6.3 Diagnostic Test Accuracy review searching

Authors of Cochrane Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA) reviews should be strongly encouraged to leave the management of DTA review searching to the Group’s Information Specialist.

Search strategies for identifying diagnostic studies are not restricted to a particular study design and are predominantly focused on terms for the diagnostic test(s) of interest (index test) and the clinical disorder or disease stage the test is seeking to detect (target condition).

6.3.1 What and where to search

As a minimum, you must search:

  • MEDLINE
  • Embase

In addition, search for other related DTA reviews. For example:

  • ARIF (in-house database, University of Birmingham)
  • HTA database (archive only)
  • DARE (archive only)

Additional methods of identifying relevant studies are as outlined in the intervention reviews section of this Guide.

6.3.2 Study design search filters

At present, the DTA Handbook recommends that the routine use of methodology filters in searches should be avoided as even the most sensitive searches can miss relevant studies.