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Reproductive Health

, 11:42

First Online: 21 July 2014Received: 06 June 2014Accepted: 06 June 2014DOI: 10.1186-1742-4755-11-42

Cite this article as: Khan, K. & Belizán, J.M. Reprod Health 2014 11: 42. doi:10.1186-1742-4755-11-42


Clinical trials, systematic reviews and guidelines compare beneficial and non-beneficial outcomes following interventions. Often, however, various studies on a particular topic do not address the same outcomes, making it difficult to draw clinically useful conclusions when a group of studies is looked at as a whole. This problem was recently thrown into sharp focus by a systematic review of interventions for preterm birth prevention, which found that among 103 randomised trials, no fewer than 72 different outcomes were reported. There is a growing recognition among clinical researchers that this variability undermines consistent synthesis of the evidence, and that what is needed is an agreed standardised collection of outcomes - a -core outcomes set- for all trials in a specific clinical area. Recognising that the current inconsistency is a serious hindrance to progress in our specialty, the editors of over 50 journals related to women-s health have come together to support The CROWN CoRe Outcomes in WomeN-s health Initiative.

KeywordsResearch design-standards Treatment outcome Endpoint determination-standards Clinical trials Systematic reviews Guidelines Bias Epidemiology Evidence-based medicine Consensus Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1742-4755-11-42 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Khalid Khan - José M Belizán


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