Why are "outcomes" so important?

Outcomes are important because if each different research study measures a different outcome, we are not able to compare the results or findings from each study.

  • For instance, imagine two studies looking at treatment of depression in teenagers:

    • In Study A, the researchers measure the amount of school missed and decide that if a teenager attended more school their depression is improving or getting better.

    • But in Study B, the researchers measure the amount of energy teenagers have and decide that if a teenager had more energy their depression is improving or getting better.

    • When the two studies are finished, we can’t compare or combine the results because they have used different outcomes.

 

  • When studies have different outcomes, it makes it difficult to compare treatments and decide if one treatment is better than another.
     

The IN-ROADS Initiative will give researchers a list of outcomes that can be a part of all studies on adolescent depression.

Blue Swirl
Two clincians with 6 different outcomes (3 on each side), which do not match each other (symbolized by not equal to sign)

Here is a short video if you’d like to learn more about why patients and caregivers should be involved in core outcome set development.

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