Department of Pediatrics

Systematic Reviews on Diagnostic Tests Workshop



June 11, 2021 − Virtual Workshop
8 a.m. − 12 p.m. via Zoom

Target Audience

Residents, fellows and faculty interested in performing systematic reviews of diagnostic tests.


  1. Understand the clinical relevance of diagnostic tests
  2. Develop a roadmap for assembling a systematic review of diagnostic tests

Course Director

Mohan Pammi, M.D., Ph.D., MRCPCH

From the Evidence Academy at Texas Children's Hospital

Ganga Gokulakrishnan, Aarti Bavare, Krithika Lingappan, Nirica Borges, Melissa Carbajal


Course Faculty


Roger F. Soll, M.D.

Item Definition

Professor, University of Vermont, coordinating editor of Cochrane Neonatal Review Group, and president of Vermont Oxford Network

Prakesh Shah, M.D., MSc, M.B.B.S.

Item Definition

Professor, pediatrician-in-chief, University of Toronto and editor, Cochrane Neonatal Review Group

Yemisi Takwoingi Ph.D.

Item Definition

Professor of Test Evaluation and Evidence Synthesis, Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Mariska Leeflang Ph.D.

Item Definition

Epidemiologist at Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands

Mohan Pammi, M.D., Ph.D., MRCPCH

Item Definition

Associate professor, Division of Neonatology, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital and associate editor, Cochrane Neonatal Review Group

Ganga Gokulakrishnan, M.B.B.S.

Item Definition

Assistant professor, Division of Neonatology, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital

Nirica Borges, M.D., FAAP, CMQ

Item Definition

Assistant professor, Pediatrics-Critical Care, Baylor College of Medicine


Workshop Summary


A diagnostic test accuracy study provides evidence on how well a test correctly identifies or rules out disease and informs subsequent decisions about treatment for clinicians, their patients, and healthcare providers.

A systematic review of diagnostic test accuracy summarizes results from diagnostic studies, also investigates why the results may vary among studies, compare the performance of alternative tests, and help the reader to put the evidence in a clinical context.

This workshop will enable learners to develop a roadmap for performing a systematic review of diagnostic tests using Cochrane methodology. The session will lead learners through each of the steps of creation of a protocol and systematic review. Knowledge and skills imparted will relate to formulating the clinical question in PICOT format (Population, Intervention, Comparators, Outcomes and Trial design), crystallizing the objectives of the review, developing a comprehensive search strategy, identifying studies eligible for inclusion in the review using the PRISMA flow diagram, appraising the evidence using accepted methods for evaluating risk of bias, extract data and perform analysis and meta-analysis of relevant data. Participants will learn to present results in summary findings tables, rate the quality of evidence using ‘Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach and derive conclusions for clinical practice and research. The workshop will close with a question and answer session and discussion of ideas for participants to perform systematic reviews at their home institutions.


Who Should Participate?


Faculty and trainees at any stage in their career who are interested in learning the principles and practice of evidence-based medicine.


Tentative agenda


Diagnostic Tests And Systematic Reviews On Diagnostic Tests

June 11, 2021, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

1. Introduction and brief overview of the course  (8 - 8:15 a.m.)
Lead faculty - Mohan Pammi, Ganga Gokulakrishnan and Nirica Borges - 15 minutes 

2. Role of diagnostic tests in evidence-based practice (8:15 - 8:45 a.m.)
Lead faculty – Roger Soll – 30 minutes

3. Diagnostic tests’ attributes and clinical relevance (8:45 - 9:30 a.m.)
Lead faculty – Prakesh Shah - 45 minutes 

Break - 10 minutes

4. Systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy and the Cochrane DTA review process (9:40 - 10:20 a.m.)
Lead faculty – Mariska Leeflang - 40 minutes

5. Appraisal of diagnostic test accuracy studies (10:20 - 10:50 a.m.)
Lead faculty- Mohan Pammi- 30 minutes

6. Meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy studies (10:50 - 11:30 a.m.)
Lead faculty - Yemisi Takwoingi - 45 minutes 

7. Story of how we did a diagnostic test accuracy systematic review (11:30 - 11:50 p.m.)
TCH faculty

8. Closure and questions
11:50 - noon