Using a PRO Measure to Evaluate Quality of Life Following Colorectal Surgery

A study evaluating a patient-reported outcomes measure tool in patients who had undergone colorectal surgery recommends using the tool for preoperative counseling prior to surgery.

A study evaluating a patient-reported outcomes measure tool in patients who had undergone colorectal surgery recommends using the tool for preoperative counseling prior to surgery.

Traditional clinical outcomes may not be sufficient to provide patients with a perspective on what to expect during the recovery period following colorectal surgery. To better understand the physical, mental, and well-being outcomes in this patient population, researchers from the University of Virginia Health System analyzed data gathered by the National Institute of Health’s Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Assessment Center.

The data, collected prior to and during the patient’s routine postoperative visit, touched 4 domains:

  • Depression
  • Pain interference
  • Social participation
  • Interest in sexual activity

Statistical differences in trends over time were associated with key clinical measures. Preoperative assessments were conducted a month prior to surgery and postoperative assessments were conducted a month after surgery (mean 60.3 days between assesments).

The study found that of the 107 patients who completed the pre- and postoperative assessments, there were no significant differences in scores for pain interference (-0.18 points, P = 0.80) or participation in social activities (0.44 points, P = 0.55), before and postsurgery. Depression scores, however decreased postsurgery (-1.6 points, P = 0.03), while scores for interest in sexual activity increased (1.5 points, P = 0.06).

Patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy had increased pain interference scores following surgery (3.5 points, P = 0.03).

The authors conclude that a majority of patients quickly return to their baseline physical, mental, and social function following colorectal surgery, and recommend using the results from this tool to counsel patients prior to their decision to undergo this procedure.

Reference

A pilot study of patient-centered outcome assessment using PROMIS for patients undergoing colorectal surgery [published online April 24, 2017]. Support Care Cancer. 2017. doi: 10.1007/s00520-017-3718-4.