TB diagnostic studies should address clinical impact outcomes

Expert Reviews editorial

TDR news item
15 October 2009

An editorial in Expert Reviews calls for more data on patient-important outcomes, cost-effectiveness and impact of new diagnostics for tuberculosis. The authors, Doctors Madhukar Pai, Richard O'Brien and TDR scientist Andrew Ramsay, say almost all existing primary trials of TB diagnostics are focused on accuracy, and thus the available systematic reviews are almost exclusively focused on meta-analyses of sensitivity and specificity. They call for future diagnostic studies to go beyond the conventional paradigm and address meaningful clinical impact outcomes.

The authors are members of the Stop TB Partnership New Diagnostics Working Group, which was established in 2001. The group established a new web site recently that is designed to be the single most comprehensive place for evidence on TB research syntheses, policies, guidelines and research agendas. Their editorial calls attention to the new site, saying it addresses a long-standing need for a single portal that compiles all critical evidence on TB diagnosis, along with relevant policies and guidelines for clinicians and public health professionals. They hope similar efforts will be made to compile the available evidence and guidance on all aspects of TB care and control.

For more information, contact Andy Ramsay.