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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450

Resumo

MEDINA, María Camila. Overview of Diagnostic Tests and Their Usefulness in Medical Decisions Making. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2011, vol.40, n.4, pp.787-797. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: The usefulness of diagnostic tests consists of the ability to detect and separate a person with a disease from a healthy person, and not to produce false positives or negatives. The properties of diagnostic tests have traditionally been described using sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values. An additional way to consider the probability of a disease is by calculating the likelihood ratio which helps to estimate how many times more (or less) likely patients with a disease are to have a particular result than patients without the disease. Objective: To describe the main properties of diagnostic tests. Important concepts, such as sensitivity, specificity, predictive value and likelihood ratio are explained, as well as their usefulness and applicability in clinical practice. Method: Articles and texts have been reviewed to define and analyze the operative characteristics of diagnostic tests. Similarly, examples are given to facilitate understanding and interpretation.

Palavras-chave : Sensitivity; specificity; positive predictive value; negative predictive value; likelihood ratio; diagnostic tests.

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