If you remember from our earlier course, outcomes are the yardsticks we use to measure the differences between an intervention and its comparator. That’s why it’s so important to establish a clear and consistent approach to extracting outcome data.

Every study will have a slightly different set of outcomes or a different approach to measuring those outcomes.

To avoid too much confusion, start with a list of key outcomes before you even look at your studies. Be clear about what pieces of information are most important for your specific research question.

You can always revise your list of outcomes as you extract from your studies, but try to do this early on in the process. Any adjustments to your list will force you to revisit the studies you already extracted to look for new outcomes.