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 is often missing in published systematic reviews. However, at 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, OMI users such as doctors and researchers, checklist developers, and users of knowledge generated by OMIs including patients. The new checklist, developed using cutting edge research methods, will be tested across various health disciplines, including 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 systematic reviews on OMIs appropriately, so that measurements made are useful, correct, and meaningful. Our work will improve the quality of systematic reviews of OMIs and contribute towards reducing research waste, informing health decisions, and ultimately improving patient and health system outcomes.

PRISMA-COSMIN for OMIs End of Project Meeting, June 28-29, 2023. Front row, from left: David Moher, Wieneke Mokkink, Ellen Elsman, Catherine Hofstetter, Martin Offringa. Back row, from left: Andrea Tricco, Krystle Amog, Dorcas Beaton, Joel Gagnier, Caroline Terwee, Ami Baba, Maureen Smith. 

We have been awarded a three-year CIHR Project Grant to develop PRISMA-COSMIN for OMIs. A study protocol outlining the methods for developing, piloting, and disseminating the PRISMA-COSMIN for OMIs guideline has been published open access in the journal “Systematic Reviews”. We have finalized a three-round Delphi study and organized a hybrid workgroup meeting to agree on the wording and inclusion of reporting items that had no consensus yet. Writing teams have drafted the Explanation & Elaboration (E&E) texts for each reporting item. We have pilot tested the checklists and E&E documents with authors of systematic reviews of OMIs. We also recently had a two-day end-of-project meeting to finalize the PRISMA-COSMIN for OMIs guideline, and we are currently preparing materials for publication.

  • Checklist: coming soon
  • Explanation & Elaboration document: coming soon
  • Flow Diagram: coming soon
  • Data visualization templates: coming soon

Coming soon!

Please use our publication on the study protocol in ‘Systematic Reviews’ (open access) when referring to PRISMA-COSMIN for OMIs:

Elsman, E.B.M., Butcher, N.J., Mokkink, L.B. et al. Study protocol for developing, piloting and disseminating the PRISMA-COSMIN guideline: a new reporting guideline for systematic reviews of outcome measurement instruments. Syst Rev 11, 121 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-022-01994-5

This reference will be updated once our study describing the development of PRISMA-COSMIN for OMIs is published.

The COSMIN initiative is developing an online course on how to conduct systematic reviews of OMIs. Details will be posted here when available.

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Updated July 2023