Measurement issues when assessing quality of life outcomes for different types of hernia mesh repair

Andras Zaborszky, Rita Gyanti, John A Barry, Brian K Saxby, Panchanan Bhattacharya, Fazal A Hasan
Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 2011, 93 (4): 281-5

INTRODUCTION: The NHS is required to collect data from patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) for inguinal hernia surgery. We explored the use of one such measure, the Carolinas Comfort Scale(®) (CCS), to compare long-term outcomes for patients who received two different types of mesh. The CCS questionnaire asks about mesh sensation, pain and movement limitations, and combines the answers into a total score.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 684 patients were treated between January 2007 and August 2008 and were followed up in November 2009.

RESULTS: Data on 215 patients who met the inclusion criteria were available (96 patients who received Surgipro™ mesh and 119 who received Parietene™ Progrip™ mesh). Recurrence rates were similar in the Surgipro™ group (2/96, 2.1%) and Progrip™ group (3/118, 2.5%) (Fisher's exact test = 1.0). Chronic pain occurred less frequently in the Surgipro™ group (11/95, 11.6%) than in the Progrip™ group (22/118, 18.6%) (p<0.157). Overall, 90% of CCS total scores indicated a good outcome (scores of 10 or less out of 115). A principal component analysis of the CCS found that responses clustered into two subscales: 'mesh sensation' and 'pain+movement limitations'. The Progrip™ group had a slightly higher mesh sensation score (p<0.051) and similar pain+movement limitations scores (p<0.120).

CONCLUSIONS: In this study of quality of life outcomes related to different mesh types, the CCS subscales were more sensitive to differences in outcome than the total CCS score for the whole questionnaire. Future research should consider using the CCS subscales rather than the CCS total score.

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