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What are core outcomes?

Core outcomes are:

  • A minimum set for all clinical trials to enable trials to be compared and included in meta-analyses.
  • Usually a measure of effectiveness and harm
  • Relevant to patients and carers
  • Relevant to those making decisions about health care  
  • Need to be valid, repeatable, sensitive to change and easy to use.

Core outcomes may be different for clinical trials and routine care.

What they are NOT:

  • Core outcomes are NOT the only outcomes to be included in a trial. Other outcomes are included in trials as well as the core outcomes to suit the needs of each particular trial.

What is the difference between an "outcome domain" and an "outcome measure"?

Outcome domains are distinct elements of a disease and can usually be measured by many different instruments and /or scales.

Examples of domains are:

  • Signs
  • Symptoms
  • Cost
  • Safety
  • Quality of Life

Examples of outcome measures, or "instruments" that measure the domain "signs" for eczema include:

  • EASI
  • TIS

Description of core outcomes

A very nice description of what core outcomes are has been produced by the COMET Initiative and can be viewed here.



Core outcomes (red) are only a subset of the total outcomes (blue)to be included in a trial. 


HOME - Harmonising Outcome Measures for Eczema

Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology
University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane, Nottingham

Telephone: +44 115 8232435
Fax: +44 115 8468618