Searching for Diagnostic Test Accuracy Studies

  • Su GolderEmail author
  • Julie Glanville


Identifying diagnostic studies suitable for inclusion in a systematic review is a fundamental step to ensure the validity of the review findings in terms of minimising publication bias or similar threats to accuracy. Since there are no dedicated databases of diagnostic test accuracy studies, biomedical databases, such as MEDLINE/PubMed and Embase, should be searched as well as subject-specific databases and non-database resources.

The search should contain concepts for the index test and possibly the target condition. Search filters to identify diagnostic test accuracy studies are not recommended, except when used in multistranded searches.

Searching for studies is challenging and often complex and early collaboration with an information specialist is recommended to achieve searches that best reflect the review requirements.


Database search Publication bias Search Search strategy Diagnostic test accuracy studies 



We would like to thank Kath Wright, CRD, and Kate Misso, Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd for comments on an earlier draft.




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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health SciencesUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  2. 2.York Health Economics ConsortiumUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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