Psychological Medicine

Editorial

Risk assessment and receiver operating characteristic curves

G. Szmuklera1 c1, B. Everitta2 and M. Leesea1

a1 Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK

a2 Department of Biostatistics, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK

Risk assessment is now regarded as a necessary competence in psychiatry. The area under the curve (AUC) statistic of the receiver operating characteristic curve is increasingly offered as the main evidence for accuracy of risk assessment instruments. But, even a highly statistically significant AUC is of limited value in clinical practice.

(Received June 15 2011)

(Revised September 05 2011)

(Accepted September 07 2011)

(Online publication October 03 2011)

Correspondence

c1 Address for correspondence: G. Szmukler, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Society, Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. (Email: george.szmukler@kcl.ac.uk)

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