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J Prosthet Dent. 1991 Sep;66(3):385-90.

Predictive value: a model for dentists to evaluate the accuracy of diagnostic tests for temporomandibular disorders as applied to a TMJ scale.

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University of North Carolina Clinical Pain Program, Chapel Hill.


The predictive value model for assessing the accuracy of diagnostic test results in the individual patient with a temporomandibular disorder is described. The use of predictive values to help the clinician ascertain the degree of confidence to be placed in diagnostic test results is illustrated. The predictive value model is used to study the accuracy of the TMJ Scale as a diagnostic tool. For all base rates between 0% and 100%, the predictive values of the TMJ Scale result in a gain in accuracy in confirming or excluding a diagnosis of a temporomandibular disorder. The TMJ Scale provides the dentist with improved accuracy of diagnostic decisions regarding the presence of temporomandibular disorders throughout the entire range of base rates found in clinical practice. Application of the predictive value model helps the dentist avoid serious diagnostic errors that could place both the patient and dentist at unnecessary risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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