Methodologic Standards for Diagnostic Test Research in Pulmonary Medicine

In: Pulmonary Medicine

16 Jun 2014

Methodologic Standards for Diagnostic Test Research in Pulmonary MedicineThe appropriate utilization of diagnostic tests and the accurate interpretation of their results are fundamentally important skills for physicians who treat patients with respiratory disorders. In order to use a test correctly, clinicians need valid information from studies that rigorously evaluate the accuracy, clinical utility, and applicability of the test online antibiotics. Unfortunately, many diagnostic tests commonly used in clinical practice have never been examined by well-designed investigational protocols even though methods for diagnostic test research are well established. Although regulatory safeguards exist for delaying the approval and release of new drugs until safety and efficacy are clearly confirmed, new diagnostic tests can become entrenched in clinical practice despite the absence of adequate investigation support. The improper introduction of diagnostic tests that later prove of little clinical value wastes health-care resources and potentially harms patients by mislabeling their health status and misguiding diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
Because of the importance of diagnostic testing in pulmonary medicine and the increasing number of newly available tests, a need exists for proper test assessment before implementation. To determine if new diagnostic tests are undergoing appropriate evaluation, we examined published studies in general internal medicine and pulmonary journals that report the discriminative properties of tests proposed for use in diagnosing respiratory disease. We analyzed the study designs of the investigations and the methods for reporting results relative to accepted methodologic standards for diagnostic test research. Our findings assist clinicians and journal editors in their critical appraisal of studies that report test results and aid investigators in designing suitable studies to evaluate new tests for diagnosing pulmonary disease.

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