Graphical presentation of diagnostic information

Whiting, Penny F; Sterne, Jonathan A C; Westwood, Marie E; Bachmann, Lucas M; Harbord, Roger; Egger, Matthias; Deeks, Jonathan J (2008). Graphical presentation of diagnostic information. BMC Medical research methodology, 8, p. 20. London: BioMed Central 10.1186/1471-2288-8-20

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BACKGROUND: Graphical displays of results allow researchers to summarise and communicate the key findings of their study. Diagnostic information should be presented in an easily interpretable way, which conveys both test characteristics (diagnostic accuracy) and the potential for use in clinical practice (predictive value). METHODS: We discuss the types of graphical display commonly encountered in primary diagnostic accuracy studies and systematic reviews of such studies, and systematically review the use of graphical displays in recent diagnostic primary studies and systematic reviews. RESULTS: We identified 57 primary studies and 49 systematic reviews. Fifty-six percent of primary studies and 53% of systematic reviews used graphical displays to present results. Dot-plot or box-and- whisker plots were the most commonly used graph in primary studies and were included in 22 (39%) studies. ROC plots were the most common type of plot included in systematic reviews and were included in 22 (45%) reviews. One primary study and five systematic reviews included a probability-modifying plot. CONCLUSION: Graphical displays are currently underused in primary diagnostic accuracy studies and systematic reviews of such studies. Diagnostic accuracy studies need to include multiple types of graphic in order to provide both a detailed overview of the results (diagnostic accuracy) and to communicate information that can be used to inform clinical practice (predictive value). Work is required to improve graphical displays, to better communicate the utility of a test in clinical practice and the implications of test results for individual patients.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Egger, Matthias

ISSN:

1471-2288

ISBN:

18405357

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:04

Last Modified:

02 Jan 2015 18:37

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/1471-2288-8-20

PubMed ID:

18405357

Web of Science ID:

000256298500002

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.27772

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/27772 (FactScience: 111481)

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