Understanding, appraising, interpreting and summarising evidence regarding diagnostic tests

About this event

Category
Training
From
Jun 19, 2017
Until
Jun 21, 2017
Location
Utrecht

Course on Understanding, appraising, interpreting and summarising evidence regarding diagnostic tests (June 19, 20, and 21, 2017) by Cochrane Netherlands

Clinicians, healthcare workers and guideline developers have to take many decisions regarding the application of diagnostic tests. For such decisions knowledge of the accuracy of tests is necessary. Diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) applies to comparing the results of the test under study (the so-called index test) with those of a reference standard (the best test to identify the patient's condition). From this various diagnostic accuracy parameters can be derived, such as sensitivity, specificity and predictive values. To help making diagnostic decisions systematically summarising DTA evidence has become a major part of medical decision making. Although the principles of systematically summarising diagnostic evidence are similar to those of systematic reviews of interventions, many aspects of systematic reviews of DTA (SRDTAs) require special skills. This not only applies to the systematic review process itself, but also to meta-analysis of DTA.

This series of two workshops is targeted at people who need to make decisions about diagnostic tests and forms a coherent basis for systematically reviewing, analysing and interpreting diagnostic evidence. 

Part 1: (June 19th and 20th): "(Cochrane) systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy"

In this two-day workshop participants learn to define the diagnostic 'journey' of a patient with a particular health problem (including the role of tests), to formulate clear diagnostic questions and to identify and appraise DTA studies. They will be introduced into the principles of meta-analysis, so that they are able to understand and interpret diagnostic meta-analysis. This workshop forms an essential basis for the next workshop. We will follow Cochrane guidance for preparing a Cochrane systematic review of diagnostic test accuracy (see http://dta.cochrane.org/handbook-dta-reviews).

Part 2: (June 21st) "Meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy"

In this one-day hands-on workshop participants will learn the main aspects of meta-analysis of diagnostic studies. Meta-analysis is directed at combining sensitivity and specificity of primary diagnostic studies. Because those parameters are not independent of each other, they must be analysed jointly by the use of advanced statistical models. We will address both hierarchical and bivariate models for diagnostic meta-analysis by the use of R software. In addition, we will address how to explore heterogeneity and to perform subgroup analyses.

The workshops can be followed separately or in conjunction.

For more information see the website www.juliusacademy.nl

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