The value of latent class analysis in medical diagnosis
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2006
Copyright © 1986 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Statistics in Medicine
Volume 5, Issue 1, pages 21–27, January/February 1986
How to Cite
Rindskopf, D. and Rindskopf, W. (1986), The value of latent class analysis in medical diagnosis. Statist. Med., 5: 21–27. doi: 10.1002/sim.4780050105
- Issue published online: 12 OCT 2006
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2006
- Manuscript Revised: MAY 1985
- Manuscript Received: FEB 1985
- Latent class analysis
Assessment of the value of diagnostic indicators such as symptoms and laboratory tests results from calculation of the sensitivity and specificity of the indicators. Knowledge of the rate of occurrence of the disease allows for additional calculations of the error rates in using an indicator. These calculations are accurate only when the data on which they are based are reliable. If the diagnosis, which is used as the criterion for computing the sensitivity and specificity, is not accurate, then the resulting calculations will be in error. We show how a statistical method, latent class analysis, allows for the estimation of the characteristics of indicators even when an accurate diagnosis is unavailable. In addition, the method deals with several indicators at once, and provides a way to combine the information from all the indicators to make a diagnosis.