Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Expert panel diagnosis for diagnostic test poorly described, experts not blinded to test under study

Date:
October 15, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Evaluation of diagnostic studies is often a challenge in diseases that are not defined by a specific test. Assessment of the accuracy of diagnostic tests is essential because they may be used to define who is considered to have a disease and receive treatment for it. However, measuring the accuracy of a diagnostic test requires an accurate gold standard, which defines which patients truly have and do not have the disease.

Evaluation of diagnostic studies is often a challenge in diseases that are not defined by a specific test. Assessment of the accuracy of diagnostic tests is essential because they may be used to define who is considered to have a disease and receive treatment for it. However, measuring the accuracy of a diagnostic test requires an accurate gold standard, which defines which patients truly have and do not have the disease. Studies of diseases not defined by a specific test often rely on expert panels to establish the gold standard. In a systematic review and analysis of the diagnostic literature using expert panels to define the gold standard for a given disease, Loes Bertens and colleagues from University Medical Center Utrecht determined how expert panels were used in such studies and how well their process was described and reliability assessed.

Related Articles


The authors evaluated 81 diagnostic studies published up to May 31, 2012, including studies of diagnostic tests for psychiatric disorders (30 of 81 papers, 37%), half of which pertained to dementia, cardiovascular diseases (17 papers, 21%), and respiratory disorders (10 papers, 12%). They found that reporting was often incomplete, with 83% of studies missing at least some important information about the expert panel. In 75% of studies the panel consisted of three or fewer members, and panel members were blinded to the results of the test results being evaluated in only 31% of studies. Blinding is important because knowledge of the index text results could influence the panelists' decision as to whether the patient had the disease. Reproducibility of the decision process was assessed in only 21% of studies.

The authors state, "Complete and accurate reporting is a prerequisite for judging potential bias in a study and for allowing readers to apply the same study methods. In total, only 14 (17%) papers reported complete data on key issues such as the panel constitution, the information presented to the panel and the exact decision process to determine the final diagnosis." They also found that despite publication of reporting guidelines, the completeness of reporting did not improve over time, perhaps because the reporting guidelines do not include specific criteria for expert panel diagnoses. The authors make a number of recommendations to improve reporting of expert panel diagnosis. They conclude, "Our review revealed a large variation in applied methods as well as major deficiencies in the reporting of key features of the panel diagnosis process…The results of our review may serve as a starting point in the development of formal guidelines on methodology and reporting of panel diagnosis."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bertens LCM, Broekhuizen BDL, Naaktgeboren CA, Rutten FH, Hoes AW, et al. Use of Expert Panels to Define the Reference Standard in Diagnostic Research: A Systematic Review of Published Methods and Reporting. PLoS Med, 2013 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001531

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Expert panel diagnosis for diagnostic test poorly described, experts not blinded to test under study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015191238.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, October 15). Expert panel diagnosis for diagnostic test poorly described, experts not blinded to test under study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015191238.htm
Public Library of Science. "Expert panel diagnosis for diagnostic test poorly described, experts not blinded to test under study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015191238.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins