Simple Statistical Measures for Diagnostic Accuracy Assessment

J Thorac Oncol. 2010 Jun;5(6):763-4. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181dab122.


The aim of diagnostic medicine research is to estimate and compare the accuracy of diagnostic tests to provide reliable information about a patient's disease status and thereby influencing patient care. When developing screening tools, researchers evaluate the discriminating power of the screening test by using simple measures such as the sensitivity and specificity of the test, as well as the positive and negative predictive values. In this brief report, we discuss these simple statistical measures that are used to quantify the diagnostic ability of a test.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine*
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Sensitivity and Specificity