Table 3 

The analogy between diagnostic tests and clinical trials. 

Diagnostic testing 
Clinical trials 


Absence of disease 
Truth of null hypothesis 
Presence of disease 
Falsity of null hypothesis 
Cutoff between positive and negative results 
Significance level, α 
Test result 
Pvalue 
Negative result 
Pvalue > α 
Positive result 
Pvalue < α 
Sensitivity 
Power 
False positive rate (1specificity) 
Significance level, α 
Prior probability of disease 
Prior probability of a difference between groups 
Posterior probability of disease, given test result 
Posterior probability of a difference between groups, given study results 


Westover et al. BMC Medicine 2011 9:20 doi:10.1186/17417015920 