Tag Archives: statistics

going all the way with statistics

I just happened across an excellent illustration of why you need to go all the way through statistics to the hard numbers rather than stopping at initial impressions. This is in a presentation on newborn screening for a specific disorder. Check out these numbers:

Sensitivity
(probability of correctly identified patient): 100.00%

Specificity
(probability that healthy baby has normal result): 99.94%

False Positive Rate: 0.06%

Looks great, right? No false negatives, and only 0.06% false positives. So if you have a baby who tests positive, what are the odds that baby actually has the condition? Continue reading