Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials

Core outcome set for interventions aiming to optimize the medication use of patients discharged from the hospital.

General Information

Background: During a transition of care, such as hospital discharge, there is an increased risk for drug related problems. Although a lot of research has been performed on this matter, there is heterogeneity in the interventions and outcomes measured.
The scope of this core outcome set is defined by the health care setting: hospital discharge. The COS is applicable to all interventions related to optimizing the patient’s medication use in this setting. The target patient population of the COS consists of (older) patients with multimorbidity or polypharmacy. No restrictions are made in terms of type of intervention and type of healthcare professional involved in the intervention. In addition, no restrictions are posed on the destination of the patient post-discharge (primary care, nursing home, rehabilitation centre, ...).

KU Leuven: Prof. Veerle Foulon; Joke Wuyts; Jeremy Dehez
University of Basel: Fabienne Boeni; Markus Lampert; Antonia Zünd
University of Oslo: Liv Mathiesen; Kirsten Viktil
Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe

Further Study Information

Current Stage:
February 2019 - 2020
Funding source(s):

Health Area

Disease Category
Health care of older people

Disease Name

Target Population

Age Range


Nature / type of Intervention


Delphi process
Focus group(s)
Literature review
Systematic review

The study protocol is in development and is based on the COMET handbook (Version 1). It includes a systematic review to identify all outcomes used in previous and ongoing studies investigating the impact of interventions aimed to optimize the medication use of patients discharged from hospital. A second systematic review will focus specifically on qualitative research on this topic and identify (additional) outcomes. Based on the findings and upon identification of potential gaps in existing knowledge, additional qualitative research can be conducted to explore the perspective of patients and/or family members or informal caregivers.

A consensus process with a Delphi technique will result in a comprehensive set of outcomes that are important to patients, HCPs, researchers and/or other stakeholders. Different types of stakeholders will be involved in this process: patients and family members, healthcare professionals from different disciplines, researchers and policy makers (e.g. policy makers from professional associations, government,…).

Upon completion of the core outcome set, a consensus process will be set up to identify which outcome measurement instruments should be employed for the core outcome set.

Stakeholders Involved

Clinical experts
Patient/ support group representatives
Policy makers
Service providers
Service users

Study Type

COS for clinical trials or clinical research
Recommended outcome measures (measurement)

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