A core outcome set for research and clinical practice in women with pelvic girdle pain: PGP-COS

Inconsistent reporting of outcomes in clinical trials of women with Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) hinders comparison of findings and the reliability of evidence synthesis. A core outcome set (COS) can address this issue as it defines a minimum set of outcomes that should be reported in all clinical trials on the condition. The aim of this study was to develop a consensus-based COS for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions in PGP during pregnancy and postpartum for use in research and clinical practice.

A systematic review of previous studies on PGP and semi-structured interviews with women were undertaken to identify all outcomes that were reported in prior studies and that are relevant to those experiencing the condition. Key stakeholders (clinicians, researchers, service providers/policy makers and individuals with PGP) then rated the importance of these outcomes for including in a preliminary PGP-COS using a 3-round Delphi study. The final COS was agreed at a face-to-face consensus meeting.

Consensus was achieved on five outcomes for inclusion in the final PGP-COS. All outcomes are grouped under the “life impact” domain and include: pain frequency, pain intensity/severity, function/disability/activity limitation, health-related quality of life and fear avoidance.

This study identified a COS for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions in pregnancy-related and postpartum-related PGP in research and clinical settings. It is advocated that all trials, other non-randomised studies and clinicians in this area use this COS by reporting these outcomes as a minimum. This will ensure the reporting of meaningful outcomes and will enable the findings of future studies to be compared and combined. Future work will determine how to measure the outcomes of the PGP-COS.


Alexandria Remus, Valerie Smith, Annelie Gutke, Juan Jose Saldaña Mena, Siv Mørkved, Lena Nilsson Wikmar, Birgitta Öberg, Christina Olsson, Hilde Stendal Robinson, Britt Stuge, Francesca Wuytack


Journal: PLoS ONE
Volume: 16
Issue: 2
Pages: e0247466 -
Year: 2021
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0247466

Further Study Information

Current Stage: Completed
Funding source(s):

Health Area

Disease Category: Pregnancy & childbirth, Rehabilitation

Disease Name: Pelvic Girdle Pain

Target Population

Age Range: 18 - 100

Sex: Female

Nature of Intervention: Any

Stakeholders Involved

- Clinical experts
- Consumers (patients)
- Policy makers
- Researchers
- Service providers

Study Type

- COS for clinical trials or clinical research
- COS for practice


- Consensus meeting
- Delphi process
- Interview
- Systematic review