The interpretation of test results

M. Binder, S. Dreiseitl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Dermatologists need to interpret an increasing number of research studies and diagnostic tests. Understanding the techniques for interpreting test results and making decisions based upon those tests represent important tools for decision making for both clinicians and researchers. Objective: This article focuses briefly on the key parameters of diagnostic tests: sensitivity, specificity, prevalence, predictive values, likelihood ratios, and the concept of receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) curves. A simple example is presented in a step-by-step manner. Conclusion: The principles of interpreting test results are easy to learn and applicable in daily clinical routine. Therefore, dermatologists should be familiar with the concepts outlined in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Lyme Disease/diagnosis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin Diseases/diagnosis


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