Background: Systematic reviews of clinical trials frequently reveal
heterogeneity in the number and types of outcomes reported. To
counteract this, a Core Outcome Set (COS) may be applied. Objectives: A
systematic review of all completed and ongoing COS related to pregnancy
and childbirth Search strategy: COMET up to January 2020, Ovid MEDLINE,
EMBASE, PsycINFO, Academic Search Elite, CINAHL and SocINDEX up to June
2019. Selection criteria: Studies which prioritized outcomes using some
form of consensus method (such as the Delphi technique) were included.
Data collection and analysis: All included studies were checked for
compliance with the Core Outcome Set–STAndards for Reporting.
Information about population, setting, method and outcomes was
extracted. Main results: Nineteen completed studies and thirty-nine
ongoing studies were included. The number of outcomes included in
various COS ranged from 6 to 48. Most COS were for conditions related to
physical complications during pregnancy. No COS were identified for
perinatal mental health. Conclusion: This review discloses a growing
number of COS within the field of pregnancy and childbirth. Many of the
completed studies follow the proposed reporting. However, several of the
COS included a large number of outcomes. There is a need to consider the
number of outcomes which may be included in a COS while retaining its
applicability in future research. Funding This article is adapted from a
report undertaken by the SBU, who provided funding for the study.
Keywords: Childbirth, Core outcome set, Maternal health, Obstetric care,