General Practice

Statistics Notes: Diagnostic tests 1: sensitivity and specificity

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6943.1552 (Published 11 June 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1552
  1. D G Altman,
  2. J M Bland
  1. Medical Statistics Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London WC2A 3PX
  2. Department of Public Health Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE.

    The simplest diagnostic test is one where the results of an investigation, such as an x ray examination or biopsy, are used to classify patients into two groups according to the presence or absence of a symptom or sign. For example, the table shows the relation between the results of a test, a liver scan, and the correct diagnosis based on either necropsy, …

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