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Core outcomes set for research on the treatment of opioid use disorder (COS-OUD): the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network protocol for an e-Delphi consensus study

A lack of consensus on the optimal outcome measures to assess the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) has hampered the pooling of research data for evidence synthesis and clinical guidelines. A core outcome set (COS) is a minimum set of outcome measures that are recommended for all studies of a particular condition. The National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Core Outcome Set for OUD (COS-OUD) is a development study to identify core constructs, meaningful outcomes, and their optimal measurement for all efficacy and effectiveness studies of OUD treatment and service delivery. Overseen by an expert workgroup, a modified, stepwise, e-Delphi methodology will be used to gain consensus among a panel of clinical practitioners and researchers involved in the treatment of OUD, who are members of the CTN. Sequential rounds of anonymous, online questionnaires will be used to identify, rate the importance of, and refine a core outcome set. A consensus threshold will be achieved if at least 70% of the panel rate the measure as critical for inclusion in the COS-OUD. Where consensus is not reached or there are suggestions for new measures, these will be brought forward to a further round of review prior to a consensus meeting. Products from this study will be communicated via peer-reviewed scientific journals and conferences. This initiative will develop a COS for OUD intervention trials, treatment studies, and service delivery and will support the pooling of research and clinical practice data and efforts to develop measurement-based care within the OUD treatment cascade.

Authors: Karnik, Niranjan S; Campbell, Cynthia I; Marsden, John; et al.

Trials. 2021 Jan 28;22(1):102. Epub 2021-01-28.

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