To ensure that research is comparable but also meaningful, minimum datasets are created to ensure that consistent data is available across studies and includes what matters to those living and working with the condition. These are not intended to be the “only” data points recorded, but simply the “minimum”. 
As part of AO Spine RECODE-DCM, the first minimum dataset for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM) was created [1].  This established a list of 28 core outcomes and 32 core data elements that need to be measured and reported in DCM research.
The 28 core outcomes were identified and grouped under 6 domains: adverse events, economic impact, life impact, neuromuscular function, pain, and radiology.
AO Spine RECODE-DCM has also gone on to recommend the tools that should be used to measure these outcomes, the “core measurement set“.
To support your study setup and integration of the DCM minimum dataset, template clinical research forms are available to download.  

Download the below Core Outcome Set table.

What is the difference between the COS (Core Outcome Set) and the CMS (Core Measurement Set)?

The COS is a longlist of what needs to be measured. In order to achieve the goal of studies being “comparable”, it is also necessary that the standardisation includes how the outcomes are measured. This subsequent step is called the Core Measurement Set
Recognising that current tools used in DCM cannot cover the entire breadth of COS, and wanting both to avoid burdening researchers and to ensure current studies can be compared to key historic data, it was agreed that the AO Spine RECODE-DCM CMS should (1) focus on outcome measures already in use within DCM, and (2) aim for one outcome tool per outcome domain. 
As such, we would recommend ensuring the CMS is within your research study, but be aware it does not capture all critical aspects of DCM. If you are planning to develop new measurement tools for DCM, then the COS would be a sensible starting point. 
We recognise that measuring DCM is a research priority, and it is hoped in due course that the CMS will be updated as new validated tools enter usage.


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