ERIC Number: EJ1109006
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Using Meta-Analysis to Inform the Design of Subsequent Studies of Diagnostic Test Accuracy
Hinchliffe, Sally R.; Crowther, Michael J.; Phillips, Robert S.; Sutton, Alex J.
Research Synthesis Methods, v4 n2 p156-168 Jun 2013
An individual diagnostic accuracy study rarely provides enough information to make conclusive recommendations about the accuracy of a diagnostic test; particularly when the study is small. Meta-analysis methods provide a way of combining information from multiple studies, reducing uncertainty in the result and hopefully providing substantial evidence to underpin reliable clinical decision-making. Very few investigators consider any sample size calculations when designing a new diagnostic accuracy study. However, it is important to consider the number of subjects in a new study in order to achieve a precise measure of accuracy. Sutton "et al." have suggested previously that when designing a new therapeutic trial, it could be more beneficial to consider the power of the updated meta-analysis including the new trial rather than of the new trial itself. The methodology involves simulating new studies for a range of sample sizes and estimating the power of the updated meta-analysis with each new study added. Plotting the power values against the range of sample sizes allows the clinician to make an informed decision about the sample size of a new trial. This paper extends this approach from the trial setting and applies it to diagnostic accuracy studies. Several meta-analytic models are considered including bivariate random effects meta-analysis that models the correlation between sensitivity and specificity.
Descriptors: Meta Analysis, Design, Diagnostic Tests, Accuracy, Research Methodology, Sample Size, Decision Making, Correlation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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