S3E16: Your COVID Rapid Test Result: Are You Positive You’re Positive?


In today’s episode, Patrick and Greg use the context of COVID rapid tests to discuss issues of sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predicted values, and the generally questionable utility of test accuracy information. Along the way they also discuss escape rooms, C4, Embassy Suites, palak paneer, 93% accurate, astragali, SAT prep courses, the volume of a cone, risk and burden, and digging up the Rev.

Additional Show Notes

Gonick, L., & Smith, W. (1993). The cartoon guide to statistics. New York: HarperPerennial.

Very funny Onion Article on COVID and probability:

CDC Announces Plan To Send Every U.S. Household Pamphlet On Probabilistic Thinking

General Readings on Sensitivity and Specificity

Bujang, M. A., & Adnan, T. H. (2016). Requirements for minimum sample size for sensitivity and specificity analysis. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research: JCDR10, YE01.

Chu, K. (1999). An introduction to sensitivity, specificity, predictive values and likelihood ratios. Emergency Medicine11, 175-181.

Coughlin, S. S., Trock, B., Criqui, M. H., Pickle, L. W., Browner, D., & Tefft, M. C. (1992). The logistic modeling of sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of a diagnostic test. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology45, 1-7.

Feuerman, M., & Miller, A. R. (2008). Relationships between statistical measures of agreement: sensitivity, specificity and kappa. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice14, 930-933.

Loong, T. W. (2003). Understanding sensitivity and specificity with the right side of the brain. BMJ327(7417), 716-719.

Sharma, D., Yadav, U. B., & Sharma, P. (2009). The concept of sensitivity and specificity in relation to two types of errors and its application in medical research. Journal of Reliability and Statistical Studies, 53-58.


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