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An aid in assessing whether a risk factor might be a worthwhile screening test: a Risk-Screening Converter
Many risk factors for disease are suggested as screening tests when there is no prospect that they could be useful in screening. To avoid this it is useful to know the quantitative equivalence between the value of a risk factor and its screening performance in terms of the detection rate (sensitivity) for a specified false-positive rate.

Here is an interactive risk-screening converter that does this. It is intended for people engaged in research into risk factors and disease and for those who give advice on applying such research findings into medical practice. It should help to distinguish effective screening methods from relatively ineffective ones and so improve clinical guidelines relating to screening and the prediction of disease.

This converter is described in:

  • Wald NJ, Morris JK. Assessing risk factors as potential screening tests. A simple assessment tool. Arch Intern Med 2010.

Risk Screening Converter sample graph
Right-click the graph and then click "save target as", "save link as", or similar to download the Risk Screening Converter
(MS Excel 2003, 324k)

The version of the converter on this page is that described in Wald and Morris, 2010 (cited above). Version 2 includes a new page, Likelihood ratio for an individual test result in sd units (or centiles) for a specified odds ratio.

by Wolfson Institute Website Manager © Queen Mary, University of London 2011
Centre for Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ Tel: 020 7882 3850 Fax: 020 7882 6270