StATS: Continuing education questions for a talk on diagnostic tests (July 24, 2007)

As part of my talk to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, I have been asked to present two questions related to my topic (Use of Diagnostic Tests for Making Clinical Decisions). These questions would consist of a brief clinical stem followed by four choices on how to manage the situation. These will be presented prior to my talk and then afterwards to see how effective the training is.

I have not officially developed these questions yet, but obviously, I cannot ask questions that require medical judgment. I believe there are two areas I could ask questions about.

First, I could find a diagnostic test described in an open source medical publication and state the sensitivity and specificity. Then I could ask questions about how well the test could rule in or rule out. Possibly I could ask what would happen if your practice was in an area where the prevalence was much lower.

Second, I could find a publication that studied a diagnostic test using a less than ideal research design. Perhaps a study with spectrum bias or incomplete ascertainment with the gold standard. Then I would ask what the limitations of the research study are.

When I get the questions written, I'll ask if I can publish them on this weblog.

This page was written by Steve Simon while working at Children's Mercy Hospital. Although I do not hold the copyright for this material, I am reproducing it here as a service, as it is no longer available on the Children's Mercy Hospital website. Need more information? I have a page with general help resources. You can also browse for pages similar to this one at Category: Diagnostic testing.