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Evaluating the scientific basis of quality indicators in colorectal cancer care: A systematic review

Published:October 06, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2017.08.034

      Highlights

      • Quality indicators are inevitably being used without scientific proof of their value.
      • The majority of colorectal cancer quality indicators are surgical process measures.
      • Identified colorectal cancer measures are non-validated and consensus based.
      • An international evidence-based data set of validated quality indicators is a requisite.

      Abstract

      Aim

      In colorectal cancer care, many indicators for assessment and improvement of quality of care are being used. These quality indicators serve as national and international benchmarks to compare health care on hospital and patient level. However, the scientific basis of these indicators is often unclear. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review is to examine reported quality indicators used in multidisciplinary colorectal cancer care and categorise these indicators based on scientific evidence.

      Methods

      We searched PubMed from 2005 to 2015 for original articles reporting on development, evaluation or validation of quality indicators in colorectal cancer care. Included articles were categorised in consensus-based, evidence-based and validation cohort studies. Extracted quality indicators were divided into structure, process and outcome indicators and grouped per discipline(s) involved.

      Results

      From 1163 studies, 41 articles were included: 12 (29%) consensus-based, 7 (17%) evidence-based and 22 (54%) validation cohort studies. In total, we identified 389 reported quality indicators: consensus-based (n = 349), evidence-based (n = 7) and validation (n = 33), respectively. Of all reported indicators, 45% (n = 186) concerned surgical items. The vast majority were process indicators (n = 315; 81%) and the remaining outcome (n = 57; 15%) or structure measurements (n = 17; 4%). Only 5 indicators were reported in the majority (≥7/12 articles) of consensus-based papers and 7 indicators were successfully validated.

      Conclusions

      There is an abundance of reported colorectal cancer quality indicators, of which the majority are surgical, consensus-based process measures, which have not been validated in cohort studies. There is a need for international consensus on a limited evidence-based data set of validated quality indicators, with a focus on outcome indicators.

      Keywords

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