Ickenroth mhp, ronda g, dinant gj, van der weijden t. Self-tests: use and reliability. Huisarts wet 2015;58(2):74-6. Consumers can test themselves for a broad range of conditions, without the involvement of a doctor or other health professional. Self-tests using body materials are available for 24 different diseases and risk factors. In a 2011 internet survey, 15% of adult dutch respondents said that they had used a self-test. Self-testing is consistent with the trend to greater patient autonomy and accessibility to medical information, but has disadvantages, mainly because of the chance of false positive or false negative results. There are no strict legal requirements for these tests and few have been scientifically validated, so it is not known how accurate or reliable most of these tests are. Consumers like being able to take responsibility for their health – a negative result gives reassurance and a positive result provides a valid reason to visit the doctor. An online decision aid can help consumers make an informed choice about self-testing, although the effect is small, especially when information or explanations become complex. It is important that consumers have access to objective information on self-testing, and that there is better monitoring of the quality of available self-tests.
Ickenroth, M., Ronda, G., Dinant, G. J., & van der Weijden, T. (2015). Diagnostische zelftests: gebruik en betrouwbaarheid. Huisarts en Wetenschap, 58(2), 74-76. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12445-015-0042-4