Evidence-based treatment and healthcare policy decision making rests on information collected in research studies. Health outcome measurements are only as good as the outcome measurement instruments (OMIs) used to make them. Yet, the use of OMIs with poor or unknown quality is widespread in clinical research, hindering therapy development. While appraisal tools for the selection of the most suitable OMIs have been developed by the COnsensus based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) initiative, key information about evaluating OMI measurement properties is often missing in study reports; however, at the present, there is no consensus on what constitutes complete and sufficient reporting. To ensure measurements are valid, reliable, patient-centered, and comparable across research studies and health systems, complete reporting of OMI appraisal is essential.

To address this issue, we assembled an international group of experts to develop an evidence-informed and consensus-based reporting guideline: PRISMA-COSMIN. Our team includes OMI developers, measurement experts, systematic reviewers, tool users such as doctors and researchers, checklist developers, and users of knowledge generated by tools including patients. The new checklist, developed using cutting edge research methods, will be tested across mental health, rheumatology, neurology, surgery, and child health. It will be freely available worldwide to use and have a global impact by teaching researchers how to describe their studies on tools appropriately, so that measurements made are useful, correct, and meaningful. Our work will improve the quality of research studies and contribute towards reducing research waste, informing health decisions, and ultimately improving patient and health system outcomes.

Current status

We have been awarded a three-year CIHR Project Grant to develop PRISMA-COSMIN.