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specificity (definition)

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The specificity of a test can be described as the proportion of true negatives it detects of all the patients without the target disorder.

It is thus the proportion of patients without the target disorder who have a negative test result.

All negatives are the sum of (detected) true negatives (TN) and (misdiagnosed) false positives (FP).

 Target Disorder PresentTarget Disorder Absent
Test result positiveTrue Positive (TP)False Positive (FP)
Test result negativeFalse Negative (FN)True Negative (TN)

Specificity is therefore:

  • TN / (TN + FP) x 100%

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