A taxonomy has been developed for outcomes in medical research to help improve knowledge discovery.
ABSTRACT: There is increasing recognition that insufficient attention has been paid to the choice of outcomes measured in clinical trials. The lack of a standardized outcome classification system results in inconsistencies due to ambiguity and variation in how outcomes are described across different studies. Being able to classify by outcome would increase efficiency in searching sources such as clinical trial registries, patient registries, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) database of core outcome sets (COS), thus aiding knowledge discovery.A literature review was carried out to determine existing outcome classification systems, none of which were sufficiently comprehensive or granular for classification of all potential outcomes from clinical trials. A new taxonomy for outcome classification was developed, and as proof of principle, outcomes extracted from all published COS in the COMET database, selected Cochrane reviews, and clinical trial registry entries were classified using this new system.Application of this new taxonomy to COS in the COMET database revealed that 274/299 (92%) COS include at least one physiological outcome, whereas only 177 (59%) include at least one measure of impact (global quality of life or some measure of functioning) and only 105 (35%) made reference to adverse events.This outcome taxonomy will be used to annotate outcomes included in COS within the COMET database and is currently being piloted for use in Cochrane Reviews within the Cochrane Linked Data Project. Wider implementation of this standard taxonomy in trial and systematic review databases and registries will further promote efficient searching, reporting, and classification of trial outcomes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A Core Outcomes Set (COS) is an agreed minimum set of outcomes that should be reported in all clinical studies related to a specific condition. Using prostate cancer as a case study, we identified, summarized, and critically appraised published COS development studies and assessed the degree of overlap between them and selected real-world data (RWD) sources. METHODS:We conducted a scoping review of the Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) Initiative database to identify all COS studies developed for prostate cancer. Several characteristics (i.e., study type, methods for consensus, type of participants, outcomes included in COS and corresponding measurement instruments, timing, and sources) were extracted from the studies; outcomes were classified according to a predefined 38-item taxonomy. The study methodology was assessed based on the recent COS-STAndards for Development (COS-STAD) recommendations. A 'mapping' exercise was conducted between the COS identified and RWD routinely collected in selected European countries. RESULTS:Eleven COS development studies published between 1995 and 2017 were retrieved, of which 8 were classified as 'COS for clinical trials and clinical research', 2 as 'COS for practice' and 1 as 'COS patient reported outcomes'. Recommended outcomes were mainly categorized into 'mortality and survival' (17%), 'outcomes related to neoplasm' (18%), and 'renal and urinary outcomes' (13%) with no relevant differences among COS study types. The studies generally fulfilled the criteria for the COS-STAD 'scope specification' domain but not the 'stakeholders involved' and 'consensus process' domains. About 72% overlap existed between COS and linked administrative data sources, with important gaps. Linking with patient registries improved coverage (85%), but was sometimes limited to smaller follow-up patient groups. CONCLUSIONS:This scoping review identified few COS development studies in prostate cancer, some quite dated and with a growing level of methodological quality over time. This study revealed promising overlap between COS and RWD sources, though with important limitations; linking established, national patient registries to administrative data provide the best means to additionally capture patient-reported and some clinical outcomes over time. Thus, increasing the combination of different data sources and the interoperability of systems to follow larger patient groups in RWD is required.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A COS represents an agreed minimum set of outcomes that should be measured and reported in all trials of a specific condition. The COMET (Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials) initiative aims to collate and stimulate the development and application of COS, by including data on relevant studies within a publically available internet-based resource. In recent years, there has been an interest in increasing the development of COS. Therefore, this study aimed to provide an update of a previous review, and examine the quality of development of COS. A further aim was to understand the reasons why individuals are searching the COMET database. METHODS:A multi-faceted search strategy was followed, in order to identify studies that sought to determine which outcomes/domains to measure in clinical trials of a specific condition. Additionally, a pop up survey was added to the COMET website, to ascertain why people were searching the COMET database. RESULTS:Thirty-two reports relating to 29 studies were eligible for inclusion in the review. There has been an improvement in the description of the scope of a COS and an increase in the proportion of studies using literature/systematic reviews and the Delphi technique. Clinical experts continue to be the most common group involved in developing COS, however patient and public involvement has increased. The pop-up survey revealed the most common reasons for visiting the COMET website to be thinking about developing a COS and planning a clinical trial. CONCLUSIONS:This update demonstrates that recent studies appear to have adopted a more structured approach towards COS development and public representation has increased. However, there remains a need for developers to adequately describe details about the scope of COS, and for greater public engagement. The COMET database appears to be a useful resource for both COS developers and users of COS.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:A core outcome set (COS) is an agreed standardised minimum collection of outcomes that should be measured and reported in research in a specific area of health. Cochrane systematic reviews ('reviews') are rigorous reviews on health-related topics conducted under the auspices of Cochrane. This study examines the use of existing COS to inform the choice of outcomes in Cochrane systematic reviews ('reviews') and investigates the views of the coordinating editors of Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs) on this topic. METHODS:A cohort of 100 recently published or updated Cochrane reviews were assessed for reference to a COS being used to inform the choice of outcomes for the review. Existing COS, published 2 or more years before the review publication, were then identified to assess how often a reviewer could have used a relevant COS if it was available. We asked 52 CRG coordinating editors about their involvement in COS development, how outcomes are selected for reviews in their CRG and their views of the advantages and challenges surrounding the standardisation of outcomes within their CRG. RESULTS:In the cohort of reviews from 2019, 40% (40/100) of reviewers noted problems due to outcome inconsistency across the included studies. In 7% (7/100) of reviews, a COS was referenced in relation to the choice of outcomes for the review. Relevant existing COS could be considered for a review update in 35% of the others (33/93). Most editors who responded (31/36, 86%) thought that COS should definitely or possibly be used to inform the choice of outcomes in a review. CONCLUSIONS:Systematic reviewers are continuing to note outcome heterogeneity but are starting to use COS to inform their reviews. There is potential for greater uptake of COS in Cochrane reviews.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Core Outcome Sets (COS) are defined as the minimum sets of outcomes that should be measured and reported in all randomised controlled trials to facilitate combination and comparability of research. The aim of this review is to produce an item bank of previously reported outcome measures from published studies in amblyopia, strabismus and ocular motility disorders to initiate the development of COS. METHODS:A review was conducted to identify articles reporting outcome measures for amblyopia, strabismus and ocular motility disorders. Using systematic methods according to the COMET handbook we searched key electronic bibliographic databases from 1st January 2011 to 27th September 2016 using MESH terms and alternatives indicating the different subtypes of amblyopia, strabismus and ocular motility disorders in relation to treatment outcomes and all synonyms. We included Cochrane reviews, other systematic reviews, controlled trials, non-systematic reviews and retrospective studies. Data was extracted to tabulate demographics of included studies, primary and secondary outcomes, methods of measurement and their time points. RESULTS:A total of 142 studies were included; 42 in amblyopia, 33 in strabismus, and 68 in ocular motility disorders (one study overlap between amblyopia and strabismus). We identified ten main outcome measure domains for amblyopia, 14 for strabismus, and ten common "visual or motility" outcome measure domains for ocular motility disorders. Within the domains, we found variable nomenclature being used and diversity in methods and timings of measurements. CONCLUSION:This review highlights discrepancies in outcome measure reporting within published literature for amblyopia, strabismus and ocular motility and it generated an item bank of the most commonly used and reported outcome measures for each of the three conditions from recent literature to start the process of COS development. Consensus among all stakeholders including patients and professionals is recommended to establish a useful COS.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Existing data on physical rehabilitation interventions in critical illness are challenged by outcome heterogeneity that limits data synthesis and translation of research findings into clinical practice. This protocol describes the PRACTICE study to develop a core outcome set (COS) for trials of physical rehabilitation interventions delivered across the continuum of a patient's recovery from the intensive care unit until reintegration in the community following hospital discharge.<h4>Methods</h4>Mixed methods will be used including: systematic reviews of quantitative and qualitative literature; qualitative interviews with patients and caregivers; a modified Delphi consensus process with researcher, clinician and patient/caregiver stakeholder groups; and consensus meetings for ratification of findings, resolving uncertainty, or developing an action plan for COS implementation.<h4>Discussion</h4>The PRACTICE COS will inform relevant stakeholders about important outcomes regarding physical rehabilitation in critical illness, and may enhance the future design and conduct of trials in this area.<h4>Trial registration</h4>COMET database ( www.comet-initiative.org/ , Record ID 288, 01/03/13). PROSPERO database ( CRD42014008908 , CRD42017078549 ).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Core outcome sets (COS) have the potential to reduce waste in research by improving the consistency of outcomes measured in trials of the same health condition. However, this reduction in waste will only be realised through the uptake of COS by clinical trialists. Without uptake, the continued development of COS that are not implemented may add to waste in research. Funders of clinical trials have the potential to have an impact on COS uptake by recommending their use to those applying for funding. The aim of our study was to assess the extent to which applicants followed the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) programme's recommendation to search for a COS to include in their clinical trial. METHODS AND FINDINGS:We examined the outcomes section and detailed project descriptions of all 95 researcher-led primary research applications submitted to the NIHR HTA between January 2012, when the recommendation to search for a COS was included in the guidance for applicants, and December 2015 for evidence that a search for a COS had taken place and rationale for outcome choice in the absence of COS. A survey of applicants was conducted to further explore their use of COS and choice of outcomes with a response rate of 49%. Nine out of 95 applicants (10%) stated in their application that they had searched the COMET (Core Outcome Measures for Effectiveness Trials) Initiative database for a COS and another nine referred to searching for a COS using another method, e.g. a review of the literature. Of the 77 (81%) applicants that did not mention COMET or COS in their application, eight stated in the survey that they had searched the COMET database and ten carried out a search using another method. Some applicants who did not search for a COS gave reasons for their choice of outcomes including taking advice from patients and the public and choosing outcomes used in previous trials. CONCLUSION:A funding body can have an impact on COS uptake by encouraging trialists to search for a COS. Funders could take further steps by putting processes in place to prompt applicants to be explicit about searching for COS in their application and notifying the funding board if a search has not taken place. The sources of information used by trialists to make decisions about outcomes in the absence of COS may suggest methods of dissemination for COS.
Project description:Inconsistent outcome reporting is one significant hurdle to combining results from trials into systematic reviews. Core outcome sets (COS) can reduce this barrier. The aim of this review was to map outcomes reported in caries prevention and management randomised controlled trials (RCT) as a first step to COS development. We also investigated RCT characteristics and reporting of primary outcomes and sample size calculations.PubMed, Embase, Web of Knowledge and Cochrane CENTRAL were systematically searched (1 January 1968 to 25 August 2015).RCTs comparing any technique for prevention or management of caries with another or placebo and RCTs comparing interventions to support patients undergoing treatment of caries (without setting, dentition or age restrictions). Categories were developed through piloting and group consensus and outcomes grouped accordingly.Of 4773 search results, 764 were potentially relevant, full text was available for 731 papers and 605 publications met the inclusion criteria and were included. For all outcomes across the time periods 1968-1980 and 2001-2010, reporting of outcome 'caries experience' reduced from 39% to 18%; 'clinical performance of the restoration' reporting increased from 33% to 42% although there was a reduction to 22% in 2011-2015. Emerging outcome domains include 'lesion activity' and 'pulp health-related outcomes', accounting for 1% and 0%, respectively, during 1968-1980 and 10% and 4% for 2011-2015. Reporting 'resource efficiency' and 'quality of life measures' have remained at a low level. No publications reported tooth survival independent of an index such as DMFT or equivalent. Primary outcomes were only identified as such in 414 (68%) of the reports.Over the past 50 years, outcome reporting for trials on prevention and management of carious lesions have tended to focus on outcomes measuring caries experience and restoration material clinical performance with lesion activity and cost-effectiveness increasingly being reported. Patient-reported and patient-focused outcomes are becoming more common (although as secondary outcomes) but remain low in use. The challenge with developing a COS will be balancing commonly previously reported outcomes against those more relevant for the future.PROSPERO, CRD42015025310 . Registered on 14 August 2015, Trials (Schwendicke et al., Trials 16:397, 2015) and COMET initiative online (COMET, 2017).
Project description:Evaluation studies of outcomes used in clinical research and their consistency are appearing more frequently in the literature, as a key part of the core outcome set (COS) development. Current guidance suggests such evaluation studies should use systematic review methodology as their default. We aimed to examine the methods used. We searched the Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) database (up to May 2019) supplementing it with additional resources. We included evaluation studies of outcome consistency in clinical studies across health subjects and used a subset of A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) 2 (items 1-9) to assess their methods. Of 93 included evaluation studies of outcome consistency (90 full reports, three summaries), 91% (85/93) reported performing literature searches in at least one bibliographic database, and 79% (73/93) was labelled as a "systematic review". The evaluations varied in terms of satisfying AMSTAR 2 criteria, such that 81/93 (87%) had implemented PICO in the research question, whereas only 5/93 (6%) had included the exclusions list. None of the evaluation studies explained how inconsistency of outcomes was detected, however, 80/90 (88%) concluded inconsistency in individual outcomes (66%, 55/90) or outcome domains (20%, 18/90). Methods used in evaluation studies of outcome consistency in clinical studies differed considerably. Despite frequent being labelled as a "systematic review", adoption of systematic review methodology is selective. While the impact on COS development is unknown, authors of these studies should refrain from labelling them as "systematic review" and focus on ensuring that the methods used to generate the different outcomes and outcome domains are reported transparently.
Project description:PURPOSE:Cryptoglandular anal fistula is a disorder with an incidence of around 1 per 5,000 people per year in European countries. Many studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for anal fistula. However, there is considerable heterogeneity in the outcomes assessed and reported in these studies. This limits research quality and complicates evidence synthesis. A solution for heterogeneity in outcome reporting is the development of a Core Outcome Set (COS). This paper describes the protocol for the development of a European COS for Anal Fistula (AFCOS). METHODS:The first step will be a systematic review of the literature to identify potential outcomes that may be included in the COS. Patient interviews will be conducted in The United Kingdom and The Netherlands to ensure that both clinician-important and patient-important outcomes are captured. The outcomes will be categorized using the COMET taxonomy and taken forward to a Delphi consensus exercise. In up to three web-based Delphi surveys the outcomes will be prioritized by patients, clinicians (surgeons, gastroenterologists, and radiologists), and (clinical) researchers. The responses will be summarized and reported anonymously in subsequent round(s) facilitating convergence to a consensus opinion. The final COS will be decided during a face-to-face consensus meeting with patients, clinicians, and (clinical) researchers. DISCUSSION:This study protocol describes the development of a European COS for anal fistula to improve research quality, evidence synthesis, and patient care.
Project description:A core outcome set (COS) is a standardised set of outcomes which should be measured and reported, as a minimum, in all effectiveness trials for a specific health area. This will allow results of studies to be compared, contrasted and combined as appropriate, as well as ensuring that all trials contribute usable information. The COMET (Core Outcome Measures for Effectiveness Trials) Initiative aims to support the development, reporting and adoption of COS. Central to this is a publically accessible online resource, populated with all available COS. The aim of the review we report here was to identify studies that sought to determine which outcomes or domains to measure in all clinical trials in a specific condition and to describe the methodological techniques used in these studies.We developed a multi-faceted search strategy for electronic databases (MEDLINE, SCOPUS, and Cochrane Methodology Register). We included studies that sought to determine which outcomes/domains to measure in all clinical trials in a specific condition.A total of 250 reports relating to 198 studies were judged eligible for inclusion in the review. Studies covered various areas of health, most commonly cancer, rheumatology, neurology, heart and circulation, and dentistry and oral health. A variety of methods have been used to develop COS, including semi-structured discussion, unstructured group discussion, the Delphi Technique, Consensus Development Conference, surveys and Nominal Group Technique. The most common groups involved were clinical experts and non-clinical research experts. Thirty-one (16%) studies reported that the public had been involved in the process. The geographic locations of participants were predominantly North America (n?=?164; 83%) and Europe (n?=?150; 76%).This systematic review identified many health areas where a COS has been developed, but also highlights important gaps. It is a further step towards a comprehensive, up-to-date database of COS. In addition, it shows the need for methodological guidance, including how to engage key stakeholder groups, particularly members of the public.