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What is the predictive value of a screening test?

The predictive value of a screening test reflects the probability that the test result is correct or incorrect. For example, once a person receives a positive result, the clinician must determine the probability that the patient actually has the disease, as opposed to it being a false-positive result. Moreover, if a person tests negative, the clinician must determine the negative predictive value of a test -- the probability the person is truly disease-free.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.