, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 651-657,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 06 Jul 2011

Rating the methodological quality in systematic reviews of studies on measurement properties: a scoring system for the COSMIN checklist

Abstract

Background

The COSMIN checklist is a standardized tool for assessing the methodological quality of studies on measurement properties. It contains 9 boxes, each dealing with one measurement property, with 5–18 items per box about design aspects and statistical methods. Our aim was to develop a scoring system for the COSMIN checklist to calculate quality scores per measurement property when using the checklist in systematic reviews of measurement properties.

Methods

The scoring system was developed based on discussions among experts and testing of the scoring system on 46 articles from a systematic review. Four response options were defined for each COSMIN item (excellent, good, fair, and poor). A quality score per measurement property is obtained by taking the lowest rating of any item in a box (“worst score counts”).

Results

Specific criteria for excellent, good, fair, and poor quality for each COSMIN item are described. In defining the criteria, the “worst score counts” algorithm was taken into consideration. This means that only fatal flaws were defined as poor quality. The scores of the 46 articles show how the scoring system can be used to provide an overview of the methodological quality of studies included in a systematic review of measurement properties.

Conclusions

Based on experience in testing this scoring system on 46 articles, the COSMIN checklist with the proposed scoring system seems to be a useful tool for assessing the methodological quality of studies included in systematic reviews of measurement properties.