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International development and implementation of a core measurement set for research and audit studies in implant-based breast reconstruction: A study protocol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
DateAccepted/In press - 30 Dec 2019
DatePublished (current) - 20 Jan 2020


Introduction: Outcome reporting in research studies of breast reconstruction is inconsistent and lacks standardisation. The results of individual studies therefore cannot be meaningfully compared or combined limiting their value. A core outcome set (COS) has been developed to address these issues and identified 11 key outcomes to be measured and reported in all future research and audit studies in reconstructive breast surgery (RBS). A core outcome set represents what key outcomes should be measured. The next step is to determine how and when this should be done. The aim of this study is to develop a core measurement set (CMS) for use in research and audit studies in implant-based breast reconstruction (IBBR).

Methods and analysis: The CMS will be developed in accordance with guidance developed by the COMET initiative and COSMIN group for the selection of outcome measurement instruments (OMIs) for relevant outcome domains included in the RBS COS. This will involve three phases with strategies to promote implementation as a final additional phase. The phases are i) Conceptual considerations in which the target population, procedures and settings are defined; ii) Systematic reviews to identify existing clinical, patient-reported and cosmetic OMIs and, if appropriate, assess their quality using COSMIN methodology; iii) A modified Delphi process including sequential Delphi surveys involving approximately 100 healthcare professionals and a face to face consensus meeting to agree and ratify which outcome definitions and OMIs should be used and standardised time points for assessment; iv) Strategies to promote dissemination and adoption of the CMS.

Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval has been granted by University of Bristol Faculty Research Ethics Committee FREC ID 60221. Dissemination strategies will include scientific meeting presentations and peer-reviewed journal publications. Implementation activities will include engagement with journal editors and funders to promote uptake and use of the CMS.

    Research areas

  • core measurement set, implant-based breast reconstruction, COMET, COSMIN

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