Wengen, Bühlstube, Switzerland

Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis of Diagnostic Test Accuracy Studies

when 20 January 2020 - 22 January 2020
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1 EC
fee CHF 900

This course will focus on the systematic review process to identify, critically appraise and summarise data from diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) studies. DTA studies evaluate the performance of a diagnostic test, for example to gauge how good a test is at discriminating between diseased and non-diseased persons. A systematic review is a useful design to summarise all evidence on the clinical performance of a diagnostic test for a specific disease or condition.

This course starts with a basic introduction to what a DTA study is and what estimates such as sensitivity and specificity mean. Thereafter, the course participants are introduced to the steps involved in the conduct of a high quality systematic review, including the planning, organisation and conduct of the statistical analyses (meta-analyses).

The course will run over three days and consist of lectures, group work and computer practical sessions. We start early in the morning with a review of the previous day. During the extended break in the afternoon participants review course materials, catch up on emails or go skiing. We reconvene at 4:30 pm for the computer sessions.

Course leader

Dr. Anne W.S. Rutjes, PhD, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM), University of Bern, Switzerland Fondazione Università "Gabriele d'Annunzio", University of Chieti – Pescara, Italy
Dr. Yemisi Takwoingi, PhD, Institute of Applied Health Rese

Target group

The target audience are epidemiologists, statisticians and others who wish to conduct or appraise systematic reviews and meta-analyses of DTA studies. Participants should have a basic understanding of general statistical and epidemiological principles. Although exercises are done in STATA and RevMan, no prior experience with these packages is required.

Course aim

By the end of this course participants will:
- Understand the different objectives and designs of DTA studies 

- Understand the basic elements of a thorough literature search for DTA studies 

- Understand potential risk of bias and concerns regarding applicability of DTA study results 

- Understand the concepts underlying different approaches to meta-analysis of DTA studies 

- Perform different types of meta-analyses of DTA studies (in RevMan and Stata) 

- Describe summary estimates and interpret results from meta-analyses appropriately.

Credits info

1 EC
Students should bring their own portable computers. Prior to the course, we will provide instructions regarding the installation of the software packages that will be used in the course. These are the freeware RevMan (http://tech.cochrane.org/revman/download) and STATA. STATA is a widely used statistical software package. We will install it on your computer at the start of the course. University of Bern IT staff onsite can provide help upon request per e-mail (it@ispm.unibe.ch) 

Electronic copies of lecture slides, exercises and practicals will be provided. In addition, a course booklet of the exercises and practicals will be provided in print.

Fee info

CHF 900: SSPH+ students: CHF 700
Academic fee: CHF 900
Industry fee: CHF 2’000
Participants must book their accommodations themselves (see map and recommendations on www.epi-winterschool.org/hotels).