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COSMIN database of systematic reviews of outcome measurement instruments


The COSMIN initiative aims to improve the selection of health measurement instruments for research and clinical practice. As part of this initiative, the COSMIN group systematically collects systematic reviews of outcome measurement instruments. Such systematic reviews are important tools for the selection of outcome measurement instruments for research and clinical practice and for identifying gaps in knowledge on the quality of outcome measurement instruments, i.e. their measurement properties. The number of such systematic reviews has increased from none or one review per year in the beginning of the 1990s up to 85 in 2013.

The COSMIN group yearly performs searches in PubMed and EMBASE to systematically identify systematic reviews of outcome measurement instruments. A systematic review is included in this database when it fulfills the following criteria:

  1. The study should be a systematic review (i.e. at least one search in an electronic database was performed);
  2. The aim of the review should be to identify all outcome measurement instruments of interest and to summarize the evidence on their measurement properties;
  3. The construct of interest of the review should be (aspects of) health status, defined as (a) biological and physiological processes, OR (b) symptoms, OR (c) physical functioning, OR (d) social/psychological functioning, OR (e) general health perceptions, OR (f) health-related quality of life (based on the model of Wilson & Cleary, JAMA 1995);
  4. The study population should contain humans (patients or general population);
  5. The instruments of interest should be outcome measurement instruments, defined as instruments which can be/are applied in longitudinal studies to monitor changes in health over time (the outcome measure is the dependent variable);
  6. The study should evaluate and report on at least one or more measurement properties of the included instruments.

This search was last updated on June 19, 2014 and the database currently contains 569 unique systematic reviews of outcome measurement instruments

More information about (the methodology of) systematic reviews of outcome measurement instruments and COSMIN can be found on the COSMIN website.