Evaluation of Reporting Quality in Publications of Diagnostic Tests
Mei Chung , Center for Clinical Evidence Synthesis, Tufts-NEMC
Joseph Lau, Tufts-New England Medical Center
*Gowri Raman, Tufts-New England Medical Center
Christopher H Schmid, Tufts-New England Medical Center
Thomas Trikalinos, Tufts-New England Medical Center
Keywords: meta-analysis, diagnostic test, STARD, reporting quality, reporting checklist
The reporting quality of publications can influence clinical decisions. We randomly selected 23 diagnostic test meta-analyses, all identified in Medline through 2003. We systematically reviewed 378 papers included in these meta-analyses for reporting quality. We assessed individual publications using a list of reporting quality items from the Statement for Reporting Studies of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) checklist. The quality of study reports varied considerably with the year of publication, and with many studies being quite deficient in reporting study, population, and diagnostic test characteristics. However, quality seems achievable, if additional efforts can be made to strictly adhere to the guidelines of STARD.