Types of medical tests and their uses

Diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) reviews: a pathway


This lesson is part of an introductory series developed by Cochrane Screening & Diagnostic Test Methods Group to support authors in the production of DTA reviews. A full list of currently available or planned lessons is available here.

This lesson includes information about the different types of medical tests that can be evaluated in a Cochrane DTA Review, and their potential uses. It is important in the first stages of considering undertaking a Cochrane DTA Review to consider whether the research question and the use of the tests are suitable for evaluating in the DTA paradigm. Medical tests are used for multiple pursposes, and not all are suitable for assessment in this paradigm.

After using this resource, you should be able to...
  • Appreciate the breadth of technologies that are used for testing
  • Appreciate the different uses to which medical tests are put
  • Identify situations that fit with the diagnostic test accuracy paradigm

1.1 Types of medical tests and their uses

Author information: 
Deeks, Jon; Takwoingi, Yemisi; Leeflang, Mariska; Davenport, Clare

Cite as: Deeks JJ, Takwoingi Y, Leeflang MM, Davenport CF. Use of medical tests. Lesson 1.1: Cochrane Collaboration DTA Online Learning Materials. The Cochrane Collaboration, September 2014. Videocast (31 slides, 29 minutes, sound, colour). Available at <http://training.cochrane.org>.

Session compiled and narrated by Jon Deeks with technical support from Anne Walker and Paul Good, University of Birmingham. With grateful acknowledgement of the many members of the Cochrane DTA Reviews Working Group upon which the materials, in part, are based. Funded by the UK NIHR and the Cochrane Collaboration, with support from the University of Birmingham and the University of Amsterdam.