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Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Jun 1;173(11):1327-35. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwr013. Epub 2011 May 9.

Problems with risk reclassification methods for evaluating prediction models.

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Program in Biostatistics and Biomathematics, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


For comparing the performance of a baseline risk prediction model with one that includes an additional predictor, a risk reclassification analysis strategy has been proposed. The first step is to cross-classify risks calculated according to the 2 models for all study subjects. Summary measures including the percentage of reclassification and the percentage of correct reclassification are calculated, along with 2 reclassification calibration statistics. The author shows that interpretations of the proposed summary measures and P values are problematic. The author's recommendation is to display the reclassification table, because it shows interesting information, but to use alternative methods for summarizing and comparing model performance. The Net Reclassification Index has been suggested as one alternative method. The author argues for reporting components of the Net Reclassification Index because they are more clinically relevant than is the single numerical summary measure.

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