Purpose: Scanning laser polarimetry (SLP) has been proposed as a useful diagnostic test for glaucoma. This study was conducted to evaluate the quality of reporting of published studies using the SLP for diagnosing glaucoma.
Methods: A validated Medline and hand search of English-language articles reporting on measures of diagnostic accuracy of the SLP for glaucoma was performed. Two reviewers independently selected and appraised the manuscripts. The Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) checklist was used to evaluate the quality of each publication.
Results: A total of 47 papers were identified of which the first 10 (from 1997 to 2000) and the last 10 articles (from 2004 to 2005) were appraised. Interobserver rating agreement of STARD items was high (85.5% agreement, kappa=0.796). The number of STARD items properly reported ranged from 3/25 to 19/25. Only a quarter of studies (5/20) explicitly reported more than half of the STARD items. Important aspects of the methodology were often missing such as participant sampling (reported in 40% of manuscripts), masking of the readers of the index test and reference standard (reported in 20% of manuscripts), and estimation of uncertainty (eg, 95% confidence intervals, reported in 25% of manuscripts). There was a slight increase in the number of STARD items reported with time.
Conclusions: The quality of reporting of diagnostic accuracy tests for glaucoma with SLP is suboptimal. The STARD initiative may be a useful tool for appraising the strengths and weaknesses of diagnostic accuracy studies.