Patient-reported outcome measures for use in gynaecological oncology: a systematic review

N J Preston, N Wilson, N J Wood, J Brine, J Ferreira, S G Brearley
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2015, 122 (5): 615-22

BACKGROUND: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are used to assess the impact of health care on a patient's health. Within the gynaecological oncology setting, multiple PROMs have been adopted but no assessment has been made in terms of their psychometric qualities and robustness.

OBJECTIVES: To undertake a systematic review to identify the most psychometrically robust and appropriate PROM used in the gynaecological oncology setting.

SEARCH STRATEGY: A search of the bibliographic database of the Oxford PROM group, plus nine additional databases, was carried out along with citation-tracking and hand searches.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Studies examining the psychometric properties of outcome measures tested in gynaecological cancer populations were selected by three blinded reviewers.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Studies were independently assessed and data extracted. Analysis included an appraisal of the psychometric properties and functionality of the included PROMs to guide recommendations.

MAIN RESULTS: Eighteen PROMs tested in gynaecological oncology settings were identified. These were categorised into seven areas of focus, and the most psychometrically robust tools were identified: (1) generic (no recommendation); (2) general cancer (EORTC QLQ-C30 and FACT-G); (3) pelvic cancer (QUEST GY); (4) ovarian cancer (EORTC QLQ-OV28); (5) cervical cancer (EORTC QLQ-CX24); (6) endometrial cancer (EORTC QLQ-EN 24); and (7) vulval cancer (FACT-V).

AUTHOR'S CONCLUSIONS: Seven PROMs were recommended for use in six gynaecological populations. No single tool was identified that had been tested in all disease groups. Some showed promise, but a lack of conceptual clarity about the core outcomes and the rationale for use will require further testing using well-constructed studies.

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