Talk:Sensitivity (tests)

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Sense and sensitivity[edit]

"In the traditional language of statistical hypothesis testing, the sensitivity of a test is called the statistical power of the test, although the word power in that context has a more general usage that is not applicable in the present context."

That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. It looks as if sensitivity and statistical power are the same... OK, so "power" is somehow broader. But if the usage of "power" is "more general", why is it "not applicable" here? "General" seems to indicate broad applicability. --Hob Gadling 16:30, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Needs clearer definitions[edit]

Sensitivity (and specificity) are not very clearly defined and are probably confusing to the non-specialist. "True positive" may be thought of as explained in this context, or as the total number of cases in the group that are truly positive ("true positive + false negative" in this article)

Needs clearer definitions part 2[edit]

I agree with the above heading, but I'm not sure what the previous post-er is saying, precisely. Anyway, in the "sensitivity" and "specificity" articles, the terms "true postive" and "true negative" need to be explicitly defined for the nonspecialist. Also in each article, an example from medicine or pharmacology or related field would be helpful.

Needs a better intro[edit]

Something along the lines of what the test is and what it is used for before launching into the technicla explanation. A worked example would not go amiss either.GraemeLeggett 10:13, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Table and edits[edit]

re past wish list for simpler description, setting what it is before launching in mathematical jargon. I have also added a table and in Sensitivity (tests) added a worked example. The table is now consistant in Sensitivity, Specificity, PPV & NPV with relevant row or column for calculation highlighted. David Ruben Talk 02:44, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Errors and confusing choice of labels[edit]

The example calculations of sensitivity and specificity appear to be in error. I believe the underlying confusion would be avoided if the the second row in the first table would read "present" and "not present" (condition) instead of "true" and "false". -- 22:22, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

May be useful to add base rate info[edit]

It may be useful to mention that both sensitivity and specificity are not affected by base rate whereas positive predictive power and negative predictive power are affected by base rate. (Refer to A.S. Labarge et al.(2003). Neuropsychologists' abilities to determine the predictive value of diagnostic tests. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 18, 165-175.) Erbmc 16:50, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

There is someting along these lines at Sensitivity (tests)#Definition. If you think you can improve it then be bold --Henrygb 23:32, 25 March 2007 (UTC)


Can someone take a look at Test sensitivity? I think it needs merged into this page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:40, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I've proposed a bigger merger at Talk:Sensitivity and specificity. I hadn't initially noticed Test sensitivity (so thanks WhatamIdoing) but that should clearly be included too. Please continue discussion there not here. Qwfp (talk) 08:52, 28 February 2008 (UTC)