Core Outcome Sets (COS) are agreed minimum sets of outcomes recommended for measurement in studies in specific health areas. Development of COS can facilitate evidence comparison and synthesis and provides crucial information on the outcomes that are considered most important from the perspectives of different stakeholders.
Stream 2 co-lead, Dr Vicki Brown, led the development of the Core Outcome Set for Early intervention trials to Prevent Obesity in Childhood (COS-EPOCH). The development of the core outcome set consisted of three stages: (1) a systematic scoping review of outcomes collected and reported in early childhood obesity prevention trials; (2) a Delphi study with stakeholders to prioritise outcomes; and, (3) a meeting with stakeholders to reach consensus on outcomes. Stakeholders included parents/caregivers of children aged ≤ five years, policy-makers/funders, researchers, health professionals, and community and organisational stakeholders interested in obesity prevention interventions.
Twenty-two outcomes from nine outcome domains were included in the COS-EPOCH. More details are available in the published paper here. Study results provide important insights into the early childhood obesity prevention intervention outcomes considered critical by a range of stakeholders. Findings should be used to inform future intervention development and evaluation.
More work is now underway in Stream 1 to investigate recommended measurement methods for COS-EPOCH outcomes. Together, these projects will standardise guidance on the measurement and reporting of outcomes from early childhood obesity prevention interventions. This will facilitate evidence comparison and synthesis and maximise the value of data collected across trials, leading to better understanding of which interventions work, how and for whom.