GRADE Guidance: 31. Assessing the certainty across a body of evidence for comparative test accuracy Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: This article provides GRADE guidance on how authors of evidence syntheses and health decision makers, including guideline developers, can rate the certainty across a body of evidence for comparative test accuracy questions. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: This guidance extends the previously published GRADE guidance for assessing certainty of evidence for test accuracy to scenarios in which two or more index tests are compared. Through an iterative brainstorm-discussion-feedback process within the GRADE working group, we developed a guidance accompanied by practical examples. RESULTS: Rating the certainty of evidence for comparative test accuracy shares many concepts and ideas with the existing GRADE guidance for test accuracy. The rating in comparisons of test accuracy requires additional considerations, such as the selection of appropriate comparative study designs, additional criteria for judging risk of bias, and the consequences of using comparative measures of test accuracy. Distinct approaches to rating certainty are required for comparative test accuracy studies and between-study (indirect) comparisons. CONCLUSION: This GRADE guidance will support transparent assessment of the certainty for a body of comparative test accuracy evidence.


  • Yang, Bada
  • Mustafa, Reem Adel
  • Bossuyt, Patrick M
  • Brozek, Jan
  • Hultcrantz, Monica
  • Leeflang, Mariska MG
  • Schünemann, Holger J
  • Langendam, Miranda W

publication date

  • August 2021