2020–2021 BCSC Basic and Clinical Science Course™
1 Update on General Medicine
Chapter 1: Using Research to Improve Clinical Practice
Interpreting Diagnostic and Screening Tests
Researchers use a variety of measures to evaluate the diagnostic precision of screening and diagnostic tests. Sensitivity and specificity are the simplest and easiest to understand, but their disadvantage is that they do not account for the prevalence of disease in the target population. PPV and NPV are more useful in that regard. ROC curves provide a comprehensive view of the relationship between the sensitivity and specificity of a continuous test result (eg, IOP) and can be used to compare diagnostic tests. Clinicians can use likelihood ratios and pretest probability of disease to critically evaluate screening and diagnostic tests in their clinical setting.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 1 - Update on General Medicine. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.