Identifying common core outcome domains from core outcome sets of musculoskeletal conditions: protocol for a systematic review

Tamer S. Sabet*, David B. Anderson, Peter W. Stubbs, Rachelle Buchbinder, Caroline B. Terwee, Alessandro Chiarotto, Joel Gagnier, Arianne P. Verhagen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Core outcome sets (COSs) aim to reduce outcome heterogeneity in clinical practice and research by suggesting a minimum number of agreed-upon outcomes in clinical trials. Most COSs in the musculoskeletal field are developed for specific conditions. We propose that there are likely to be common core domains within existing musculoskeletal COSs that may be used as a starting point in the development of future COSs. We aim to identify common core domains from existing COSs and to facilitate the development of new COSs for musculoskeletal conditions. As a secondary aim, we will assess the development quality of these COSs. Methods: A systematic review including musculoskeletal COSs. We will search Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) database, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus, Cochrane Methodology Register and International Consortium for Health Outcome Measurement (ICHOM). Studies will be included if related to the development of a COS in adults with musculoskeletal conditions and for any type of intervention. Quality will be assessed using the Core Outcome Set-Standards for Development (COS-STAD) recommendations. Data extracted will include scope of the COS, health condition, interventions and outcome domains. Primary outcomes will be all core domains recommended within each COS. We define a common core outcome domain as one present in at least 67% of all COSs. All findings will be summarized and presented using descriptive statistics. Discussion: This systematic review of COSs will describe the core domains recommended within each musculoskeletal COS. Common domains found may be used in the initial stages of development of future musculoskeletal COSs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number248
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
TSS is supported by funding through an Australian Government Research Training Program scholarship. RB is supported by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Fellowship (APP1194483). No other funding will be received for this study.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).


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