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How likely is misdiagnosis?

23 June 2010 Leicester, University of

A new research project at the University of Leicester will review the accuracy of medical diagnoses. 

Evaluating diagnostic strategy is crucial to clinical practice as it helps maximise the efficacy of the treatments which are offered to patients.  Many lives are affected every day by the diagnoses made by hospitals and medical doctors, and it is vital that diagnoses are accurate.

Nicola Novielli, a PhD research student in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester, has carried out research to assess the accuracy of diagnoses made in hospitals and GP surgeries across the UK.

The research will develop new methods to evaluate the accuracy of sequences of diagnostic tests.  It will make systematic reviews of diagnostic practices which will allow for a more comprehensive evaluation of specific medical tools.

The results of these reviews will then be pooled together to analyse medical techniques across the UK and made available nationally to inform good practice.

Nicola Novielli commented:

“Combinations of diagnostic tests are used every day in every clinical practice and are evaluated assuming that the tests are independent.  This leads to inefficiencies that can be prevented.  We suggest a tool that can contribute to a more efficient diagnosis.”

• This research is being presented to the public at the University of Leicester on June 24. The Festival of Postgraduate Research introduces employers and the public to the next generation of innovators and cutting-edge researchers, and gives postgraduate researchers the opportunity to explain the real world implications of their research to a wide ranging audience. http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ssds/sd/pgr/events/fpgr

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