20 augustus 2010

Beware of high sensitivity in low prevalent disorders

The test has a sensitivity of 90%. 90% will be correctly detected and 10% will be wrong. Prevalence of autism in children is 1%. Of 100.000 children 1000 will be autistic. In these 1000 the MRI test will correctly detect 900 caes and completely miss 100 real cases.

What in the 100.000-1000:  99.900 normal cases ? If we do this MRI test there will be 10% false positives. So the test will label 9990 perfectly healthy children as being autistic.  Brrrr.....

Stats are indeed important

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