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Table 2 Sensitivity and specificity of reported symptoms for diagnosing Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia among patients attending a peripheral health facility in Kabale District, SW Uganda

From: Diagnosis and treatment of malaria in peripheral health facilities in Uganda: findings from an area of low transmission in south-western Uganda

Presenting symptoms Parasitaemia Present (%): n = 750 Parasitaemia Absent (%): n = 856 P- value1 Sensitivity (%) Specificity (%) Positive predictive value (%) Negative predictive value (%)
Headache 633 (84.4) 685 (80.0) P= 0.02 84.4 20.0 48.0 59.5
Joint pain 586 (78.1) 667 (77.9) n.s. 78.1 22.1 46.8 53.5
History of fever 579 (77.2) 667 (77.9) n.s. 77.2 21.1 46.5 52.5
Loss of appetite 476 (63.5) 526 (61.4) n.s. 63.5 38.6 47.5 54.6
Vomiting 426 (56.8) 445 (52.0) P = 0.02 56.8 48.0 48.9 55.9
General weakness 423 (56.4) 452 (52.8) n.s. 56.4 47.2 48.3 55.3
Rigors 138 (18.4) 133 (15.5) P = 0.03 18.4 84.5 50.9 54.2
Cough 124 (16.5) 195 (22.8) P = 0.001 16.5 77.2 38.9 51.4
Dizziness 76 (10.1) 112 (13.1) P = 0.03 10.1 86.9 40.4 52.5
Abdominal pain 73 (9.7) 75 (8.8) n.s. 9.7 91.2 49.3 53.6
Backache 35 (4.7) 42 (4.9) n.s. 4.7 95.1 45.5 52.6
Flu-like symptoms 28 (3.7) 30 (3.5) n.s. 3.7 96.5 48.3 53.4
  1. 1 χ2 values calculated using log likelihood, df = 1; n.s. not significant