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Unit of study_

CEPI5312: Diagnostic and Screening Tests (1 and 2)

This unit of study introduces the student to basic concepts behind diagnostic and screening tests, including: test accuracy, sources of bias in test evaluation, critical appraisal of test evaluation studies, application of test results to individual patients, place of tests in diagnostic pathways, impact of tests on patient outcomes, principles and use of evidence in population screening, overdiagnosis, systematic review of diagnostic tests and meta-analysis. After completing this unit of study, the student should have a comprehensive understanding of contemporary issues and the methodology underlying, diagnostic and screening test evaluation and application.

Code CEPI5312
Academic unit Public Health
Credit points 6
(PUBH5010 or CEPI5100) and (PUBH5018 or FMHU5002)
PUBH5208 or CEPI5202 or CEPI5311

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. calculate sensitivity and specificity using 2x2 tables from various data sources, and explain how sensitivity and specificity affect the way we use and interpret a test
  • LO2. classify types of bias in diagnostic test evaluation, and describe how these could affect estimation of test accuracy
  • LO3. explain different roles a test may have in a diagnostic pathway, and how to evaluate a new diagnostic test
  • LO4. explain the principles and practice of population screening
  • LO5. explain the issues surrounding overdiagnosis and other contemporary issues in diagnostic test use
  • LO6. apply test results to individual patients using likelihood ratios and decision thresholds
  • LO7. interpret further topics in diagnostic test evaluation, including repeatability, test combinations, use of clinical information, and tests with continuous outcome
  • LO8. interpret receiver-operator characteristic curves and explain the principles behind systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic tests
  • LO9. describe issues surrounding use of tests for monitoring chronic disease or cancer surveillance.