Literature survey of high-impact journals revealed reporting weaknesses in abstracts of diagnostic accuracy studies.

TitleLiterature survey of high-impact journals revealed reporting weaknesses in abstracts of diagnostic accuracy studies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsKorevaar DA, Cohen JF, Hooft L, Bossuyt PM
JournalJournal of clinical epidemiology
Volume68
Issue6
Pagination708-15
Date Published2015 Jun
ISSN1878-5921
KeywordsAbstracting and Indexing as Topic; Diagnosis; Health Information Management; Humans; Journal Impact Factor; Practice Guidelines as Topic
AbstractOBJECTIVES: Informative journal abstracts are crucial for the identification and initial appraisal of studies. We aimed to evaluate the informativeness of abstracts of diagnostic accuracy studies. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: PubMed was searched for reports of studies that had evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of a test against a clinical reference standard, published in 12 high-impact journals in 2012. Two reviewers independently evaluated the information contained in included abstracts using 21 items deemed important based on published guidance for adequate reporting and study quality assessment. RESULTS: We included 103 abstracts. Crucial information on study population, setting, patient sampling, and blinding as well as confidence intervals around accuracy estimates were reported in <50% of the abstracts. The mean number of reported items per abstract was 10.1 of 21 (standard deviation 2.2). The mean number of reported items was significantly lower for multiple-gate (case-control type) studies, in reports in specialty journals, and for studies with smaller sample sizes and lower abstract word counts. No significant differences were found between studies evaluating different types of tests. CONCLUSION: Many abstracts of diagnostic accuracy study reports in high-impact journals are insufficiently informative. Developing guidelines for such abstracts could help the transparency and completeness of reporting.
DOI10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015.01.014
Alternate JournalJ Clin Epidemiol