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criteria for screening

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These are defined by the WHO as follows:

  • the condition screened for should be an important one
  • there should be an acceptable treatment for patients with the disease
  • the facilities for diagnosis and treatment should be available
  • there should be a recognised latent or early symptomatic stage
  • there should be a suitable test or examination which has few false positives - specifity - and few false negatives - sensitivity
  • the test or examination should be acceptable to the population
  • the cost, including diagnosis and subsequent treatment, should be economically balanced in relation to expenditure on medical care as a whole
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