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StaR Child Health is a group of methodologists, clinicians and policy makers who seek to enhance the quality, ethics and reliability of pediatric clinical research by promoting the use of evidence-based standards or guidance for clinical studies with children.


In April 2009, the StaR Child Health steering committee was assembled which involved leading experts in pediatric clinical research and methodology. The first task was to conduct a systematic review of available guidelines for the design, conduct and reporting of research in children. This step, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), found few relevant guidelines. Learn more about the Survey of Current Guidance for Child Health Clinical Trials (PDF document).

Critical topics such as the need to consider appropriate stratification according to age or key aspects of development, and the use of child-specific outcomes are not addressed in existing guidance. Most importantly, guidance is predominantly aimed at what should be done, but not how to do it.

Based on the results of this systematic review and a survey of leading child health methodologists and regulators, a list of priority issues regarding the design, conduct and reporting of pediatric clinical trials was compiled. These topics were systematically addressed through standard development groups (SDGs), working groups that bring together experts and individuals interested in a given topic through invitation and subscription.

Currently, StaR Child Health hosts a monthly webinar series called "StaR Forum," to discuss the work of the last decade and set the agenda for the next 10 years of useful, efficient, translational, and impactful child health research. 



Raising awareness of the crucial importance of research design, conduct, and reporting of clinical research


Becoming a global centre providing resources and training relating to the design, conduct, and reporting of clinical research with children


Assisting in the development, dissemination and implementation of evidence-based standards for clinical research with children


Conducting empirical research on design, conduct and reporting of clinical research in children

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