Importance of validity and reliability in diagnostic testing or research essay
Topic 2 DQ 2
According to Gleason, Harris, Sheean, Boushey and Bruenner (2010), reliability and validity allow us to answer the question of whether the measurement process used in a study produces consistent and accurate information. If a measure is reliable, that means its value would have been approximately the same even if some aspect of the measurement had been different, such as being completed at a different time or by a different observer or rater (Gleason, et al, 2010). With a reliable measure, one can feel confident that its value is not unduly influenced by some idiosyncratic aspect of the measurement process. It is not sufficient for a measure to just be reliable. A measurement process that yields a consistent value when repeated is not useful if that value does not accurately reflect the underlying characteristic or outcome it is intended to measure. importance of validity and reliability in diagnostic testing or research essay. Thus, variables or measures used in research must be valid as well as reliable. A valid measure reflects what it is intended to reflect, and one can feel confident that there is no systematic error in this measure (Gleason, et al, 2010). Validity is the extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to measure; in other words, it is the accuracy of the test. Validity is measured by sensitivity and specificity (Parikh, Mathai and Thomas, 2008). Parikh, et al (2008) describe sensitivity as the ability of a test to correctly classify an individual as ′diseased′. The ability of a test to correctly classify an individual as disease- free is called the test′s specificity (Parikh, et al, 2008). The basic idea of performing a diagnostic test is to increase (or decrease) the suspicion that a patient has a particular disease, to the extent that a management decision can be appropriated. importance of validity and reliability in diagnostic testing or research essay.
ECG analysis requires a systematic approach that includes knowledge of the patient’s age, sex, and race and presenting complaint/symptom. The abnormalities observed must be correlated with the data collected from the individual’s medical history and physical examination and from other tests performed. The interest in using computer programs to analyze ECGs has risen rapidly over the past decade. Although the programs used for computerized ECG analysis have been recognized to be imperfect, their use has become accepted as providing the less experienced physicians with an almost immediate, reasonably accurate analysis to assist them in achieving more accurate analyses (Oweis, and Hijazi, 2006). This proposed computer-aided ECG diagnostic tool in this work has made a contribution to reducing the load of analysis of the many ECGs recorded routinely. Its use actually increases physician’s accuracy in ECG analysis, saves physician time, and improves quality of patient care and leads to a reduction in the costs associated with ECG analysis (Oweis and Hijazi, 2006). The results of applying the tool on randomly selected representative sample show 99% matching with those results obtained at specialized medical facilities. The inexperienced physicians in their routine practice may benefit from the proposed diagnostic tool to get reasonably accurate diagnosis and informative backup to improve the accuracy of their analyses. importance of validity and reliability in diagnostic testing or research essay.
The gold standard is the best single test (or a combination of tests) that is considered the current preferred method of diagnosing a particular disease (Parikh, et al, 2008). All other methods of diagnosing a condition, including any new test, need to be compared against this ′gold′ standard. The gold standard is different for different diseases. The gold standard for one condition may be considered outdated or inadequate, but any new test designed to replace the gold standard has to be initially validated against the gold standard (Parikh, et al, 2008). If the new test is indeed better, there are ways to prove that; following which the new test may become the gold standard.
Gleason, P. M., Harris, J., Sheean, P. M., Boushey, C. J., & Bruemmer, B. (2010). Publishing nutrition research: validity, reliability and diagnostic test assessment in nutrition-related research. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110(3), 409-420. importance of validity and reliability in diagnostic testing or research essay.
Parikh, R., Mathai, A., & Thomas, R. (2008). Understanding and using sensitivity, specificity and predictive values. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, 56(1), 45-50.
Oweis, R., & Hijazi, L. (2006). A computer-aid ECG diagnostic tool. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 81, 279-285.
Explain the importance of validity and reliability in diagnostic testing or research. Describe how validity relates to sensitivity and specificity in diagnostic testing. Identify a health screen specific to a diagnostic test that is currently being debated regarding its use, recommended ages, or frequency, and discuss how validity and reliability play into this debate. What other factors should you consider when you assess the recommendations for a diagnostic test or screen? importance of validity and reliability in diagnostic testing or research essay.
When using a test to distinguish between individuals with normal and abnormal results, it is imperative to understand how characteristics of the disease are distributed in varying populations (Celentano & Szlko, 2019). This is why validity and reliability are so important to the success of diagnostic testing. The validity of a test is the ability to differentiate between those that have a disease and those who do not (Celentano & Szlko, 2019). The reliability of a test indicates the extent to which it is without bias and ensures dependable measurement across time and the various items of the tools given in the research (Bajpai & Bajpai, 2013).There are two key factors to validity: (1) sensitivity of the test and (2) specificity of the test (Celentano & Szlko, 2019). The sensitivity of the test is the ability to determine who has the disease. The specificity of the test is the ability to determine who does not have the disease (Celentano & Szlko, 2019).A health screen that is currently being debated is a breast exam for women, specifically a mammogram to screen for breast cancer. Young women experience a breast exam at routine women appointments, but the mammogram is not performed until the age of 45 (Pratt, 2018). New research suggests that women with specific risk factors should begin breast screenings at the age of 30, but some experts say it may not be effective for women of this age group (Pratt, 2018) importance of validity and reliability in diagnostic testing or research essay.Validity and reliability play into this debate because it is important to know what age group of women are affected are which are not. Only then will experts be able to determine whether or not mammograms will prove to be beneficial at a younger age.
Other factors that should be considered are the health risks and drawbacks associated with the test itself. One large drawback in mammography screening is breast cancer overdiagnosis and overtreatment (Kresser, 2017). For this example, it is critical for research experts to take this factor into consideration before determining whether or not to lower the age for mammograms. importance of validity and reliability in diagnostic testing or research essay.
Bajpai, S. & Bajpai, R. (2013). Goodness of Measurement: Reliability and Validity. Retrieved from https://www.ejmanager.com/mnstemps/67/67-1380953319.pdf
Celentano, D.D. & Szklo, M. (2019). Gordis Epidemiology (6th Ed). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Inc.
Kresser, C. (2017). The Downside of Mammograms. Retrieved from https://kresserinstitute.com/the-downside-of-mammograms/
Pratt, E. (2018). Should Some Women Get Mammograms at 30? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/some-women-should-have-mammograms-starting-at-age-30 importance of validity and reliability in diagnostic testing or research essay