Trials 2017 12 0118(1) 576 doi 10.1186/s13063-017-2294-8
Uveitis, a group of disorders characterised by intraocular inflammation, causes 10-15% of total blindness in the developed world. The most sight-threatening uveitis affects the posterior segment of the eye (posterior-segment involving uveitis (PSIU)). Numerous different outcomes have been used in clinical trials evaluating alternative treatments for uveitis, limiting inter-trial comparison and aggregation of data. We aim to develop a core outcome set (COS) that would provide a standardised set of outcomes to be measured and reported in all effectiveness trials for PSIU.
A three-phase design will be used informed by recommendations from the Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) initiative. Phase 1: a comprehensive list of outcomes will be identified through both a systematic review of effectiveness trials of PSIU and qualitative research with stakeholders. The qualitative study will comprise focus groups with patients and their carers in parallel with one-to-one telephone interviews with health professionals and policy-makers. In the focus groups, patients will be grouped according to whether or not their uveitis is complicated by the sight-threatening condition uveitic macular oedema (UMO) since it is hypothesised that the presence of UMO may significantly impact on patient experience of PSIU. Phase 2: Delphi methodology will be used to reduce the range of potential outcomes for the core set. Up to three Delphi rounds will be used through an online survey. Participants will be asked to rate the importance of each outcome on a 9-point Likert scale where 9 is most important. Phase 3: a consensus meeting will be held with key stakeholders to discuss the Delphi results and ratify the final outcomes to be included in the COS.
The development of an agreed COS for PSIU would help ensure that outcomes which matter to key stakeholders are captured and reported in a consistent way. A COS for PSIU would allow greater comparison and aggregation of data across trials for the better evaluation of established and emerging therapies through evidence synthesis and meta-analysis to inform clinical guidelines and health policy.
COMET. http://comet-initiative.org/studies/details/640 . August 2015.