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January 29, 1973

Multiphasic Screening

JAMA. 1973;223(5):559-560. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220050059031

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To the Editor.—  In the article by Bates and Yellin (222:74, 1972) on multiphasic screening, it is important to note that the study was conducted in an "open" or unstructured medical setting and their conclusions of inadequate follow-up of patients and test results are pertinent to these circumstances. We would like to emphasize the necessity for alternate arrangements for follow-up as a solution to these problems.As Bates and Yellin indicate, because of the prevalence of most diseases, with our present state of knowledge of defining normal values, the sensitivity and specificity of testing procedures, and the rather large number of tests done, it is inescapable that a significant number of false-positive test results will occur. If the multiphasic clinic reviews the test results and automatically, as an integral part of their program, orders necessary recheck or follow-up testing, the physician can be relieved of this burdensome activity and more effectively