Examining the Similarities and Differences of OMERACT Core Sets Using the ICF: First Step Towards an Improved Domain Specification and Development of an Item Pool to Measure Functioning and Health

Reuben Escorpizo, Maarten Boers, Gerold Stucki, Annelies Boonen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective. To contribute to the discussion on a common approach for domain selection in the Outcomes in Rheumatology Clinical Trials (OMERACT) process. First, this article reports on the consistency in the selection and names of the domains of the current OMERACT core set, and next on the comparability of the specifications of concepts that are relevant within the domains. For this purpose, a convenience sample of 4 OMERACT core sets was used: rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), longitudinal observational studies (LOS) in rheumatology, and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Domains from the different core sets were compared directly. To be able to compare the specific content of the domains, the concepts contained in the questionnaires that were considered or proposed to measure the domains were identified and linked to the category of the International Classification of Functioning. Disability, and Health (ICF) that best fit that construct. Large differences in the domains, and lack of domain definitions, were noted among the 4 OMERACT core sets. When comparing the concepts in the questionnaires that represent the domains, core sets differed also in the number and type of constructs that were addressed within each of the domains. Especially for the specification of the concepts within the domains Discomfort and Disability, the ICF proved to be useful as external reference to classify the different constructs. Our exercise suggests that the OMERACT process could benefit from a standardized approach to select, define, and specify domains, and demonstrated that the ICF is useful for further classification of the more specific concepts of "what to measure" within the domains. A clear definition and classification of domains and their specification can be useful as a starting point to build a pool of items that could then be used to develop new instruments to assess functioning and health for rheumatological conditions. (J Rheumatol 2011;38:1739-44; doi:10.3899/jrheum.I10395)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1739-1744
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011



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