NPS –Information on medical tests

What are medical tests and why are they useful?

Medical tests are a range of checks and procedures used to:

  • screen for possible illness
  • diagnose the likely cause of symptoms
  • monitor health conditions or the effects of treatment.

Medical tests include pathology tests, such as blood and urine tests, and a range of imaging tests like X-rays, computed tomography (CT scans), ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Is a medical test the best option?

Deciding whether a medical test is the best option involves weighing up several factors, especially the benefits and risks for your individual situation. For example:

  • how likely it is that you have a problem or medical condition
  • the test’s accuracy (including false positives and false negatives)
  • any possible harms of doing the test
  • the impact of uncertain or inconclusive results.

For health professionals, medical tests are an important part of medical practice. However, the wrong test may actually do more harm than good.

Quality use of medical tests means choosing the right test for the patient and using it at the right time.
NPS MedicineWise has compiled some of the latest evidence on medical tests commonly used in primary care.

Read more about medical tests and tests for some common conditions.

2 responses to “NPS –Information on medical tests”

  1. The Friends of Science (FSM) Pathology Recommendations was prepared by their Pathology Advisory Group which included distinguished pathologists from Australia and New Zealand. The report was supported by The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.
    It includes pathology tests that should be avoided.
    (Full report

    These tests are offered in some pharmacies by in-house naturopaths.

  2. “Distinguished” pathologists and other scientists have sadly had their professional image sullied with all the corruption and fraudulent/misleading construction of reports and their ‘creative’conclusions. Leaders with a professional profile are the ones that have been consistently targeted by Big Pharma. What assurances do we have that these ‘distinguished’ people are not supporting vested interests with whom they liase and have professional interactions ? What trust can we place in their recommendations ?

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