Clinical Research Glossary

sensitivity (medical test) sensitivity (medical test)


How well a medical test can accurately identify people who have a disease or trait.

Example of sensitivity (medical test) in a sentence

The sensitivity of a test refers to how well it detects a disease when the person actually has the disease.

More Info

A medical test that has high sensitivity means it is very good at detecting a disease. If it has low sensitivity it means it is not very good at detecting a disease.

Greater sensitivity leads to a more precise diagnosis.

For example, a COVID test with high sensitivity means the test is able to detect the infection very well.

Other info to think about when joining a study

In clinical research and medicine, the term “sensitivity” is used to describe how well a medical test works to find cases of an illness or condition. A test that works well to identify people with an illness or condition is said to be very sensitive.

You can always ask the study team if you have any questions about the way the term “sensitivity” is being used in the study information.

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