Sensitvity VS Specificity

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Sensitvity & Specificity





Sensitivity refers to the proportion of people with disease who have a positive test result.
Specificity refers to the proportion of people without disease who have a negative test result.

SnNout is a mnemonic applied to the finding that when a sign, test or symptom has a high Sensitivity, a Negative result rules out the diagnosis.
SpPin is a mnemonic applied to the finding that when a sign, test or symptom has a high Specificity, a Positive result rules in the diagnosis.

We can assume that there are four possible groups of patients, as indicated (a,b,c,d) in the table:

Target Disorder
PresentAbsent
Diagnostic Test Result+

a

b

a + b

-

c

d

c + d

a + c

b + d

a + b + c + d


From these we determine the sensitivity and specificity as follows: Sensitivity = a/(a+c)
Specificity = d/(b+d)



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