Effectiveness and safety as outcome measures in reproductive medicine

M. Braakhekke*, E. I. Kamphuis, F. Mol, R. J. Norman, S. Bhattacharya, F. van der Veen, B. W. J. Mol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of reproductive medicine is to help couples with an unfulfilled child wish to have a child by offering them the best treatment option. The choice of treatment reflects effectiveness and safety. While effectiveness refers to the extent to which a treatment increases the chance of a couple in having a baby, safety relates to adverse effects associated with such a treatment. In an attempt to integrate effectiveness and safety, healthy singleton live birth (at term) has been suggested as the ideal outcome measure for evaluative research in reproductive medicine. Although intuitively desirable, this proposal overlooks the fact that assessment of effectiveness and safety in this context cannot be measured as a single outcome. In this paper, we explain why effectiveness and safety outcomes in reproductive medicine should be assessed independently, and later synthesized to inform clinical decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2249-2251
Number of pages3
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number10
Early online date18 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

No funding was received for this study.


  • effectiveness
  • safety
  • outcome measures
  • reproductive medicine
  • in-vitro fertilization
  • single-embryo-transfer
  • assisted reproduction
  • relevant standard
  • success


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