Diagnostic Technologies in Ophthalmology

Indexed in: Book Citation Index, Science Edition, Scopus.

This E-book provides the reader with a detailed up-to-date review of diagnostic technologies and their role in clinical practice. Chapters are dedicated specifically to describe the role of current ...
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Diagnostic Studies - What the Clinician Needs to Know Regarding Methodology and Statistical Analysis of Assessments of a Diagnostic Test’s Performance

Pp. 3-12 (10)

J.A. Cook


Clinicians routinely face the challenge of diagnosing a medical condition, or assessing the severity and prognosis of disease based upon the diagnostic information at their disposal. Using such information to determine a diagnosis (e.g. imagining technology to diagnose glaucoma), is called a diagnostic test. Most diagnostic tests fall comfortably short of perfection in their diagnosis. When assessing a diagnostic test there are two related aspects to be concerned about – how well the test deals with diseased and non-diseased cases. Research is needed to assess the diagnostic performance and more generally the role a diagnostic test should play in clinical care: if, when and how it should be used. In this chapter, measures of diagnostic performance will be described using an example study. The challenges in conducting a robust and clinically relevant diagnostic study will be considered.


Sensitivity, Specificity, Likelihood ratio, Predictive value, Diagnostic accuracy, Diagnostic performance, Diagnostic odds ratio, Youden index, Applicability, Prognosis, Diagnostic test.


Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK