The evaluation of the ability of a diagnostic test to separate diseased subjects from nondiseased subjects is a crucial issue in modern medicine. The accuracy of a continuous-scale test at a chosen cut-off level can be measured by its sensitivity and specificity, i.e. by the probabilities that the test correctly identifies the diseased and non-diseased subjects, respectively. In practice, sensitivity and specificity of the test are unknown. Moreover, which cut-off level to use is also generally unknown in that no preliminary indications driving its choice could be available. In this paper, we address the problem of making joint inference on pairs of quantities defining accuracy of a diagnostic test, in particular, when one of the two quantities is the cut-off level. We propose a technique based on an empirical likelihood statistic that allows, within a unified framework, to build bivariate confidence regions for the pair (sensitivity, cut-off level) at a fixed value of specificity as well as for the pair (specificity, cut-off level) at a fixed value of sensitivity or the pair (sensitivity, specificity) at a fixed cut-off value. A simulation study is carried out to assess the finite-sample accuracy of the method. Moreover, we apply the method to two real examples.

Simple Nonparametric Confidence Regions for the Evaluation of Continuous-Scale Diagnostic Tests

CHIOGNA M.
2010

Abstract

The evaluation of the ability of a diagnostic test to separate diseased subjects from nondiseased subjects is a crucial issue in modern medicine. The accuracy of a continuous-scale test at a chosen cut-off level can be measured by its sensitivity and specificity, i.e. by the probabilities that the test correctly identifies the diseased and non-diseased subjects, respectively. In practice, sensitivity and specificity of the test are unknown. Moreover, which cut-off level to use is also generally unknown in that no preliminary indications driving its choice could be available. In this paper, we address the problem of making joint inference on pairs of quantities defining accuracy of a diagnostic test, in particular, when one of the two quantities is the cut-off level. We propose a technique based on an empirical likelihood statistic that allows, within a unified framework, to build bivariate confidence regions for the pair (sensitivity, cut-off level) at a fixed value of specificity as well as for the pair (specificity, cut-off level) at a fixed value of sensitivity or the pair (sensitivity, specificity) at a fixed cut-off value. A simulation study is carried out to assess the finite-sample accuracy of the method. Moreover, we apply the method to two real examples.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/647106
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