Given the growing body of critical care clinical research publications, core outcome sets (COSs) are important to help mitigate heterogeneity in outcomes assessed and measurement instruments used, and have potential to reduce research waste. This article provides an update on COS projects in critical care medicine, and related resources and tools for COS developers.
We identified 28 unique COS projects, of which 15 have published results as of May 2020. COS topics relevant to critical care medicine include mechanical ventilation, cardiology, stroke, rehabilitation, and long-term outcomes (LTOs) after critical illness. There are four COS projects for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with a ‘meta-COS’ summarizing common outcomes across these projects. To help facilitate COS development, there are existing resources, standards, guidelines, and tools available from the Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials Initiative ( and the National Institutes of Health-funded Improve LTO project (
Many COS projects have been completed in critical care, with more on-going COS projects, including foci from across the spectrum of acute critical care, COVID-19, critical care rehabilitation, and patient recovery and LTOs. Extensive resources are accessible to help facilitate rigorous COS development.