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BackgroundJuvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is a rare autoimmune inflammatory disorder associated with significant morbidity and mortality. International collaboration is necessary to better understand the pathogenesis of the disease, response to treatment and long-term outcome. To aid international collaboration, it is essential to have a core set of data that all researchers and clinicians collect in a standardised way for clinical purposes and for research. This should include demographic details, diagnostic data and measures of disease activity, investigations and treatment. Variables in existing clinical registries have been compared to produce a provisional data set for JDM. We now aim to develop this into a consensus-approved minimum core dataset, tested in a wider setting, with the objective of achieving international agreement.Methods/designA two-stage bespoke Delphi-process will engage the opinion of a large number of key stakeholders through Email distribution via established international paediatric rheumatology and myositis organisations. This, together with a formalised patient/parent participation process will help inform a consensus meeting of international experts that will utilise a nominal group technique (NGT). The resulting proposed minimal dataset will be tested for feasibility within existing database infrastructures. The developed minimal dataset will be sent to all internationally representative collaborators for final comment. The participants of the expert consensus group will be asked to draw together these comments, ratify and 'sign off' the final minimal dataset.DiscussionAn internationally agreed minimal dataset has the potential to significantly enhance collaboration, allow effective communication between groups, provide a minimal standard of care and enable analysis of the largest possible number of JDM patients to provide a greater understanding of this disease. The final approved minimum core dataset could be rapidly incorporated into national and international collaborative efforts, including existing prospective databases, and be available for use in randomised controlled trials and for treatment/protocol comparisons in cohort studies.

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Journal article



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Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Eaton Road, Liverpool, UK.


Humans, Dermatomyositis, Interdisciplinary Communication, Cooperative Behavior, Parents, Consensus, Biomedical Research, Research Design, International Cooperation, Electronic Mail, Internet, Delphi Technique, Patients, Program Development, Consensus Development Conferences as Topic, Datasets as Topic, Surveys and Questionnaires