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Knowledge of test characteristics does not, per se, permit accurate interpretation of the test result. Such knowledge tells us only what proportion of patients with and without the disease in question will have a positive and negative result, respectively. Since the task of the clinician is to determine the presence or absence of the disease, the questions he or she must address are as follows: 1) Given a positive test, what is the probability that the disease is present? 2) Given a negative test, what is the probability that the disease is not present? The former probability
II. Principles of Test Interpretation: A. Predictive Value of Diagnostic Tests and Procedures. Ann Intern Med. 1981;94:565–570. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-94-4-565
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1981;94(4_Part_2):565-570.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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