Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Risk illiteracy rides again

Come clean if you don’t know

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 17 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3044
  1. Kevin P Barraclough, general practitioner1
  1. 1Hoynad House, Painswick, Gloucestershire GL6 6RD, UK
  1. k.barraclough{at}

The correspondence to Heath’s article suggests that understanding a simple statistical problem is either difficult or not relevant.1 2 3 But it is critically relevant. Most of the symptoms, signs, and tests that doctors rely on have poor performance characteristics. They are certainly much less …

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