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Sensitivity

In diagnostic testing, it refers to the chance of having a positive test result given that you have the disease. 100% sensitivity means that all those with the disease will test positive, but this is not the same the other way around. A patient could have a positive test result but not have the disease – this is called a ‘false positive’. The sensitivity of a test is also related to its ‘negative predictive value (true negatives) – a test with a sensitivity of 100% means that all those who get a negative test result do not have the disease. To fully judge the accuracy of a test, its specificity must also be considered.