About the COSMIN initiative
COSMIN develops methodology and practical tools for selecting the most suitable outcome measurement instrument.
COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments
COSMIN is an initiative of an international multidisciplinary team of researchers with a background in epidemiology, psychometrics, medicine, qualitative research, and health care, who have expertise in the development and evaluation of outcome measurement instruments.
The mission of COSMIN is to improve the selection of outcome measurement instruments of health outcomes by developing and encouraging the use of transparent methodology and practical tools for selecting the most suitable outcome measurement instrument in research and clinical practice.
We aim to improve the quality of studies on measurement properties by developing methodology and practical tools for assessing measurement properties, and we call for standardization of outcomes and outcome measurement instruments by developing core outcome sets (COS).
Background information about COSMIN
The COSMIN initiative, founded in 2005, was inspired by a lack of clarity in the literature about terminology and definitions of measurement properties, a lack of evidence on the measurement properties of many outcome measurement instruments, and inconsistency in methods used to determine these measurement properties. Therefore, we developed a consensus-based taxonomy including definitions of the nine measurement properties, and consensus-based standards for assessing the quality of studies on measurement properties.
Numerous outcome measurement instruments exist; many instruments aim to measure the same construct and were developed for the same patient population, and still new ones are being developed. So researchers and clinicians have to choose the most suitable instrument for their application.
The process of selecting outcome measurement instruments for specific purposes is complex, because of various aspects. Choices involve conceptual considerations about the definition of the construct of interest; practical aspects about costs, and the burden for patients and other people involved; and quality aspects of measurement instruments (referring to nine different measurement properties clustered in the domains reliability, validity and responsiveness). Selecting unsuitable or insufficient quality outcome measurement instruments may introduce bias in the conclusions of studies. This may lead to a waste of resources and is unethical because participating patients contribute little or nothing to the body of evidence but still suffer from the burdens and risks of the study.
To enable evidence-based selection of the most suitable outcome measurement instrument COSMIN developed methodology for conducting systematic reviews of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs).
COSMIN steering committee members
Two members of the steering committee (Wieneke and Caroline) are responsible for the day-to-day management of COSMIN.
Retired COSMIN steering committee members
Dirk L Knol, Statistician, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Emgo Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center
Paul W Stratford, Professor School of Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, and Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
The first Delphi study on the taxonomy and COSMIN checklist (2005-2010), i.e. the study ‘COSMIN: development and evaluation of a checklist to assess the methodological quality of studies on measurement properties’, was financially supported by the EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
We are grateful to ZonMW for their support to develop this website (project number 29385041).
The Delphi study on content validity (2014-2017), the study of the development of the COSMIN Risk of Bias checklist, and the development of the COSMIN Study Design checklist was financially supported by the department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The development of the guideline on how to select outcome measurement instruments for outcomes included in COS has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007-2013] under grant agreement n° .
The study on the development of the COSMIN checklist for clinician-reported and performance-based outcome measures (2017-2020) is financially supported by ZonMW VENI grant: ‘Measurement in Medicine: choosing and using the best outcome measure’ (dossiernummer 016.176.098).
The project on the development of the COSMIN reporting checklist (2017-2019) will be performed in participation with the University of Michigan, and is financially supported by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI): ‘Development of reporting guidelines for psychometric research on PROMs’ (ME-1606-35556).