The Core Outcomes in Women’s and Newborn Health (CROWN) Initiative is a consortium of obstetrics, gynaecology and neonatal journals all committed to encouraging the development and reporting of core outcomes sets within the specialty.

The problem

Currently, different studies testing treatments for the same condition often measure different outcomes. Therefore, when the studies’ results have been reported they cannot be compared or combined in a meaningful way because the researchers have been looking at different outcomes.

The solution

A core outcome set (COS) is a set of main outcomes that have been agreed as relevant for assessing a health condition. Therefore if all studies looking at a particular health condition considered the COS, the results could be compared and combined across studies, therefore making the best use of the research.

CROWN’s role

Recognising the problem and solution to outcome variation in research, journal editors within women’s and newborn health have come together to work towards the following five aims:

  1. Form a consortium among all gynaecology-obstetrics and related journals to promote core outcome sets in all areas of our specialty
  2. Encourage researchers to develop core outcomes sets using robust consensus methodology involving multiple stakeholders, including patients
  3. Strongly encourage the reporting of results for core outcome sets
  4. Organise a robust peer-review and effective dissemination of manuscripts describing core outcome sets
  5. Facilitate embedding of core outcome sets in research practice, working closely with researchers, reviewers, funders and guideline makers.

Since CROWN’s launch, its aims have been promoted across international conferences and publications, with the first editorial published in multiple languages. A recent systematic review has shown CROWN’s impact, with the number of COS being developed and published in the specialty significantly increasing.

CROWN is currently administered by staff at BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the Women’s Health Research Unit, QMUL, with strategic leadership from journal editors-in-chief and support from COS developers.

CROWN is also supported by a number of organisations.