To develop a core outcome set for lateral elbow tendinopathy (COS-LET) and to provide guidance for outcome evaluation in future studies.
We implemented a multi-stage mixed-methods design combining two systematic reviews, domain mapping of outcome measurement instruments to the core domains of tendinopathy, psychometric analysis of instruments, two patient focus groups and a Delphi study incorporating two surveys and an international consensus meeting. Following the OMERACT guidelines, we used a 70% threshold for consensus.
38 clinicians/researchers and 9 patients participated. 60 instruments were assessed for inclusion. The only instrument that was recommended for the COS-LET was Patient Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation (PRTEE) for the disability domain. Interim recommendations were made to use: the PRTEE function subscale for the function domain; PRTEE pain subscale items 1, 4 and 5 for the pain over a specified time domain; pain-free grip strength for the physical function capacity domain; a Numerical Rating Scale measuring pain on gripping for the pain on activity/loading domain; and time off work for the participation in life activities domain. No recommendations could be made for the quality-of-life, patient rating of condition and psychological factors domains.
The COS-LET comprises the PRTEE for the disability domain. Interim-use recommendations included PRTEE subscales, time off work, pain-free grip strength and a Numerical Rating Scale measuring pain on gripping. Further work is required to validate these interim measures and develop suitable measures to capture the other domains.