A practical approach to evidence-based dentistry: V
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BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW: Questions regarding diagnosis are common in dental practice. Studies in which investigators apply a diagnostic test and a reference standard to all patients and compare their results represent the best type of design to answer these questions. The critical appraisal of these studies includes an assessment of the risk of bias, results, and applicability of the study. The authors provide the concepts and guidelines that dentists can apply to most effectively use articles regarding diagnosis to guide their clinical practice. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Dentists who wish to inform their clinical decisions regarding questions related to diagnostic test properties can use these guidelines to decide what type of studies to search, define the specific question of interest to search efficiently for these studies, and critically appraise studies addressing diagnosis.
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