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A DELPHI study priority setting the remaining challenges for the use of routinely collected data in trials: COMORANT-UK

Williams, Adam D. N., Davies, Gwyneth, Farrin, Amanda J., Mafham, Marion, Robling, Michael ORCID:, Sydes, Matthew R. and Lugg-Widger, Fiona V. ORCID: 2023. A DELPHI study priority setting the remaining challenges for the use of routinely collected data in trials: COMORANT-UK. Trials 24 (1) , 243. 10.1186/s13063-023-07251-x

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Background: Researchers are increasingly seeking to use routinely collected data to support clinical trials. This approach has the potential to transform the way clinical trials are conducted in the future. The availability of routinely collected data for research, whether healthcare or administrative, has increased, and infrastructure funding has enabled much of this. However, challenges remain at all stages of a trial life cycle. This study, COMORANT-UK, aimed to systematically identify, with key stakeholders across the UK, the ongoing challenges related to trials that seek to use routinely collected data. Methods: This three-step Delphi method consisted of two rounds of anonymous web-based surveys and a virtual consensus meeting. Stakeholders included trialists, data infrastructures, funders of trials, regulators, data providers and the public. Stakeholders identified research questions or challenges that they considered were of particular importance and then selected their top 10 in the second survey. The ranked questions were taken forward to the consensus meeting for discussion with representatives invited from the stakeholder groups. Results: In the first survey, 66 respondents yielded over 260 questions or challenges. These were thematically grouped and merged into a list of 40 unique questions. Eighty-eight stakeholders then ranked their top ten from the 40 questions in the second survey. The most common 14 questions were brought to the virtual consensus meeting in which stakeholders agreed a top list of seven questions. We report these seven questions which are within the following domains: trial design, Patient and Public Involvement, trial set-up, trial open and trial data. These questions address both evidence gaps (requiring further methodological research) and implementation gaps (requiring training and/or service re-organisation). Conclusion: This prioritised list of seven questions should inform the direction of future research in this area and should direct efforts to ensure that the benefits in major infrastructure for routinely collected data are achieved and translated. Without this and future work to address these questions, the potential societal benefits of using routinely collected data to help answer important clinical questions will not be realised.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: open-access
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1745-6215
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 April 2023
Date of Acceptance: 13 March 2023
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2023 20:43

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