This review article discusses the proposed methodology that will be utilized to develop core set items for connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease (CTD-ILD). CTD-ILD remains an important enigma in clinical medicine. No consensus exists on measurement of disease activity or what constitutes a significant response to therapeutic interventions. Lack of appropriate measures inhibit effective drug development and hamper regulatory evaluation of candidate therapies. An interdisciplinary and international Steering Committee (SC) will oversee the execution of a 3-tier Delphi exercise involving experts in CTD and ILD. In parallel to the Delphi, qualitative information will be gathered from patients with ILD using focus groups. These data will subsequently be used to construct surveys to collect quantitative response from patients with ILD. The final Delphi and Patient Perspective results are to be scrutinized by SC and specialty sub-groups (including patient advocates) for truth, discrimination and feasibility - the OMERACT filters. Through application of Nominal Group technique, a core set of outcome measures will be proposed. Subsequent exercises will evaluate the applicability of a proposed core set to the unique issues posed by individual CTDs in addition to guidelines on screening, prognostication and damage scoring.
Keywords: Connective tissue disease, interstitial lung disease, OMERACT, Delphi, nominal group technique, consensus methodology, patient perspective