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Review
, 327 (7417), 716-9

Understanding Sensitivity and Specificity With the Right Side of the Brain

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Review

Understanding Sensitivity and Specificity With the Right Side of the Brain

Tze-Wey Loong. BMJ.

Erratum in

  • BMJ. 2003 Nov 1;327(7422):1043

Abstract

Can you explain why a test with 95% sensitivity might identify only 1% of affected people in the general population? The visual approach in this article should make the reason clearer

Figures

Fig 1
Fig 1
Key to symbols
Fig 2
Fig 2
Hypothetical population
Fig 3
Fig 3
Results of diagnostic test on hypothetical population
Fig 4
Fig 4
Sensitivity of test
Fig 5
Fig 5
Specificity of test
Fig 6
Fig 6
Test with 100% sensitivity
Fig 7
Fig 7
Perfect test
Fig 8
Fig 8
Positive predictive value
Fig 9
Fig 9
Negative predictive value
Fig 10
Fig 10
Results of testing population with disease prevalence of 10%
Fig 11
Fig 11
Prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus
Fig 12
Fig 12
(top) Results of antibody nuclear test in systemic lupus erythematosus; (bottom) negative and positive predictive values
Figure 13
Figure 13
Figure 14
Figure 14

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