How Good Are the Measures?

J. H. Abramson and Z. H. Abramson

in Making Sense of Data

Third edition

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780195145250
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864775 | DOI:
How Good Are the Measures?

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The exercises in this section deal with the accuracy of measures used in epidemiological studies. They cover methods of appraising the validity of measures; the ways in which poor validity can produce biased prevalence, incidence rates, and erroneous conclusions about associations; and methods of making allowance for this bias. Other topics are nondifferential and differential misclassification and their effects, reliability and its appraisal and implications, and regression towards the mean. The section includes exercises on the validity of screening and diagnostic tests. Specific topics include sensitivity, specificity, and related measures, ROC curves, and the meaning of “normal.” A self-test concludes the section.

Keywords: validity; bias; misclassification; reliability; screening tests; diagnostic tests; sensitivity; specificity; ROC curves; normality

Chapter.  13278 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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