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Collating the knowledge base for the COMET (Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials) Initiative - a systematic review

Date and Location




Monday 23 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Elizabeth Gargon

Contact person

Elizabeth Gargon
Paula Williamson
Abstract text
Background: The COMET Initiative is developing an online resource to collate the knowledge base for core outcome set (COS) development and implementation. This will be used by trial funders and researchers to see what work has been done in their area of interest and by research funders wishing to fund new work in this area who want to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort. It will also help authors present their findings clearly and succinctly in Cochrane reviews, such as within the Summary of Findings table. This requires the development and application of a search strategy to identify work related to the development of COS. Objectives: To identify studies that had the aim of determining which outcomes/domains to measure in all clinical trials in a specific condition. To identify and describe the methodological techniques used. Methods: We developed a multi-faceted search strategy to search electronic databases (MEDLINE, SCOPUS, Cochrane Methodology Register). We contacted Cochrane Review Groups across all areas of health care to request information on COS that they are aware of. We also completed a range of hand searching activities. Results: Databases were searched August 2012 for studies of the selection of outcomes for use in clinical trials. The search identified 24804 potentially relevant abstracts. Screening is ongoing to identify the final set of included studies; it is expected this work will be completed in August 2013. Preliminary results will be presented. Conclusions: This systematic review has identified clinical areas where work has been undertaken, providing the knowledge base for COS development. This review also highlights clinical areas where gaps exist, providing opportunities for future COS development. This is the first step in establishing a database of COS. Ensuring that the database is as comprehensive as possible and keeping it up to date are key to its value for users.