Quality of reporting of orthopaedic diagnostic accuracy studies is suboptimal

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2006 Jun;447:237-46. doi: 10.1097/01.blo.0000205906.44103.a3.


Complete and accurate reporting of diagnostic research are essential to assess the validity of its results. To improve the quality of reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies, the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) steering committee has developed a checklist of 25 items. We asked whether the quality of reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies published in three major orthopaedic journals (Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery British Volume, and Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery American Volume) would be similar across levels of study, journals, and years of publication, and would be similar to other subspecialty journals. We identified 37 articles from 2002-2004 diagnostic accuracy studies and applied the STARD checklist and scoring system. The scores ranged from 6.6 to 21.4 with a mean of 15 +/- 3.3. Only 38% of the articles (14 of 37) reported more than 2/3 of the items, and the majority failed to report nine specific items. The mean STARD scores were similar between the studies with different levels of evidence, across the three journals, and across the three years of publication. They were similar to scores for other subspecialty journals. The current standards of reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies in orthopaedic journals are suboptimal.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures / standards*
  • Editorial Policies
  • Humans
  • Orthopedics / standards
  • Orthopedics / trends
  • Periodicals as Topic*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Quality Control
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • United Kingdom