Assessing quality of a diagnostic test evaluation

Cynthia D. Mulrow, William D. Linn, Mary K. Gaul, Jacqueline A. Pugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Objective:To develop a standardized scale for assessing the quality of a diagnostic test evaluation. Design:Fourteen participants with formal and practical experience in evaluating diagnostic tests formed a consensus panel. Panel members identified and weighted questions that should be addressed when assessing the quality of a diagnostic test evaluation. Setting:General internal medicine division at an academic medical center. Results:A 19-item weighted scale was developed. It prioritizes and addresses issues such as description of the proposed purpose of the test; appropriate selection and description of the study population; appropriate performance and description of the diagnostic test; appropriate selection and performance of the reference standard; and adequate presentation of test characteristics. Conclusions:The scale is proposed as a useful instrument for readers, investigators, reviewers, and editors, because it represents an updated synthesis of important criteria to consider when evaluating diagnostic tests. It can also be used to rate quantitatively the quality of diagnostic test evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-295
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • diagnostic test
  • evaluation
  • methodology
  • quality control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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