Intentional use of common data elements (CDEs) can help improve data quality and promote data sharing among researchers. Furthermore, the use of CDEs facilitates opportunities for comparison and combination of data from multiple studies. The ability to harmonize data and compare studies through meta-analyses would be an important outcome of encouraging research communities to use CDEs. This January, NIH launched a web portal to increase awareness about NIH-supported CDE initiatives and many related resources, including lists of CDEs, surveys, questionnaires, instruments, instrument items, and protocols for data collection.
NCCAM investigators might be interested in reviewing the summary table of the 16 current CDE initiatives, including the NIH Toolbox for Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function and Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System. The NIH Pain Consortium’s Research Task Force on Research Standards for Chronic Low Back Pain recommends researchers review the NINDS CDE which includes over 7,000 CDEs and hundreds of instruments.
For more information, visit cde.nih.gov.