Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Small bowel obstruction (SBO) is a condition which is commonly treated by general surgeons. The evidence base for treatment of this condition is limited in part by variable reporting of outcomes in the literature. The aim of this study was to identify commonly used outcomes in research on SBO. METHODS: This review was reported in line with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and registered with PROSPERO (CRD42017065538). Searches were performed of MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases to identify prospective cohort or randomized trials reporting outcomes of interventions in SBO. Studies addressing diagnostics, pediatric populations, and SBO due to malignancy were excluded. Studies were screened for inclusion. Study and outcome characteristics were extracted into a -predesigned pro forma and mapped onto the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) framework. RESULTS: A total of 1222 studies were screened for eligibility, 74 full text articles retrieved, and 51 studies included for synthesis. A total of 50 different outcomes were used. Duration of hospital stay was the most frequently reported outcome (n = 21 studies). Resolution of SBO was reported in 12 studies but only defined in eight studies which used six different definitions. Patient-reported outcomes were reported in only four studies. CONCLUSIONS: There is a high degree of variation in the outcomes reported in SBO research. There is a clear need for a core outcome set. Development of a patient-reported outcome measure for this condition should also be explored.

Original publication




Journal article


J surg res

Publication Date





41 - 50


Outcomes, Small bowel obstruction, Systematic review, Digestive System Surgical Procedures, Humans, Intestinal Obstruction, Intestine, Small, Length of Stay, Outcome Assessment, Health Care, Postoperative Complications, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome