Understanding and re-expressing results in DTA reviews

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 describes how results from meta-analyses of diagnostic test accuracy can be re-expressed to aide our understanding. Examples are provided to illustrate the key measures of test accuracy including predictive values and likelihood ratios. RevMan calculator tool is presented that can be used to compute those values from the summary estimates obtained in meta-analysis. The lesson introduces the concept of normalised frequencies and explains how estimates of prevalence can be obtained.

After using this resource, you should be able to...
  • Understand how estimate of test accuracy can be used to describe the practical implications of using a test
  • Use the RevMan DTA calculator tool to compute likelihood ratios, predictive values, and normalised frequencies
  • Understand the importance of prevalence

8.1 Understanding and re-expressing results in DTA reviews

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

Cite as: Deeks JJ, Takwoingi Y, Leeflang MM, Davenport CF. Understanding & re-expressing results. Lesson 8.1: Cochrane Collaboration DTA Online Learning Materials. The Cochrane Collaboration, September 2014. Videocast (25 slides, 28 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.