Introduction to Diagnostic Research
An online short course
This course aims to provide an introduction to diagnostic test accuracy research. Participants will be introduced to the concepts of study design, measures of accuracy, and sources of bias and variation. The course will focus on how to ensure research is high quality and clinically relevant. The course does not intend to cover in-depth statistical concepts and methods.
|Course date||8 - 9 July 2021|
|Course Organisers||Penny Whiting, Jessica Watson & Hayley Jones|
This 2-day course will be online and consist of live online lectures, asynchronous tasks, and more informal small group work that will provide a hands-on introduction to the design and conduct of diagnostic research. There is an emphasis on learning through practical tasks and participation.
- Describe why we undertake diagnostic test accuracy research;
- Define a clinically important research question;
- Define and calculate measures of test accuracy;
- Identify key sources of bias and variation in test accuracy research;
- Appreciate methods of diagnostic research beyond test accuracy studies;
- Design an optimal study to address a research question.
Who the course is intended for
The course is open to anyone who would like to learn about test accuracy research. This may include clinicians, researchers, methodologists and other health professionals. Attendees do not need to have a background in epidemiology or statistics.
The course contains live online lectures, asynchronous tasks, and more informal small group work that will provide a hands-on introduction to the design and conduct of diagnostic research. There is an emphasis on learning through practical tasks and participation.
Topics to be covered include:
- Introduction to diagnosis and tests
- Defining the research question including clinical pathways
- Measures of test accuracy
- Key principles of study design and methods
- Sources of variation and bias
- Making your research clinically relevant
Please note that no computer practicals are included, with the focus instead on interpretation of statistical concepts and results of analysis.
We strongly recommend the following as essential pre-course reading:
Whiting P, Martin RM, Ben-Shlomo Y, Gunnell D, Sterne JAC. How to apply the results of a research paper on diagnosis to your patient. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Short Reports. 2013; 4: 7.
For anyone interested in reading further in this area the following are recommended:
Gopalakrishna G, Langendam MW, Scholten RJ, Bossuyt PM, Leeflang MM. Defining the clinical pathway in cochrane diagnostic test accuracy reviews. BMC medical research methodology. 2016 Nov 10; 16(1): 153.
Whiting PF, Rutjes AWS, Westwood ME, Mallett S, Deeks JJ, Reitsma JB, Leeflang MM, Sterne JAC, and Bossuyt PMM. QUADAS-2: A Revised Tool for the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies. Ann Intern Med 2011; 155(8): 529-536.
This course is biennial, next expected to run in the 2022-2023 short course programme.
Information on this page relates to the last run of the course and is for reference only.