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Using samples to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of a surveillance process

journal contribution
posted on 2008-06-01, 00:00 authored by E S McBryde, H Kelly, C Marshall, Philip RussoPhilip Russo, D L S McElwain, A N Pettitt
Determining sensitivity and specificity of a postoperative infection surveillance process is a difficult undertaking. Because postoperative infections are rare, vast numbers of negative results exist, and it is often not reasonable to assess them all. This study gives a methodological framework for estimating sensitivity and specificity by taking only a small sample of the number of patients who test negative and comparing their findings to the reference or "gold standard" rather than comparing the findings of all patients to the gold standard. It provides a formula for deriving confidence intervals for these estimates and a guide to minimum requirements for sampling results.

History

Journal

Infection control and hospital epidemiology

Volume

29

Issue

6

Pagination

559 - 563

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Location

Cambridge, Eng.

ISSN

0899-823X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America