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Screening tests: a review with examples.

Maxim LD, Niebo R, Utell MJ - Inhal Toxicol (2014)

Bottom Line: This article presents an overview of such tests including the definitions of key technical (sensitivity and specificity) and population characteristics necessary to assess the benefits and limitations of such tests.The importance of careful consideration of the consequences of both false positives and negatives is highlighted.Receiver operating characteristic curves are explained as is the need to carefully select the population group to be tested.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Everest Consulting Associates , Cranbury, NJ , USA and.

ABSTRACT
Screening tests are widely used in medicine to assess the likelihood that members of a defined population have a particular disease. This article presents an overview of such tests including the definitions of key technical (sensitivity and specificity) and population characteristics necessary to assess the benefits and limitations of such tests. Several examples are used to illustrate calculations, including the characteristics of low dose computed tomography as a lung cancer screen, choice of an optimal PSA cutoff and selection of the population to undergo mammography. The importance of careful consideration of the consequences of both false positives and negatives is highlighted. Receiver operating characteristic curves are explained as is the need to carefully select the population group to be tested.

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Reported sensitivity and specificity of a sample of screening tests reported in the literature. Circles are studies summarized here (Table A1) while triangles represent studies reported in Alberg et al. (2004).
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Figure 1: Reported sensitivity and specificity of a sample of screening tests reported in the literature. Circles are studies summarized here (Table A1) while triangles represent studies reported in Alberg et al. (2004).

Mentions: Figure 1 shows a sample of reported sensitivities and specificities of various screening tests as summarized by Alberg et al. (2004), denoted by the triangles, and from our own literature search (refer Table A1), denoted by the circles. As can be seen, there are a substantial number of screening tests with both high sensitivity and high specificity, but also many that fall far short of this ideal. It should be noted that not all the screening tests shown in Figure 1 are actually used at present – some may have been found wanting.


Screening tests: a review with examples.

Maxim LD, Niebo R, Utell MJ - Inhal Toxicol (2014)

Reported sensitivity and specificity of a sample of screening tests reported in the literature. Circles are studies summarized here (Table A1) while triangles represent studies reported in Alberg et al. (2004).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4389712&req=5

Figure 1: Reported sensitivity and specificity of a sample of screening tests reported in the literature. Circles are studies summarized here (Table A1) while triangles represent studies reported in Alberg et al. (2004).
Mentions: Figure 1 shows a sample of reported sensitivities and specificities of various screening tests as summarized by Alberg et al. (2004), denoted by the triangles, and from our own literature search (refer Table A1), denoted by the circles. As can be seen, there are a substantial number of screening tests with both high sensitivity and high specificity, but also many that fall far short of this ideal. It should be noted that not all the screening tests shown in Figure 1 are actually used at present – some may have been found wanting.

Bottom Line: This article presents an overview of such tests including the definitions of key technical (sensitivity and specificity) and population characteristics necessary to assess the benefits and limitations of such tests.The importance of careful consideration of the consequences of both false positives and negatives is highlighted.Receiver operating characteristic curves are explained as is the need to carefully select the population group to be tested.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Everest Consulting Associates , Cranbury, NJ , USA and.

ABSTRACT
Screening tests are widely used in medicine to assess the likelihood that members of a defined population have a particular disease. This article presents an overview of such tests including the definitions of key technical (sensitivity and specificity) and population characteristics necessary to assess the benefits and limitations of such tests. Several examples are used to illustrate calculations, including the characteristics of low dose computed tomography as a lung cancer screen, choice of an optimal PSA cutoff and selection of the population to undergo mammography. The importance of careful consideration of the consequences of both false positives and negatives is highlighted. Receiver operating characteristic curves are explained as is the need to carefully select the population group to be tested.

Show MeSH