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Diagnostic Tests, Evaluation of

  1. Colin B. Begg

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0470011815.b2a04013

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

How to Cite

Begg, C. B. 2005. Diagnostic Tests, Evaluation of. Encyclopedia of Biostatistics. 2.

Author Information

  1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


This entry reviews issues in the evaluation of individual diagnostic tests, or the comparison of two alternative tests. Measures of test accuracy are described, and the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve method of analysis is mentioned. Various biases that may affect the evaluation of a diagnostic test are reviewed. Parametric and nonparametric methods to compare two tests are indicated, and issues concerning the design of studies to evaluate diagnostic tests are summarized.


  • accuracy;
  • receiver operating characteristic curve;
  • bias;
  • test comparisons;
  • study design