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Assessing case definitions in the absence of a diagnostic gold standard

Assessing case definitions in the absence of a diagnostic gold standard
Assessing case definitions in the absence of a diagnostic gold standard
Optimal case definition is important in epidemiological research, but can be problematic when no satisfactory gold standard is available. In particular, difficulties arise where the pathology underlying a disorder is unknown or cannot be reliably diagnosed. This problem can be overcome if diagnoses are viewed not necessarily as labels for disease processes, but more generally as a useful method for classifying people for the purpose of preventing or managing illness. With this perspective, the value of a case definition lies in its practical utility in distinguishing groups of people whose illnesses share the same causes or determinants of outcome (including response to treatment). A corollary is that the best-case definition for a disorder may vary according to the purpose for which it is being applied.
diagnosis, classification, validity
0300-5771
949-952
Coggon, David
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Martyn, Christopher
1c716090-077c-45b2-a7ab-cd552d94f681
Palmer, Keith T.
0cfe63f0-1d33-40ff-ae8c-6c33601df850
Evanoff, Bradley
62fb3afe-a5ae-4421-8f86-0da7d879b464
Coggon, David
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Martyn, Christopher
1c716090-077c-45b2-a7ab-cd552d94f681
Palmer, Keith T.
0cfe63f0-1d33-40ff-ae8c-6c33601df850
Evanoff, Bradley
62fb3afe-a5ae-4421-8f86-0da7d879b464

Coggon, David, Martyn, Christopher, Palmer, Keith T. and Evanoff, Bradley (2005) Assessing case definitions in the absence of a diagnostic gold standard. International Journal of Epidemiology, 34 (4), 949-952. (doi:10.1093/ije/dyi012).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Optimal case definition is important in epidemiological research, but can be problematic when no satisfactory gold standard is available. In particular, difficulties arise where the pathology underlying a disorder is unknown or cannot be reliably diagnosed. This problem can be overcome if diagnoses are viewed not necessarily as labels for disease processes, but more generally as a useful method for classifying people for the purpose of preventing or managing illness. With this perspective, the value of a case definition lies in its practical utility in distinguishing groups of people whose illnesses share the same causes or determinants of outcome (including response to treatment). A corollary is that the best-case definition for a disorder may vary according to the purpose for which it is being applied.

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Published date: 2005
Keywords: diagnosis, classification, validity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 24306
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/24306
ISSN: 0300-5771
PURE UUID: 4953e7f5-75fb-4c7c-ad25-ea13ba77ec64
ORCID for David Coggon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-3987

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Date deposited: 29 Mar 2006
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:57

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Contributors

Author: David Coggon ORCID iD
Author: Christopher Martyn
Author: Keith T. Palmer
Author: Bradley Evanoff

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