How do authors of diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) reviews disseminate their findings after publication? A mixed methods study




Poster session 4


Tuesday 25 October 2016 - 15:30 to 16:00


All authors in correct order:

Ochodo E1, Gopalakrishna G2, Wiyeh A1, Wiysonge C1, Leeflang M2, Young T1
1 Stellenbosch University, South Africa
2 University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Eleanor Ochodo

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: Published literature shows that healthcare workers and decision makers find it difficult to read and understand diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) reviews. Review authors should think about their target audience, and strategies to reach that audience.

Objectives: To identify strategies used by authors to communicate and disseminate the findings of DTA reviews after publication.

Methods: We searched MEDLINE for English language DTA reviews published within the last five years that evaluated the accuracy of tests on any infectious disease. We designed an online questionnaire using the software SurveyMonkey and emailed the final questionnaire to the corresponding authors of the included DTA reviews, including two email reminders to non-respondents. We analysed the survey responses descriptively with the analyse function of SurveyMonkey.

Results: Of the 186 authors of DTA reviews we contacted, 34 authors responded to this survey (18.3% response rate) and 22 are willing to be contacted for a follow-up interview. Most of the respondents were aware of efforts to disseminate their review findings after publication (n = 22, 65%). Of those who were not aware (n = 12, 35%), many felt that publication of their review was sufficient (54%). A majority of those who disseminated their findings initiated the dissemination (59%); mostly to clinicians (95%), fellow researchers (77%) and policy makers (59%). Many respondents did not tailor their review summaries to the target audience (52%) and were unsure if the audience understood their review findings (67%). Many respondents did not have a dissemination plan a priori (72%) and a majority (45%) stated that they found the assessment of methodological quality most difficult to explain. Few respondents used social media (29%).

Conclusions: As most DTA review authors were unsure if their review findings would be understood by the target audience, a description of target audience and a dissemination plan should become part of DTA review or funding proposals. In this ongoing study, we plan to conduct a follow-up in-depth interview to everyone who indicated willingness to be interviewed in the survey.