Milo A. Puhan, MD; Johann Steurer, MD, MME; Lucas M. Bachmann, MD, PhD; Gerben ter Riet, MD, PhD
Acknowledgments: The authors thank Dr. Otto Brändli for the opportunity to conduct this study during the congress of the Zurich Lung League in Davos, Switzerland.
Grant Support: By the Helmut Horten Foundation. Dr. Bachmann's work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grants 3233B0-103182 and 3200B0-103183).
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Requests for Single Reprints: Milo A. Puhan, MD, Horten Centre, University Hospital of Zurich, Postfach Nord, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Author Addresses: Drs. Puhan and Steurer: Horten Centre, University Hospital of Zurich, Postfach Nord, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland.
Dr. Bachmann: University of Berne, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Finkenhubelweg 11, 3012 Berne, Switzerland.
Dr. ter Riet: Academic Medical Center, Deptment of General Practice, Room J2-118, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: M.A. Puhan, J. Steurer, G. ter Riet.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: M.A. Puhan, L.M. Bachmann, J. Steurer, G. ter Riet.
Drafting of the article: M.A. Puhan.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: L.M. Bachmann, J. Steurer, G. ter Riet.
Final approval of the article: M.A. Puhan, L.M. Bachmann, J. Steurer, G. ter Riet.
Provision of study materials or patients: M.A. Puhan.
Statistical expertise: M.A. Puhan, G. ter Riet.
Collection and assembly of data: M.A. Puhan.
Puhan MA, Steurer J, Bachmann LM, Riet GT. A Randomized Trial of Ways To Describe Test Accuracy: The Effect on Physicians' Post-Test Probability Estimates. Ann Intern Med. 2005;143:184-189. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-143-3-200508020-00004
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2005;143(3):184-189.
There are several ways to present information about the accuracy of diagnostic tests.
In this vignette-based study, 183 physicians read 6 scenarios that included patients' presenting symptoms, risk profiles, and test results. Physicians were randomly assigned to view information about test accuracy as sensitivity and specificity, a likelihood ratio, or an inexact graphic of the likelihood ratio. In general, the groups estimated similar post-test probabilities of disease regardless of how diagnostic accuracy was presented.
This preliminary work suggests some physicians may interpret sensitivity and specificity and likelihood ratio information in a similar manner.
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Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Pulmonary/Critical Care, Venous Thromboembolism, Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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