Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials

ICHOM: A Standard Set of Core Outcome Measures for Substance Misuse

General Information

This project involves an international working group of leading healthcare professionals, measurement experts, and patients that will develop a recommendation of the outcomes that matters most to patients with substance-related conditions. We urge all providers around the world to start measuring outcomes to better understand how to improve the lives of their patients.

Current metrics for care across these conditions tend to capture processes and costs and do not measure whether they achieve the outcomes which matter most to patients.Developing a globally agreed set of outcomes for patients with substance misuse problems will enable us to measure and consistently compare outcomes important for this population in countries around the world. This will enable the identification of those systems with the best outcomes and the subsequent ability to learn from the processes that they have in place.

International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM)

Further Study Information

Current Stage:
October 2018 - September 2019
Funding source(s):
NHS England; ACI; VGR; Providence

Health Area

Disease Category
Mental health
Tobacco, drugs, & alcohol dependence

Disease Name
Substance misuse

Target Population

Age Range


Nature / type of Intervention


Consensus meeting
Delphi process
Focus group(s)
Literature review
Semi structured discussion

ICHOM facilitates and organises monthly teleconference meetings with the Working Group members to develop the Standard Set in a structured way. This process involves the following steps:

• Defining how we classify the population of patients
• Compiling a list of outcome measures in use by national or regional outcome measurement efforts (including national audits) as well as those in use by leading programs and validated patient-reported outcomes that have been reported in the medical literature
• Defining a prioritised list of outcomes that assess success in managing these conditions from the patient’s perspective
• Agreeing on the best available instrument or definition to measure each domain
• Defining necessary baseline case-mix adjustment variables in order to make comparisons possible
• Developing a reference guide that describes instruments that should be used, and that provides users with the necessary background information to adopt the Standard Set
• Publishing the complete Standard Set of outcomes in a leading journal and present at conferences
• Making the Standard Set accessible and freely available to all

Stakeholders Involved

Clinical experts
Consumers (patients)
Patient/ support group representatives
Service providers

Study Type

COS for practice

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