Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Clinical decision rules: how to use them
  1. B Phillips
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bob Phillips, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, and Hull-York Medical School, University of York YO10 5DD, UK; bob.phillips{at}


The first of this pair of papers outlined what a clinical decision rule is and how one should be created. This section examines how to use a rule, by checking that it is likely to work (examining how it has been validated), understanding what the various numbers that tell us about “accuracy” mean, and considers some practical aspects of how clinicians think and work in order to make that information usable on the front lines.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding This work was funded as part of an MRC Research Training Fellowship.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.