Timing medical examinations via intensity functions

Giovanni Parmigiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This paper studies a decision theoretic method for timing medical examinations. The specific model is motivated by screening asymptomatic individuals for hidden disease or risk-increasing conditions. Ideas and strategies may be applied more broadly to problems in which a stochastic process is monitored over time with a costly and possibly faulty data collection procedure. The decision space is modelled as a space of functions, termed screening intensity functions. Results include explicit rules for deciding whether or not an individual of given age and risk factors should be screened for a disease, and for deciding when an individual examined today should be examined again. Breast cancer screening is used as an illustration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-816
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic disease
  • Design
  • Medical decision making
  • Optimisation
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Statistics and Probability
  • General Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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