Systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy studies: introduction to meta-analysis

Core Methods Workshop

Workshop category: 

  • Diagnostic test accuracy review methods
Date and Location


Tuesday 22 October 2019 - 16:00 to 17:30


Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person:


Takwoingi Y1, Arevalo-Rodriguez I2, Roqué i Figuls M3
1 Cochrane Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group, University of Birmingham, UK
2 Clinical Biostatistics Unit, Hospital Universitario Ramon y Cajal-IRYCIS, Spain
3 Cochrane Iberoamerica, Spain


Deeks J1, Macaskill P2
1 University of Birmingham, UK
2 University of Sydney, Australia
Target audience

Target audience: 

Review authors, policymakers and other stakeholders interested in diagnostic test accuracy reviews. Knowledge of meta-analysis and meta-regression for intervention reviews will be an advantage.

Level of difficulty: 

Type of workshop

Type of workshop : 



Background: for making informed decisions about medical tests, healthcare organizations and policy-makers typically rely on information from studies that assess diagnostic accuracy, i.e. how well a test gets the diagnosis right in people who have and do not have the target condition. Therefore, it is essential that valid methods are used to produce high-quality evidence reviews that will be used to inform recommendations for patient care. This workshop, organized by the Cochrane Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group, is designed for those who have a keen interest in understanding the principles of diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) meta-analysis and how to use Review Manager 5 (RevMan 5) to produce graphical summaries.

Objectives: to introduce the principles of DTA meta-analysis and recommended statistical methods, including methods for assessing heterogeneity and comparisons of test accuracy; and to demonstrate data synthesis and graphical capabilities within RevMan 5.

Description: using published examples, participants will learn of key challenges, best practices for conducting DTA meta-analyses and methods for presenting results. Specifically, the workshop is based on the guidelines formulated in the Cochrane Handbook for Diagnostic Test Accuracy Reviews. The workshop will be delivered through a mixture of interactive presentations, discussions and practical demonstrations using RevMan 5. The workshop will be delivered in English, but Spanish-speaking facilitators will support those who wish to interact in Spanish for better understanding of the concepts and methods.

Participants are expected to bring a laptop with RevMan 5 installed. Those who do not have a laptop will still benefit from the onscreen demo and discussions. Prior to the workshop, participants will be sent the RevMan file that will be used during the workshop.