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Specificity and Sensitivity - Essay Example

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In most cases, clinical tests are undertaken to confirm or rule out the presence of diseases during the screening process. It is fundamental to note that specificity and…
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Specificity and Sensitivity

Download file to see previous pages... y of a given clinical test refers to the ability of a test to accurately classify those patients with disease while specificity refers to the ability of the test to correctly identify patients without the disease. Consequently, Lovallo et al (2010) noted that specificity and sensitivity are inversely related in that the higher the sensitivity in a test, the lower the specificity of the same test. Therefore, a test having high sensitivity and lower specificity will accurately indicate higher percentage of patients as having a disease while limitedly identifying patients without the disease. Therefore, the use of high sensitivity and lower specificity is best suited in screening a severe but curable disease. On the contrary, the second test with a high specificity and low sensitivity will accurately identify higher percentage of patients without the diseases but inadequately provide information on those patients suffering from the diseases.
Therefore, in the case of a deadly disease that is curable, it is essential that clinical tests apply the first test since it will accurately identify a higher percentage of patients having the disease and hence facilitate mitigation of the disease. Prompt and accurate identification of individuals suffering from the disease will enable early detection and issuance of medical treatment. The screening process should hence apply test one.
Lovallo, C., Rolandi, S., Rossetti, A., & Lusignani, M. (2010). Accidental falls in hospital inpatients: evaluation of sensitivity and specificity of two risk assessment tools. Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 66(3), 690-696. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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