CROWN & Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group – a core outcome sets the way to reduce research waste

By James MN Duffy

Edited by Ewelina Rogozińska

The Cochrane Fertility and Gynaecology Group brings together researchers undertaking clinical trials and observational studies in the field of reproductive medicine and gynaecology from around the world.

The issue of establishing core outcome sets is of foremost concern to the Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group, and this was clearly visible during the symposium. Prof Andy Vail, University of Manchester, discussed the challenges of outcome reporting bias in Cochrane reviews. Jack Wilkinson, University of Manchester described his work relating to the reporting and misuse of outcomes reported by fertility centres. Malou Herman, Maxima Medical Centre, the Netherlands, presented her systematic review mapping outcome reporting across heavy menstrual bleeding trials (Herman et al. 2016 BJOG). Prof Ben Mol, University of Adelaide, discussed the CROWN initiative as one of the future opportunities for the Cochrane group to secure its 2020 vision, and Prof Siladitya Bhattacharya, University of Aberdeen, described the importance of standardising outcomes and outcome measures in his filling the evidence gaps in reproductive medicine presentation. This is a great momentum we should build on.

Despite the escalation in research activity and an exponential rise in published papers, many of the fundamental questions in subfertility and benign gynaecology remain. One of the key reasons for this is research waste due to unwarranted variation in outcome collection and reporting. A global effort is urgently needed to link evidence synthesis with primary evaluative research which should deliver research which improves the quality of health care.

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