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User's Guide to the Surgical Literature: How to Use an Article About a Diagnostic Test
Mohit Bhandari, MD, MSc; Victor M. Montori, MD; Marc F. Swiontkowski, MD; Gordon H. Guyatt, MD, MSc
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Mohit Bhandari, MD, MSc
Victor M. Montori, MD
Gordon H. Guyatt, MD, MSc
Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University Health Sciences Center, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8N 3Z5, Canada. E-mail address for M. Bhandari: bhandari@sympatico.ca

Marc F. Swiontkowski, MD
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Box 492, Delaware Street N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455

The authors did not receive grants or outside funding in support of their research or preparation of this manuscript. They did not receive payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.

This article is the fourth in a series designed to help the orthopaedic surgeon use the published literature in practice. In the first article in the series, we presented guidelines for making a decision about therapy and focused on randomized controlled trials. In the second article, we focused on evaluating nonrandomized studies that present information about a patient's prognosis. In the third article, we focused on systematic literature reviews. In this article, we address the use of articles about diagnostic tests in the care of surgical patients.

J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2003 Jun 01;85(6):1133-1140
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Extract

• The primary issues to consider in determining the validity of a diagnostic test study are how the authors assembled the patients and whether they used an appropriate reference standard for all patients to determine whether the patients did or did not have the target condition.
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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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