Test accuracy and potential sources of bias in diagnostic test evaluation

Katy JL Bell, Petra Macaskill and Clement Loy
Med J Aust 2020; 212 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50449
Published online: 13 January 2020

Understanding how to interpret diagnostic test accuracy studies is a key skill that health practitioners need to develop in order to undertake evidence‐based practice.1 In this article we guide the reader through how to interpret a diagnostic test accuracy study, including the potential for bias. In subsequent articles we will discuss how diagnostic tests may be applied in clinical practice and consider key concepts in population screening and overdiagnosis.

  • Katy JL Bell1
  • Petra Macaskill1
  • Clement Loy1,2

  • 1 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Westmead Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW


Series editors

John R Attia

Michael P Jones


Katy Bell receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia via a Centre of Research Excellence grant (1104136) and a project grant (1163054).

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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