Mind the prevalence rate: Overestimating the clinical utility of psychiatric diagnostic classifiers

Ahmad Abu-Akel, Chad Bousman, Efstratios Skafidas, Christos Pantelis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Currently, there is an intense pursuit of pathognomonic markers and diagnostic ('risk-based') classifiers of psychiatric conditions. Commonly, the epidemiological prevalence of the condition is not factored into the development of these classifiers. By not adjusting for prevalence, classifiers overestimate the potential of their clinical utility. As valid predictive values have critical implications in public health and allocation of resources, development of clinical classifiers should account for the prevalence of psychiatric conditions in both general and high-risk populations. We suggest that classifiers are most likely to be useful when targeting enriched populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1225-1227
Number of pages3
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume48
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright Cambridge University Press 2018Â.

Keywords

  • Autism
  • clinical classifiers
  • negative predictive value
  • positive predictive value
  • prevalence rate
  • psychiatric conditions
  • psychosis
  • risk calculators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology

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