Background: Although the number of reporting guidelines has grown rapidly, few have gone through an updating process. The STARD statement (Standards for Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy), published in 2003 to help improve the transparency and completeness of reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies, was recently updated in a systematic way. Here, we describe the steps taken and a justification for the changes made.
Results: A 4-member Project Team coordinated the updating process; a 14-member Steering Committee was regularly solicited by the Project Team when making critical decisions. First, a review of the literature was performed to identify topics and items potentially relevant to the STARD updating process. After this, the 85 members of the STARD Group were invited to participate in two online surveys to identify items that needed to be modified, removed from, or added to the STARD checklist. Based on the results of the literature review process, 33 items were presented to the STARD Group in the online survey: 25 original items and 8 new items; 73 STARD Group members (86 %) completed the first survey, and 79 STARD Group members (93 %) completed the second survey.Then, an in-person consensus meeting was organized among the members of the Project Team and Steering Committee to develop a consensual draft version of STARD 2015. This version was piloted in three rounds among a total of 32 expert and non-expert users. Piloting mostly led to rewording of items. After this, the update was finalized. The updated STARD 2015 list now consists of 30 items. Compared to the previous version of STARD, three original items were each converted into two new items, four original items were incorporated into other items, and seven new items were added.
Conclusions: After a systematic updating process, STARD 2015 provides an updated list of 30 essential items for reporting diagnostic accuracy studies.