E1532. Reporting Bias in Imaging Diagnostic Accuracy Studies: Are Studies With Positive Conclusions or Titles Submitted and Published Faster?
  1. Lee Treanor; University of Ottawa
  2. Robert Frank; University of Ottawa
  3. Almohannad Atyani; University of Ottawa
  4. Anahita Dehmoodbad Sharifabadi; University of Ottawa
  5. Zachary Hallgrimson; University of Ottawa
  6. Nicholas Fabiano; University of Ottawa
  7. Matthew McInnes; University of Ottawa
To evaluate whether imaging diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) studies with positive conclusions or titles have a shorter time to publication than those with non-positive (i.e. negative or neutral) conclusions or titles. Prior research in this field has shown the imaging DTA studies with positive conclusions are cited at a higher rate, and more likely to be published as full-text articles, compared to those with negative or neutral conclusions.

Materials and Methods:
We included primary imaging DTA studies from systematic reviews published in 2015. Conclusion and title positivity were extracted independently in duplicate for each study. Time from study completion to publication was extracted and calculated. A Cox regression model was used to evaluate associations of conclusion and title positivity with time to publication, adjusting for potentially confounding variables.

774 imaging DTA studies were included; time from study completion to publication could be calculated for 516 studies. Median time from completion to publication was 18 months (interquartile range [IQR]: 13-26; 413 studies) for studies with positive conclusions, 23 months (IQR: 16-33; 63 studies) for those with neutral conclusions, and 25 months (IQR: 15-38; 40 studies) for those with negative conclusions. Conclusion positivity was associated with a shorter time from study completion to publication for studies with positive conclusions, compared to those with non-positive conclusions (hazard ratio 1.31; 95% confidence interval: 1.02-1.68). Of all included studies, 39 (5%) had positive titles, 731 (94%) had neutral titles, and 4 (<1%) had negative titles. Positive titles were not significantly associated with a shorter time to publication (hazard ratio 1.12; 95% confidence interval: 0.75-1.69).

In conclusion, we demonstrated that, in published imaging DTA studies, those with positive conclusions (but not titles) are available faster in their published form than those with neutral or negative conclusions. This may contribute to an over-representation of positive studies in the imaging DTA literature at any given time and may lead to an overestimation of test performance. Ultimately, an inflated perception of test performance may adversely influence clinical decision making and patient care. Strategies to reduce this bias are available and should be trialed by both journal editors and researchers in the imaging DTA community.