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CASP Diagnostic Test Study Appraisal

Posted on April 26, 2013 by Hugo Pedder

Learning Resources
check boxes for a diagnostic test

Being able to appraise a diagnostic test is important if you want to be able to give your patients an accurate diagnosis, which is the first step towards treatment. This isn’t always so easy, and many people might forget to do this, preferring instead to focus on appraising studies that compare treatments. However, as with using any study to inform clinical practice, it is important to consider the following three things:

A. Are the results of the study valid?
B. What are the results?
C. Will the results help me and my patient/population?

CASP (Critical Appraisal Skills Programme) [1] have developed a checklist of questions to help you appraise and understand diagnostic studies better. The checklist does NOT give an overall score or grade studies as “reliable” or “unreliable” since it is up to you to decide how strong the evidence is and how you want to use it. However, it will hopefully make that decision easier and more systematic!

Link to checklist:

http://media.wix.com/ugd/dded87_3815f02af1b34c21b8c3b2b5020024c3.pdf [2]

References:

[1] CASP International Network home page [Internet]. CASP; [cited 26 April 2013]. Available from: http://www.casp-uk.net/#!casp-international/c1zsi

[2] 12 questions to help you make sense of a diagnostic test study [Internet, PDF]. CASP International; 14 October 2010 [cited 26 April 2013]. Available from: http://media.wix.com/ugd/dded87_3815f02af1b34c21b8c3b2b5020024c3.pdf

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Hugo Pedder

Hugo Pedder

Hi, I'm Hugo. I finished my Neuroscience BSc at Edinburgh University last year and am now about to start a Medical Statistics MSc - nothing like learning a bit more about statistics to get your head around the grizzly methodological details! View more posts from Hugo

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