Skip to main content


[DTA Stream] Systematic reviews of diagnostic accuracy studies: interpreting results and drawing conclusions

Date and Location




Sunday 22 September 2013 - 15:30 - 17:00
Methods Group and core training

Methods Group

Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group
Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person

Rob Scholten


Rob Scholten
Clare Davenport
Christopher HYDE
Target audience

Target audience

Authors interested in conducting diagnostic systematic reviews and users of reviews interested in learning about the use of evidence in diagnostic decision making

Is your workshop restricted to a specific audience or open to all Colloquium participants?


Level of knowledge required

Type of workshop

Type of workshop

Abstract text


Objectives: To provide participants with an understanding of how results of Cochrane Diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) reviews can be presented and interpreted. At the end of the workshop, participants will have been introduced into various ways of presenting DTA results to help end-users to understand better the results of a DTA review. Description: Meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy studies is complex and the results of such a meta-analysis are not readily understandable. Interpretation of test results should be done in view of the purpose of the test(s), the position of the test in diagnostic process and the amount of heterogeneity that is present. The workshop will start with a brief introduction about interpretation of diagnostic tests and strategies for their use in quantitative decision making. In small groups the participants will first interpret the quality of the body of evidence of a Cochrane DTA review. Then they will have to translate and interpret the results of various ways of how results of a DTA meta-analysis may be presented. Topics included are SROC-curves, confidence ellipses around summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity, Summary of Results Tables and pretest-posttest graphs.