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Surg Oncol. 2017 Sep;26(3):305-309. doi: 10.1016/j.suronc.2017.06.005. Epub 2017 Jun 21.

How to conduct a high-quality original study on a diagnostic research topic.

Author information

1
Health Research Methodologist, Department of Oncology, McMaster University, G Wing, 2nd Floor, Room 222, 1280 main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada. Electronic address: yaoxia@mcmaster.ca.
2
Health Research Methodologist, Department of Oncology, McMaster University, G Wing, 2nd Floor, Room 222, 1280 main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada.

Abstract

As health research methodologists and journal reviewers, we noticed that the methodological rigor of many publications on diagnostic or prognostic topics in the medical literature could be improved. We present a concise and clear series of reviews to help clinicians and health researchers to master the basic key components of how to conduct a high-quality original study or systematic review on a diagnostic or prognostic research topic from a methodological perspective. This is the first review of the series, which focuses on how to conduct a high-quality diagnostic study. We are introducing four aspects: clarifying the objectives; generating an appropriate research question; planning the study design; and reporting and analyzing data. This review highlights that diagnostic test accuracy outcomes are surrogates for patient outcomes, a diagnostic test has three roles, the "PIRO" components should be included in a diagnostic research question, a new study should be registered, multiple index tests can be compared in one study, and prevalence affects test accuracy outcomes. This review also emphasizes reporting any thresholds, calculating sample size, and performing a two-by-three table to calculate diagnostic outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

Diagnostic study; Educational review; Test accuracy

PMID:
28807251
DOI:
10.1016/j.suronc.2017.06.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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