A systematic review of outcome reporting in colorectal cancer surgery.
Whistance RN., Forsythe RO., McNair AGK., Brookes ST., Avery KNL., Pullyblank AM., Sylvester PA., Jayne DG., Jones JE., Brown J., Coleman MG., Dutton SJ., Hackett R., Huxtable R., Kennedy RH., Morton D., Oliver A., Russell A., Thomas MG., Blazeby JM.
Evaluation of surgery for colorectal cancer (CRC) is necessary to inform clinical decision-making and healthcare policy. The standards of outcome reporting after CRC surgery have not previously been considered.Systematic literature searches identified randomized and nonrandomized prospective studies reporting clinical outcomes of CRC surgery. Outcomes were listed verbatim, categorized into broad groups (outcome domains) and examined for a definition (an appropriate textual explanation or a supporting citation). Outcome reporting was considered inconsistent if results of the outcome specified in the methods were not reported. Outcome reporting was compared between randomized and nonrandomized studies.Of 5644 abstracts, 194 articles (34 randomized and 160 nonrandomized studies) were included reporting 766 different clinical outcomes, categorized into seven domains. A mean of 14 ± 8 individual outcomes were reported per study. 'Anastomotic leak', 'overall survival' and 'wound infection' were the three most frequently reported outcomes in 72, 60 and 44 (37.1%, 30.9% and 22.7%) studies, respectively, and no single outcome was reported in every publication. Outcome definitions were significantly more often provided in randomized studies than in nonrandomized studies (19.0% vs 14.9%, P = 0.015). One-hundred and twenty-seven (65.5%) papers reported results of all outcomes specified in the methods (randomized studies, n = 21, 61.5%; nonrandomized studies, n = 106, 66.2%; P = 0.617).Outcome reporting in CRC surgery lacks consistency and method. Improved standards of outcome measurement are recommended to permit data synthesis and transparent cross-study comparisons.