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Reply To: sensitivity vs specificity

#321956

Helen Carey
Participant

Sensitivity focuses on a specific condition (the example I gave is CP) whereas specificity focuses on ruling out the presence of a condition (the example I gave is GM delay). A child with poor gross motor skills will very likely score below average on the TIMP and be correctly identified as being delayed, however, we won’t be able to necessarily determine if the low performance is due to CP or another condition affecting GM development. A test with high sensitivity is best when your focus is identifying CP, not just GM delay.

My brain wants to switch the concepts since I tend to think of “specificity” as identifying a specific condition (being “specific” about a condition), when it is actually the opposite.

Hope this helps!
Helen