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Chapter 3 - Multilevel and Continuous Tests

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 May 2020

Thomas B. Newman
University of California, San Francisco
Michael A. Kohn
University of California, San Francisco
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Up to this point, we have discussed the accuracy of dichotomous tests – those that are either positive or negative for the disease in question. Now, we want to consider the accuracy of multilevel tests – those with more than two possible results. As discussed in Chapter 2, the results of such tests can be ordinal if they have an intrinsic ordering, like a urine dipstick test for white blood cells, which can be negative, trace positive, or positive. Test results also can be discrete (having a limited number of possible results, like the dipstick test) or continuous, with an essentially infinite range of possibilities (like a serum cholesterol level or white blood cell count).

Evidence-Based Diagnosis
An Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology
, pp. 47 - 74
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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