Letters Risk illiteracy rides again

Skill of interpreting imperfect investigations

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d3026 (Published 17 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3026
  1. Steven J McNulty, consultant endocrinologist1,
  2. Peter Williams, consultant physician1
  1. 1St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust, Prescot, Merseyside L35 5DR, UK
  1. sid{at}doctors.org.uk

Shuster suggests that clinicians should direct their efforts away from encouraging a deeper understanding of statistics towards searching for better investigations that will give a definitive answer, yes or no.1 To strive for a test that is 100% sensitive and specific, with a 100% positive and negative predictive value, though admirable, is probably futile, so clinicians should be trained to interpret better the …

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