Screening and diagnostic Test Evaluation Program (STEP)

The Screening and Diagnostic Test Evaluation Program (STEP) has been established within the School of Public Health since 1998, to develop research in two broad areas: to understand which screening programs are worthwhile and examine how those that are worthwhile should be best implemented, and to explore the test performance characteristics of different screening and diagnostic tests.

STEP has three broad research arms: Screening and Diagnostic Test Accuracy, Screening and Diagnostic Test Outcomes, and Informed Decision Making in Screening and Diagnostic Tests.

Some of the main contributions of STEP are:

  • Our framework for evaluating screening was published in JAMA in 1999 (click here).
    It was the result of an international collaboration, with authors in Australia, the UK and Canada.
    The framework has since also appeared in textbooks on evidence-based medicine and public health.
  • Our work on meta-analysis of diagnostic tests is the standard followed in many of the meta-analyses now being done. (Click here)
  • As part of this initiative Professor Irwig and Professor Glasziou were founding Chair and Co-chair of the Cochrane Collaboration Methods Working Group on Screening and Diagnostic Tests
  • We have also contributed to international steering committee of the STARD group (Standards for the Reporting of Diagnostic Tests). STARD was established to develop guidelines for researchers and journals to ensure higher quality conduct and reporting of studies of diagnostic tests, similar to the CONSORT statement for randomised trials. (Click here)

We have published widely on screening and diagnostic tests, including primary studies of diagnostic tests, systematic reviews and methodological papers.


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