Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials


When you register, you will be asked to provide your first and second choice for the workshop
you wish to attend.

Workshop 1 - Methods for determining ‘what’ to measure in core outcome sets
Workshop Leads: Paula Williamson (University of Liverpool)

Selection of outcomes is crucial to trials designed to compare the effects of different interventions. For findings to influence policy and practice, chosen outcomes need to be relevant to patients, public, healthcare professionals and others making decisions about health care. Trials in a specific condition often report different outcomes, or address the same outcome in different ways. So much could be gained if an agreed core outcome set (COS) of a minimum number of appropriate and important outcomes was measured and reported in all clinical trials in a specific condition. There is currently no gold standard method for COS development however COMET has been collating the evidence surrounding various methodological components of the process.

This workshop will comprise a mixture of presentations, exercises and participant discussion to consider methods for COS development. A presentation will introduce methodological issues and considerations involved in developing COS, illustrated with examples of COS developed for different healthcare settings. Topics covered will include: the scope of a COS; protocol development; key stakeholders; identifying existing knowledge; filling gaps in knowledge; outcome classification systems; approaches to achieving consensus including the design, conduct and analysis of Delphi studies; and face to face meetings. Participants will work in small groups to consider different methods and their role in COS development.

The workshop will be suitable for participants who have no prior experience of COS development, as well as those who have such experience.


Workshop 2 - Including patients in core outcome set development: identifying the challenges and potential solutions
Workshop Leads: Heather Bagley and Sarah Gorst (University of Liverpool)

For a core outcome sets (COS) to have credibility, the chosen outcomes need to be relevant and meaningful to all stakeholders, including patients and carers. Participants in this interactive session will work together to identify the challenges that researchers may encounter when planning to include patients and carers in COS development (such as: how to access patients/carers; how to maintain their input over time; how to elicit their views on COS; running a COS internationally with patients and the potential roles of patients in improving uptake of COS etc.) Participants will also exchange ideas about potential solutions to address these challenges in different contexts and with different stakeholder groups. After brief introductory presentations to set the scene, participants will join breakout groups to discuss the challenges and solutions. A plenary session at the end will provide the opportunity for groups to share their ideas and experiences.

The workshop will be suitable for people who have no prior experience of working with patients/carers to develop COS, as well as those who have some experience. The aim of the workshop is not to teach people how to include patients/carers in COS development, but rather to raise awareness of the challenges and to discuss some potential ways to tackle these challenges.


Workshop 3 - How to measure? Selecting measurement instruments for core outcome sets
Workshop Lead: Caroline Terwee (VU University) and Cecilia AC (Sanna) Prinsen (VU University)

Once a COS is agreed, it is then important to determine how the outcomes included in the set should be defined and measured. We recently performed a Delphi study to reach consensus on the methods for selecting outcome measurement instruments for inclusion in a COS. Consensus was reached on three important steps, that will be discussed in the workshop: 1) Conceptual considerations in the selection of outcome measurement instruments, for example agreement on the construct to be measured and the target population before starting to search for instruments; 2) Finding all relevant outcome measurement instruments, for example by performing a systematic review of outcome measurement instruments or by updating a literature search; and 3) Evaluation of the measurement properties and feasibility of identified outcome measurement instruments.This workshop offers guidance for finding available outcome measurement instruments, for comparing the measurement properties and feasibility aspects of existing instruments, and for selecting the best instrument for a given outcome. The workshop will be a combination of presentation and practice.


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