Methodological decisions influence the identification of potential core outcomes in studies related to pre-eclampsia : an analysis informing the development of recommendations for future core outcome set developers

J.M.N. Duffy, M. Hirsch, S. Ziebland, R.J. McManus, the International Collaboration to Harmonise Outcomes in Pre-eclampsia (iHOPE)

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To quantify the effect of different methodological decisions on the identification of potential core outcomes to inform the development of recommendations for future core coutcome set developers. Design: Mixed methods study. Setting: A core outcome set for pre-eclampsia was used as an exemplar. Sample: A long list of potential core outcomes was developed by undertaking a systematic review of pre-eclampsia trials and performing a thematic analysis of in-depth patient interviews. Methods: Specific methods used to generate long lists of potential core outcomes were evaluated. Results: Different methodological decisions had a substantial impact on the identification of potential core outcomes. Extracting outcomes from published pre-eclampsia trials was an effective way of identifying 48 maternal, eight fetal, 25 neonatal outcomes, and eight patient-reported outcomes. Limiting the extraction of outcomes to primary outcomes or outcomes commonly reported in pre-eclampsia trials reduced the number and diversity of potential core outcomes identified. Thematic analysis of in-depth patient interviews ensured an additional five patient reported outcomes and six outcomes related to future child health were identified. Conclusions: Future core outcome set developers should use quantitative and qualitative methods when developing a long list of potential core outcomes. Tweetable abstract: @OfficialNIHR research published in @BJOGtweets informs new recommendations for future @coreoutcomes developers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1482-1490
Number of pages9
JournalBJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Core outcome sets
  • outcomes
  • pre-eclampsia
  • qualitative interviews
  • systematic review

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