How Do We Value Postoperative Recovery?: A Systematic Review of the Measurement Properties of Patient-reported Outcomes After Abdominal Surgery

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Abstract

Objective:

To appraise the level of evidence supporting the measurement properties of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in the context of postoperative recovery after abdominal surgery.

Background:

There is growing interest in using PROMs to support value-based care in abdominal surgery; however, to draw valid conclusions regarding patient-reported outcomes data, PROMs with robust measurement properties are required.

Methods:

Eight databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Biosis, PsycINFO, The Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science) were searched for studies focused on the measurement properties of PROMs in the context of recovery after abdominal surgery. The methodological quality of individual studies was evaluated using the consensus-based COSMIN checklist. Evidence supporting the measurement properties of each PROM was synthetized according to standardized criteria and compared against the International Society of Quality of Life Research minimum standards for the selection of PROMs for outcomes research.

Results:

We identified 35 studies evaluating 22 PROMs [12 focused on nonspecific surgical populations (55%), 4 focused on abdominal surgery (18%), and 6 generic PROMs (27%)]. The great majority of the studies (74%) received only poor or fair quality ratings. Measurement properties of PROMs were predominantly supported by limited or unknown evidence. None of the PROMs fulfilled International Society of Quality of Life Research's minimum standards, hindering specific recommendations.

Conclusions:

There is very limited evidence supporting the measurement properties of existing PROMs used in the context of recovery after abdominal surgery. This precludes the use of these PROMs to support value-based surgical care. Further research is required to bridge this major knowledge gap.

Review Registration:

International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO): CRD42014014349.

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