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Discussion in 'Step I' started by obiwan, May 29, 2008.

  1. obiwan

    obiwan Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 26, 2006
    in FA, it says that sensitivity is used to rule out disease. i had a UW question yesterday that a high sensitive test rules out individuals with disease which got me confused. Correct me if i'm wrong but I always thought that a highly sensitive test (low false negatives) rules out those without disease if they had a negative test...
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  3. PenguinHead

    PenguinHead 5+ Year Member

    Nov 16, 2006
    I think you are right and UW was wrong, or you interpreted it wrong.

    The way I see it:
    A highly sensitive test should be positive for everyone with the disease. It would have low false negatives. So, if it says you don't have the disease, then you truly don't have the disease. To me, that means that it screens out those who definitely don't have the disease.
  4. Femtochemistry

    Femtochemistry Skunk Works 10+ Year Member

    May 13, 2002
    I read the same thing in UW; that sensitivity rules IN while FA said rules OUT.

    very confused.
  5. osli

    osli Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    Sensitive tests rule out a disease, specific tests rule in a disease.

    If it is 100% sensitive, and your result is negative, then you know you don't have it.

    If it is 100% specific, and your result is positive, then you know you do have it.
  6. synapse lapse

    synapse lapse tokyo robotic 15+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Yeah, a mnemonic in our school syllabus was SPIN and SNOUT, SPeceificity rule IN, SeNsitivity rules OUT. Not sure if it helps, but if you are in a pinch or forget in 2 years maybe so.

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