Background: Facial aging is a concern for many patients. Wrinkles, loss of volume, and discoloration are common physical manifestations of aging skin. Genetic heritage, prior ultraviolet light exposure, and Fitzpatrick skin type may be associated with the rate and type of facial aging. Although many clinical trials assess the correlates of skin aging, there is heterogeneity in the outcomes assessed, which limits the quality of evaluation and comparison of treatment modalities. To address the inconsistency in outcomes, in this project we will develop a core set of outcomes that are to be evaluated in all clinical trials relevant to facial aging.
Methods/design: A long list of measureable outcomes will be created from four sources: (1) systematic medical literature review, (2) patient interviews, (3) other published sources, and (4) stakeholder involvement. Two rounds of Delphi processes with homogeneous groups of physicians and patients will be performed to prioritize and condense the list. At a consensus meeting attended by physicians, patients, and stakeholders, outcomes will be further condensed on the basis of participant scores. By the end of the meeting, members will vote and decide on a final recommended set of core outcomes. Subsequent to this, specific measures will be selected or created to assess these outcomes.
Discussion: The aim of this study is to develop a core outcome set and relevant measures for clinical trials relevant to facial aging. We hope to improve the reliability and consistency of outcome reporting of skin aging, thereby enabling improved evaluation of treatment efficacy and patient satisfaction.
Trial registration: Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) Initiative, accessible at http://www.comet-initiative.org/studies/details/737 . Core Outcomes Set Initiative, (CSG-COUSIN) accessible at https://www.uniklinikum-dresden.de/de/das-klinikum/universitaetscentren/zegv/cousin/meet-the-teams/project-groups/core-outcome-set-for-the-appearance-of-facial-aging . Protocol version date is 28 July 2016.
Keywords: Aging; Consensus; Core outcome set; Delphi; Stakeholders; Systematic review.