Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Clinical prediction rules

Assessing properly the usefulness of clinical prediction rules and tests

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 21 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1238
  1. Huw Llewelyn, general physician and endocrinologist1
  1. 1Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny NP7 7EG, UK
  1. huw.llewelyn{at}

Clinical prediction rules and other “tests” should be assessed not only in terms of sensitivity and specificity,1 which show only how a test detects a single diagnosis in a defined population. Sensitivity is often set high and specificity low, so that a positive result suggests only a differential diagnosis. A …

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