Sensitivity and Specificity

IDevice Icon Objectives
By the end of this module, you should be able to:
  • define a diagnostic test and describe its possible outcomes
  • explain and apply the concept of the gold standard
  • construct a 2 X 2 table from clinical data
  • calculate and interpret sensitivity and specificity
  • calculate and interpret positive and negative predictive values

You'll have a chance to re-visit and expand on these concepts in the next module.


Users guides to the medical literature : a manual for evidence-based clinical practice / The Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group ; edited by Gordon Guyatt, Drummond Rennie. Chicago, IL : AMA Press, c2002.

Fletcher, Robert H. Clinical epidemiology : the essentials / Robert H. Fletcher, Suzanne W. Fletcher. 4th ed. Baltimore : Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, c2005.