In DCM research, as well as recording “outcomes” of the disease, it is important to record “other data elements”, which help to interpret those outcomes. Consistency across both categories is essential to ensure that research can be interpreted efficiently.  
We have previously illustrated the significance of this concept using an analogy to price comparison websites. For example, when booking a flight you want to see certain key pieces of information to help compare between them e.g. departure time, flight duration or price.  These can be considered core outcomes. However you also need some extra information to interpret those outcomes. For example, some carriers charge for baggage or onboard refreshments, so in order to be able to compare prices you also need to see who the carrier is. These can be considered core data elements. Unless you see all of the relevant information, it is difficult to make the best decision for you. Research is exactly the same.  

We have developed a list of 28 core outcomes and 32 core data elements that need to be measured and reported in DCM research.
32 core data elements were selected as critical to record. Alongside the core measurement set, these have been inserted into template clinical research forms to help investigators carry out high-quality research. These can be downloaded here
32 core data elements of DCM


None of this would have been possible without the support of AO Spine. We wholeheartedly thank them for kickstarting this important initiative.