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The importance of conditional probability in diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision making: A primer for the eye care practitioner
Methods: We conducted a review of the importance of conditional probability in diagnostic testing for the eye care practitioner.
Results: Eye care practitioners use diagnostic tests on a daily basis to assist in clinical decision making and optimizing patient care and management. These tests provide probabilistic information that can enable the clinician to increase (or decrease) their level of certainty about the presence of a particular condition. While an understanding of the characteristics of diagnostic tests are essential to facilitate proper interpretation of test results and disease risk, many practitioners either confuse or misinterpret these measures.
Conclusions: In the interests of their patients, practitioners should be aware of the basic concepts associated with diagnostic testing and the simple mathematical rule that underpins them. Importantly, the practitioner needs to recognize that the prevalence of a disease in the population greatly determines the clinical value of a diagnostic test.
Publication titleOphthalmic Epidemiology
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
PublisherSwets Zeitlinger Publishers
Place of publicationP O Box 825, Lisse, Netherlands, 2160 Sz
Rights statement© 2017 Taylor & Francis