Background: Selecting outcome measures in cardiovascular prevention trials should be informed by their importance to selected populations. Major vascular event outcomes are usually prioritized in these trials with considerably less attention paid to cognitive and functional outcomes.
Aim: To examine views on importance of outcome measures used in clinical trials.
Design: Cross-sectional survey.
Methods: Of 367 individuals approached, 280 (76%) participated: outpatients attending cardiovascular prevention clinics (n = 97), active retirement groups members (n = 75), medical students (n = 108). Participants were asked to rank, in order of importance, outcome measures, which may be included in cardiovascular prevention trials. Results were compared between two groups: <65s (n = 157) and ≥65s (n = 104).
Results: When asked what outcomes were most important to measure in cardiovascular prevention trials, respondents reported: death (31.6%) stroke (28.5%), dementia (26.9%), myocardial infarction (MI) (7.9%) and requiring nursing home (NH) care (5.1%). When asked the most relevant outcomes regarding successful ageing respondents reported; maintaining independence (32.4%), avoiding major illness (24.3%), good family life (23.6%), living as long as possible (15.8%), avoiding NH care (3.1%) and contributing to society (0.8%) as most important. When asked what outcome concerned them most about the future, respondents reported: dementia (32.6%), dependence (30.4%), death (12.8%), stroke (12.5%), cancer (6.2%) requiring NH care (4.8%) and MI (0.7%). Maintaining independence was considered most important in younger and older cohorts.
Conclusion: Cognitive and functional outcomes are important patient-relevant outcomes, sometimes more important than major vascular events. Incorporating these outcomes into trials may encourage patient participation and adherence to preventative regimens.