Core outcome sets, or the minimum sets of outcomes that would be used in all clinical studies of a given disease or condition, have the potential to revolutionize clinical research in laser and energy devices. Currently, laser studies, like other clinical investigations in medicine, measure whatever outcomes the individual investigators deem appropriate, making it difficult to compare safety and efficacy of various treatments through meta-analyses. The development of core outcome sets is rigorous, and involves systematic literature reviews, interviews with various stakeholders such as industry researchers, regulatory bodies, non-physician providers, patients and family members, as well as an international Delphi consensus process with input from both patients and physicians. Following the establishment of core outcome sets, core outcome measures are developed, with one measure being the preferred means for assessing each core outcome. Uptake of core outcome sets and measures can make it much easier to combine the results of different studies of the same condition across treatment modalities and geographic regions. Once researchers are all reporting, at a minimum, the same outcomes and using the same outcome measures, patients will truly be well-served, and we will then be working cooperatively, worldwide, to answer the same important questions. In doing so, we will move the science of laser medicine forward.
- Core outcome set
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