Evidence to guide treatment of pediatric medium-chain acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency and phenylketonuria (PKU) is fragmented because of large variability in outcome selection and measurement. Our goal was to develop core outcome sets (COSs) for these diseases to facilitate meaningful future evidence generation and enhance the capacity to compare and synthesize findings across studies.
Parents and/or caregivers, health professionals, and health policy advisors completed a Delphi survey and participated in a consensus workshop to select core outcomes from candidate lists of outcomes for MCAD deficiency and PKU. Delphi participants rated the importance of outcomes on a nine-point scale (1–3: not important, 4–6: important but not critical, 7–9: critical). Candidate outcomes were progressively narrowed down over 3 survey rounds. At the workshop, participants evaluated the remaining candidate outcomes using an adapted nominal technique, open discussion, and voting. After the workshop, we finalized the COSs and recommended measurement instruments for each outcome.
There were 85, 61, and 53 participants across 3 Delphi rounds, respectively. The candidate core outcome lists were narrowed down to 20 outcomes per disease to be discussed at the consensus workshop. Voting by 18 workshop participants led to COSs composed of 8 and 9 outcomes for MCAD deficiency and PKU, respectively, with measurement recommendations.
These are the first known pediatric COSs for MCAD deficiency and PKU. Adoption in future studies will help to ensure best use of limited research resources to ultimately improve care for children with these rare diseases.