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Clinical epidemiology 

Clinical epidemiology
Chapter:
Clinical epidemiology
Author(s):

Noel McCarthy

and Adrian Smith

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198719830.003.0008
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date: 24 October 2020

This chapter summarizes the application of epidemiological information and methods for clinical decision-making. It discusses the contribution of epidemiological information to the clinical assessment of infection risk, including determination of susceptibility, the nature of effective contact, and the likelihood of source infectivity. It explains, with reference to calculated examples, the key epidemiological measures of diagnostic test performance (including sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and likelihood ratios) and discusses strategies to optimize clinical diagnostic strategies in infectious diseases. The chapter concludes by summarizing the scope of host and pathogen factors that influence the prognosis of infectious diseases and the effectiveness of clinical interventions, including consideration of the epidemiological interplay between individual, ecological, and population risks and interventions.

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