Flow diagram [PDF-file]
A flow diagram provides information about the method of recruitment of patients or samples (e.g., based on a consecutive series of patients with specific symptoms, or of cases and controls), the order of test execution, and the number of patients undergoing the test under evaluation (index test) and the reference test. Hereby, we provide a prototypical flowchart that reflects the most commonly employed design in diagnostic research. In addition, we give examples of other designs evaluating diagnostic tests accuracy and examples of published flow diagrams.
Figure 1. Prototypical flow diagram of a diagnostic accuracy study.