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Research Methods & Reporting

STARD 2015: an updated list of essential items for reporting diagnostic accuracy studies

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 28 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5527
  1. Patrick M Bossuyt1,
  2. Johannes B Reitsma2,
  3. David E Bruns3,
  4. Constantine A Gatsonis4,
  5. Paul P Glasziou5,
  6. Les Irwig6,
  7. Jeroen G Lijmer7,
  8. David Moher89,
  9. Drummond Rennie1011,
  10. Henrica C W de Vet12,
  11. Herbert Y Kressel1314,
  12. Nader Rifai1516,
  13. Robert M Golub1718,
  14. Douglas G Altman19,
  15. Lotty Hooft20,
  16. Daniël A Korevaar1,
  17. Jérémie F Cohen121
  18. for the STARD Group
  1. 1Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  2. 2Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Pathology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA
  4. 4Center for Statistical Sciences, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI, USA
  5. 5Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  6. 6Screening and Diagnostic Test Evaluation Program, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  7. 7Department of Psychiatry, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  8. 8Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada
  9. 9School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
  10. 10Peer Review Congress, Chicago, IL, USA
  11. 11Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
  12. 12Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  13. 13Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  14. 14Radiology Editorial Office, Boston, MA, USA
  15. 15Department of Laboratory Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  16. 16Clinical Chemistry Editorial Office, Washington, DC, USA
  17. 17Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
  18. 18JAMA Editorial Office, Chicago, IL, USA
  19. 19Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  20. 20Dutch Cochrane Centre, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  21. 21INSERM UMR 1153 and Department of Pediatrics, Necker Hospital, AP-HP, Paris Descartes University, Paris, France.
  1. Correspondence to: P M Bossuyt p.m.bossuyt{at}
  • Accepted 18 September 2015

Incomplete reporting has been identified as a major source of avoidable waste in biomedical research. Essential information is often not provided in study reports, impeding the identification, critical appraisal, and replication of studies. To improve the quality of reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies, the Standards for Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) statement was developed. Here we present STARD 2015, an updated list of 30 essential items that should be included in every report of a diagnostic accuracy study. This update incorporates recent evidence about sources of bias and variability in diagnostic accuracy and is intended to facilitate the use of STARD. As such, STARD 2015 may help to improve completeness and transparency in reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies.

As researchers, we talk and write about our studies, not just because we are happy—or disappointed—with the findings, but also to allow others to appreciate the validity of our methods, to enable our colleagues to replicate what we did, and to disclose our findings to clinicians, other health care professionals, and decision makers, all of whom rely on the results of strong research to guide their actions.

Unfortunately, deficiencies in the reporting of research have been highlighted in several areas of clinical medicine.1 Essential elements of study methods are often poorly described and sometimes completely omitted, making both critical appraisal and replication difficult, if not impossible. Sometimes study results are selectively reported, and other times researchers cannot resist unwarranted optimism in interpretation of their findings.2 3 4 These practices limit the value of the research and any downstream products or activities, such as systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines.

Reports of studies of medical tests are no exception. A growing number of evaluations have identified deficiencies in the reporting of test accuracy studies.5 These are studies in which a test …

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