Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Studies (online)

  • Duration3 weeks, 14 hrs per week
  • Starting moment3 March 2025
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Teaching methodOnline
  • CertificationCertificate
  • Price€1,030
  • ECTS1.5 EC

Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Studies

The number of primary studies evaluating diagnostic tests is rising. Critically summarizing such studies in a systematic review is beneficial for health care professionals seeking the best evidence about the use of diagnostic tests. Reviews of diagnostic studies are more challenging because of more variation in questions & designs, specific sources of bias & variation, and the need to use more complex statistical approaches to meta-analysis. Several advances have recently been made in the methods to perform such reviews.

In this course we discuss and practice the methods to assess the methodological quality of primary diagnostic test accuracy studies (QUADAS-2 instrument), the statistical models to meta-analyze the paired measures of test accuracy (bivariate meta-regression model of sensitivity and specificity), and how to critically read and interpret the findings of systematic review of diagnostic studies. The course consists of plenary presentations, small-group discussions, and computer exercises using the statistical software package R.

Target Group

Our courses are aimed at clinical researchers, nurses, general practitioners, and other health professionals who want to improve their skills in epidemiology, statistics and (clinical) research.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Appreciate the diversity of test usage and study designs
  • Understand potential risk of bias and concerns regarding applicability
  • Understand the concept underlying approaches to meta-analysis
  • Explore heterogeneity and compare test accuracy
  • Create different types of analysis
  • Summarize results and draw appropriate conclusions


Please note, even though you can manage your own time our courses are not intended as individual education. By learning together you will gain depth in your learning process, which is very important. Therefore flexibility from students, a positive attitude towards teachers and peers and the willingness to learn together and help each other is invaluable to our courses

Application and More Information

Application and More Information


Utrecht University & UMC Utrecht employees

Employees of Utrecht University and the UMCU are eligible for a 10% discount on online courses from the MSc Epidemiology programme with Elevate Health.

Utrecht University & UMC Utrecht students

All students attending Utrecht University and the University Medical Center Utrecht are eligible for a 10% discount on online courses from the MSc Epidemiology programme with Elevate Health.

More Information

More Information