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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Penny F Whiting
  • Mariska M G Leeflang
  • Isabel de Salis
  • Reem A. Mustafa
  • Nancy Santesso
  • Gowri Gopalakrishna
  • Geraldine Cooney
  • Emily Jesper
  • Joanne Thomas

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Objective: To develop guidance for authors of diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) reviews to help them write a plain language summary (PLS) 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 PLS. 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
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Early online date21 Jul 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jul 2018


  • Diagnostic test accuracy, systematic review, plain language summary, sensitivity and specificity, natural frequencies