Guidance was developed on how to write a plain language summary for diagnostic test accuracy reviews

Penny Whiting*, Mariska Leeflang, Isabel de Salis, Reem A. Mustafa, Nancy Santesso, Gowri Gopalakrishna, Geraldine Cooney, Emily Jesper, Joanne Thomas, Clare Davenport

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
243 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: To develop guidance for authors of diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) reviews to help them write a plain language summary of the results of their review. Study Design and Setting: We used a combination of focus groups, user testing, and a web-based survey. Participants included patient representatives, media representatives, and health professionals. Results: We present step-by-step guidance for authors of DTA reviews for writing a plain language summary. This guidance is illustrated with examples of reader-tested sentences, explanations, and a figure. Conclusion: We hope this guidance will allow reviewers to present the findings of DTA reviews so that it is easier for readers to understand the results and conclusions. This will increase the accessibility of these reviews for various audiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Early online date21 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Communicating research
  • Diagnostic test accuracy
  • Natural frequencies
  • Plain language summary
  • Sensitivity and specificity
  • Systematic review


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