Background Growth restriction in the newborn (GRN) can predispose to severe complications including hypoglycemia, sepsis, and necrotizing enterocolitis. Different interventions and treatments, such as feeding strategies, for GRN have specific benefits and risks. Comparing results from studies investigating intervention studies in GRN is challenging due to the use of different baseline and study characteristics and differences in reported study outcomes. In order to be able to compare study results and to allow pooling of data, uniform reporting of study characteristics (minimum reporting set [MRS]) and outcomes (core outcome set [COS]) are needed. We aim to develop both an MRS and a COS for interventional and treatment studies in GRN. Methods/design The MRS and COS will be developed according to Delphi methodology. First, a scoping literature search will be performed to identify study characteristics and outcomes in research focused on interventions/treatments in the GRN. An international group of stakeholders, including experts (clinicians working with GRN, and researchers who focus on GRN) and lay experts ([future] parents of babies with GRN), will be questioned to rate the importance of the study characteristics and outcomes in three rounds. After three rounds there will be two consensus meetings: a face-to-face meeting and an electronic meeting. During the consensus meetings multiple representatives of stakeholder groups will reach agreement upon which study characteristics and outcomes will be included into the COS and MRS. The second electronic consensus meeting will be used to test if an electronic meeting is as effective as a face-to-face meeting. Discussion In our opinion a COS alone is not sufficient to compare and aggregate trial data. Hence, to ensure optimum comparison we also will develop an MRS. Interventions in GRN infants are often complicated by coexisting preterm birth. A COS already has been developed for preterm birth. The majority of GRN infants are born at term, however, and we therefore chose to develop a separate COS for interventions in GRN, which can be combined (with expected overlap) in intervention studies enrolling preterm GRN babies.
- Growth restriction in the newborn
- Fetal growth restriction
- Core outcome set
- Minimum reporting set