Outcome influencing Contextual Factors in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Protocol for a Scoping Review



Background: The Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) initiative initially defined a Contextual Factor (CF) as a “variable that is not an outcome of the study but needs to be recognized (and measured) to understand the study results.”1 Since then, the OMERACT CF Working Group has achieved consensus on an operational definition of CF’s, including three types: (i) Effect Modifying CFs (EM-CFs), (ii) Outcome Influencing CFs (OI-CFs), and (iii) Measurement Affecting CFs (MA-CFs)². The working group defines an OI-CF as a variable that is prognostically important as it influences the outcome and, hence, such variables may confound the results of longitudinal observational studies (LOS) or quasi-controlled trials if they lead to the exposure and thus are important to take into account in the analyses (i.e. in order to de-confound the inferential analyses). Hence, variables commonly adjusted for in LOS are likely to be potentially important OI-CFs. For this review, we will focus on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as it is one of the most commonly investigated diseases in rheumatology

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