Should a standard be defined for the Positive Predictive Value (PPV) of recall in the UK NHS Breast Screening Programme?
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Summary The UK NHSBSP defines standards for both cancer detection rate and recall rate for assessment but has not explicitly set a defined standard for positive predictive value (PPV) of recall. However, as PPV is defined as the percentage of women who are recalled and have a final diagnosis of cancer, a standard for PPV is an implicit consequence of the standards for cancer detection rate and recall rate. The standards are defined in terms of a lower level of acceptability known as the ‘minimum standard’ and a higher level of acceptability referred to as the ‘target’. The target can be shown to be a PPV of more than 5.1% for prevalent screens and more than 8.4% for incident screens. This paper will explore the role of PPV as a performance measure and show how making moderate increases in PPV for programmes with the lowest PPVs could lead to major improvements in the overall efficiency of the programme.
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The Breast, 2007, 16 (1), pp. 55 - 59