Landscape of methodological quality assessment tools for diagnosis and prognosis research
2Cochrane Netherlands, Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Background: Multiple tools for assessing the methodological quality of diagnosis and prognosis research exist, with similar scope and overlap in quality items. Which tool should be used for a particular diagnostic or prognostic study type or design is not always clear. This may generate confusion among systematic reviewers and those using such tools for informing the design of a primary study.
Objectives: To provide an overview of existing quality assessment tools for diagnosis and prognosis research, along with guidance on which characteristics of a tool to consider when choosing one.
Methods: We will search for eligible tools in MEDLINE, repositories of recommended tools by health institutions, and by contacting methods experts and reference list searching. Eligible tools should be intended for diagnosis or prognosis research, i.e., studies aiming to predict the presence of a certain diagnosis or a future event, and help to assess risk of bias, applicability, or other aspects related to study quality. Tools focusing exclusively on reporting quality will be excluded. Eligible tools may be intended for several study designs, including test accuracy studies, prognostic factor studies, and model validation studies. We will narratively describe the tools’ scope and intended use, and examine differences in their structure, items, and rating system. These results will be used to develop guidance that will highlight differences between the various diagnosis and prognosis study types and which characteristics one could consider when choosing a quality tool for a particular purpose.
Results: The results of this study will be presented at the meeting. Conclusion: This overview and guidance may help in the selection of a tool that fits the intended purpose, possibly improving the design of primary studies and, in the case of systematic reviews, leading to more informative quality ratings. Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: None.