A systematic review of the PTSD Checklist's diagnostic accuracy studies using QUADAS.
Despite the popularity of the PTSD Checklist (PCL) as a clinical screening test, there has been no comprehensive quality review of studies evaluating its diagnostic accuracy. A systematic quality assessment of 22 diagnostic accuracy studies of the English-language PCL using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS) assessment tool was conducted to examine (a) the quality of diagnostic accuracy studies of the PCL, and (b) whether quality has improved since the 2003 STAndards for the Reporting of Diagnostic accuracy studies (STARD) initiative regarding reporting guidelines for diagnostic accuracy studies. Three raters independently applied the QUADAS tool to each study, and a consensus among the 4 authors is reported. Findings indicated that although studies generally met standards in several quality areas, there is still room for improvement. Areas for improvement include establishing representativeness, adequately describing clinical and demographic characteristics of the sample, and presenting better descriptions of important aspects of test and reference standard execution. Only 2 studies met each of the 14 quality criteria. In addition, study quality has not appreciably improved since the publication of the STARD Statement in 2003. Recommendations for the improvement of diagnostic accuracy studies of the PCL are discussed.
McDonald, SD; Brown, WL; Benesek, JP; Calhoun, PS
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