August 23, 2012   Posted by: thomasetoconnor

EVALUATING DIAGNOSTIC TESTS …… Where do the performance numbers come from?

By Dr. John Alsobrook, PhD, DABCC, FACB

IT ONLY SEEMS COMPLICATED. REALLY.
Diagnostic tests are typically marketed based on their performance claims, the numbers that describe how well the test works. You’ll hear numbers (usually percentages) quoted for “sensitivity”, “specificity”, “accuracy”, and more. The general idea is very intuitive: larger numbers usually mean better performance. The performance is based on comparing the test results against a gold-standard clinical evaluation. But where do those numbers come from, and what do they mean? Understanding diagnostic test performance statistics can appear to be daunting. Here you’ll see that the underlying principles and the necessary arithmetic are straightforward and not very deserving of the anxiety they can generate.

Please see the entire white paper by By Dr. John Alsobrook, PhD, DABCC, FACB by selecting this link here.

Feel free to contact us for additional information on the topic of the proper way to evaluate diagnostic tests and have a greater clarity to performance numbers at (716) 201-0228 or to@biomarketconsulting.com.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *