Identifying reference standards
A diagnostic accuracy study examines the performance of a new test by benchmarking it against the current method that is used in healthcare. This is known as the “reference standard” and ideally should be the most reliable method. We can help diagnostics developers to develop and identify an agreed reference standard for this type of study.
Why is this work important?
Often it is not clear what the reference standard should be for a diagnostic test. Sometimes a reference standard does not exist and different healthcare professionals use alternative ways of diagnosing the condition. In this situation a diagnostic accuracy study would need to use a combination of tests for benchmarking. This is known as a composite reference standard.
What we do
We can help to develop and identify an agreed reference standard or composite reference standard by:
- Formulating, conducting and evaluating detailed interviews
- Organising, facilitating and examining focus group discussions
- Designing, overseeing and analysing a survey using the Delphi method to identify a consensus view
- Performing systematic literature reviews
We will produce a report summarising our findings.
Look at the impact and news posts below for examples of our work on developing and identifying reference standards.