Instructions for Using the MInCir Scale to Assess Methodological Quality in Diagnostic Accuracy Studies

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Carlos Manterola; Ricardo Cartes-Velasquez & Tamara Otzen


SUMMARY: Globally, the assessment of methodological quality (MQ) in biomedical research is an area of dynamic development over recent years. Understood as a complex and multidimensional construct, various groups have proposed tools for its assessment. Our team has designed and validated scales to assess MQ of therapy and prognosis studies. However, as with other instruments, it is necessary to specify in detail how it is applied, in such a way as to be able to standardize the measurements made with this instrument. A detailed description is presented of the 3 domains (type of research design [single item domain], size of population studied [single item domain], and methodology [7 items]) and 9 items comprising the scale, specifying for each item how to assess the characteristics and score articles of diagnostic accuracy studies. The application of this instrument requires critical evaluation of each of the items to assign the respective score, which sum to give a total score of between 9 and 45 points. The cut-off point to define the construct MQ (dichotomous) for this type of study is 20 points. This article provides an application guideline that may help to improve inter-observer and intra-observer reliability of the MInCir MQ scale for diagnostic accuracy studies. The aim of this article is to provide a guideline for the standardized application of the MInCir MQ scale for diagnostic accuracy studies.

KEY WORDS: Investigative Techniques; Methods/epidemiology; methodological studies; Diagnosis; Diagnostic tests; Reproducibility of Results; Evaluation Studies as Topic; Epidemiological Studies; Evidence-Based Medicine.

How to cite this article

MANTEROLA, C.; CARTES-VELASQUEZ, R. & OTZEN, T. Instructions for using the MInCir scale to assess methodological quality in diagnostic accuracy studies. Int. J. Morphol., 34(1):78-84, 2016.