Rapid reviews of medical tests used many similar methods to systematic reviews but key items were rarely reported: a scoping review

Published:September 12, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2019.09.004

      Abstract

      Background and Objectives

      Rapid reviews provide an efficient alternative to standard systematic reviews in response to a high priority or urgent need. Although rapid reviews of interventions have been extensively evaluated, little is known about the characteristics of rapid reviews of diagnostic evidence.

      Study Design and Setting

      We performed a scoping review for rapid reviews of medical tests published from 2013 to 2018. We extracted information on review characteristics and methods used to assess the evidence.

      Results

      We identified 191 rapid reviews. All reviews were developed within a short time (less than 12 months) and were relatively concise (less than 10 pages). The reviews involved multiple index tests (44%), multiple outcomes (88%), and several test applications (29%). Well-known methodological tailoring strategies were infrequently used. Although reporting of several key features was limited, we found that, in general, rapid reviews have similar characteristics to broader knowledge syntheses.

      Conclusion

      Our scoping review is the first to describe the characteristics and methods of rapid reviews of diagnostic evidence. Future research should identify the most appropriate methods for performing rapid reviews of medical tests. Standards for reporting of rapid reviews are needed.

      Keywords

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