Outcome sets in surgical Cochrane Reviews: suggestions for next steps

Date & Time
Wednesday, September 6, 2023, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Location Name
Session Type
Core outcomes
Shi Q1, Meng W1, Chen YC2
1The First School of Clinical Medicine, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou; Department of General Surgery, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
2Evidence-based Medicine Center, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou; Research Unit of Evidence-Based Evaluation and Guidelines, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (2021RU017), School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou University, China

Background: Surgery plays a vital role in clinical treatment and is increasingly needed worldwide. The selection of appropriate outcomes is crucial for Cochrane Reviews to determine surgical intervention effectiveness and safety. One way to achieve this could be through the adoption of core outcome sets (COS). Previous study suggested that approximately 10% of Cochrane Reviews of interventions use COS to help inform their choice of outcomes. However, this is unclear in the area of surgery.
Objectives: The overall aim of this study is to evaluation the outcome selection and measurement in Cochrane Reviews testing surgical interventions. The specific objectives are to analyse a sample of surgical Cochrane Reviews in order to: (1) Identify how the outcomes are determined; (2) Identify the number of different types of outcomes and outcome measures reported; (3) Identify variations in outcome between full-texts and pre-protocols; (4) Identify how frequency a COS is used as a basis for defining outcomes in the methods or in the 'Summary of findings' table.
Methods: Published surgical Cochrane Reviews addressing any topic and published by any Cochrane Review Group will be eligible for inclusion by searching the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Archie (the Cochrane information management system) in March 2023. We will also identify Cochrane Reviews in preparation (protocols and titles) for future inclusion. A random sampling selection process will be performed to identify 100 eligible Reviews representative of the literature. Two authors will independently screen titles and abstracts, assess full-texts, and extract data relevant to our Objectives from included Reviews.
Results: The results will be presented at the Colloquium.
Conclusions: The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions explicitly indicates that reviews should address outcomes that are critical or important to consumers, and established sets of core outcomes should be used (where available). We hope this study will improve the awareness among authors of surgical Cochrane Reviews of a more scientific outcome sets, and facilitate greater involvement of systematic reviewers in the development and implementation of core outcome sets in the area of surgery.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: NA.