Develop a Core Outcome Set for use in clinical trials, and other studies, for interventions for the treatment of Neonatal Encephalopathy

COHESION Study: Interviews with parents/ carers of infants who were diagnosed with neonatal encephalopathy and received treatment.


  • Professor Declan Devane, Health Research Board-Trial Methodology Network (HRB-TMRN)/School of Nursing and Midwifery, National University of Ireland Galway
  • Professor Eleanor Molloy, Chair of Paediatrics & Child Health, Trinity College Dublin
  • Dr Patricia Healy, Research Fellow, National University of Ireland Galway


The HRB-TMRN is a partnership between the five Irish universities. The overall mission of the HRB-TMRN is to strengthen trial methodology and reporting on the island of Ireland, through a programme of work, which will also impact elsewhere in the UK and internationally. This is achieved through a focus on three high-level activities relating to the methodology of trials (i) support (ii) training and education and (iii) research and innovation. The HRB-TMRN was established in 2014, and since then has grown to become the main support network for all trialists, communicating to over 4000 people with an interest in trials every month. The network is dynamic, energetic and adaptive to the needs of the trial community.

One of the difficulties often faced by systematic reviewers when trying to synthesise the evidence from studies on a particular topic is heterogeneity in the outcomes measured in those studies. This means that reviewers are frequently unable to compare and contrast the findings of all, or even most, of the studies and a meta-analysis of the findings of all included studies is rarely possible. One of the suggested ways to address this problem, is to develop and apply agreed standardised sets of outcomes, known as ‘core outcome sets’ (COSs). The idea is that a COS should represent the minimum to be measured and reported in all trials, and other studies, on a specific condition, while accepting that if outcomes outside of the COS are also important in the context of the individual study they should be measured for that study. This use of the COS as a minimum across an entire research area would allow for the results of trials and other studies to be effectively compared, contrasted and combined, as appropriate.

The aim of this project is to develop a Core Outcome Set for use in clinical trials, and other studies, for interventions for the treatment of Neonatal Encephalopathy.

NEPTuNE Scholar: Fiona Quirke

Fiona Quirke



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