Through the quality kaleidoscope: reflections on research in dentomaxillofacial imaging

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  • Madeleine Rohlin, Malmö University
  • ,
  • Keith Horner, Manchester University
  • ,
  • Christina Lindh, Malmö University
  • ,
  • Ann Wenzel

The REduce research Waste And Reward Diligence statement has highlighted how weaknesses in health research can produce misleading results and waste valuable resources. Research on diagnostic efficacy in the field of dentomaxillofacial radiology (DMFR) is no exception to these criticisms and could be strengthened by more robust study designs, consistent use of a core set of outcome measures and completeness in reporting. Furthermore, we advocate that everyone participating in collaborative research on clinical interventions subscribes to the importance of methodological quality in how imaging methods are used. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to present a guide to conducting high-quality research on diagnostic efficacy in DMFR.We initially propose a framework inspired by the hierarchical model of efficacy of Fryback and Thornbury, highlighting study designs, measures of analysis, completeness of reporting and established guidelines to assist in these aspects of research. Bias in research, and measures to prevent or limit it, are then described.It is desirable to climb the Fryback and Thornbury "ladder" from technical efficacy, via accuracy and clinical efficacy, to societal efficacy of imaging methods. Efficacy studies on the higher steps of the ladder may be difficult to perform, but we must strive to answer questions of how useful our methods are in patient management and assess benefits, risks, costs, ethical and social issues. With the framework of six efficacy levels as the structure and based on our experience, we present information that may facilitate quality enhancement of diagnostic efficacy research in DMFR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20190484
JournalDento maxillo facial radiology
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

    Research areas

  • bias, guidelines, imaging efficacy, reporting, research design

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