Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy

This is an archived version. For the current version, please go to

Version 1.0, 2013

The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy is the official guide that describes in detail the process of preparing and maintaining systematic reviews of test accuracy for Cochrane. The Handbook has been produced by the Cochrane Screening and Diagnostic Test Methods Group. It is a step-by-step guide for those conducting systematic reviews of test accuracy and a reference for more experienced authors.


The Handbook is applicable to all systematic reviews of test accuracy though is specifically relevant to Cochrane Reviews. Part 1 covers information specific to Cochrane Reviews of diagnostic test accuracy. Part 2 introduces the methods used in systematic reviews of test accuracy and how to present the findings, including collecting data, assessing risk of bias in the included studies, and undertaking meta-analysis. 


Although these chapters are still very instructive and valuable for authors, it is necessary to check the alignment of these chapters with the most up-to-date guidance. Chapters are available below for personal use. Please note, only chapters that were completed are available.


Part 1: Cochrane Reviews

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Planning and preparation of a Cochrane review

Chapter 3: Keeping a Cochrane review up-to-date

Chapter 4: Guide to the contents of a Cochrane protocol for Diagnostic Test Accuracy (PDF 209 KB)

Part 2: General Methods for Cochrane Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy

Chapter 5: Introduction to diagnostic research

Chapter 6: Developing criteria for including studies (PDF 125 KB)

Chapter 7: Searching for studies (PDF 410 KB)

Chapter 8: Selecting studies and collecting data

Chapter 9: Assessing methodological quality (PDF 225 KB)

Chapter 10: Analysing and presenting results. Version 1.0 uploaded January 2011 (PDF 765 KB)

Chapter 10: supporting files (.zip 7.6 KB)

Chapter 11: Interpreting results (PDF 836 Kb)