The COMET Initiative was launched at a meeting in Liverpool in January 2010, funded by the MRC North West Hub for Trials Methodology (NWHTMR). More than 110 people attended, with representatives from trialists, systematic reviewers, health service users, clinical teams, journal editors, trial funders, policy makers, trials registries and regulators. The feedback was uniformly supportive, indicating a strong consensus that now is the time for such an initiative. The meeting was followed by a second conference in Bristol in July 2011, which reinforced the need for core outcome sets across a wide range of areas of health and the role of COMET in helping to coordinate information about these.
The COMET Initiative brings together researchers interested in the development and application of agreed standardised sets of outcomes, known as a ‘core outcome set.’ These sets should represent the minimum that should be measured and reported in all clinical trials, audits of practice or other forms of research for a specific condition. They do not imply that outcomes in a particular study should be restricted to those in the core outcome set. Rather, there is an expectation that the core outcomes will be collected and reported to allow the results of trials and other studies to be compared, contrasted and combined as appropriate; and that researchers will continue to collect and explore other outcomes as well.