patients make smart and effective choices to ensure high-quality care. CWC got underway initially in Ontario and has been endorsed by all provincial and territorial medical associations who have established mechanisms to support the adoption of the Choosing Wisely Canada lists. It is now a truly national campaign.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is helping physicians care for patients. The CMA will be the leader in engaging and serving physicians and be the national voice for the highest standards for health and health care.