COSMIN database

Do we have the right PROMs for measuring outcomes in lumbar spinal surgery?

Stokes, O. M., Cole, A. A., Breakwell, L. M., Lloyd, A. J., Leonard, C. M., and Grevitt, M.
PURPOSE: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) have become an important part of routine auditing of outcomes in spinal surgery in the UK. PROMs can be used to help assess the quality of care provided by surgical units by determining the comparative health status of patients, before and after surgery. This study was designed to review the PROMs used to assess outcomes in spinal surgery and to determine if they are fit for the purpose.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was undertaken to identify studies that reported PROMs data following lumbar spinal surgery. The PROMs that were used in each study were recorded and a separate search was undertaken to determine the evidence regarding the validity of each measure.

RESULTS: The initial search identified 1142 abstracts, which were reduced through de-duplication, filtering and review to 58 articles, which were retrieved and reviewed in full. The search identified that the majority of studies used either the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), SF-36, Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ) and EQ-5D along with visual analogue scales or numeric rating scales for back and leg pain.

CONCLUSIONS: The consistent use of PROMs supports the comparison of outcomes from different studies, although there was minimal evidence regarding the specificity and sensitivity of these measures for use with lumbar spinal patients. Our review highlights the need to determine a consensus regarding the use and reporting of outcome measures within the lumbar spine literature.
Eur Spine J
Publication year:
Symptom status:
Cognitive/mental state
Physical state
Functional status:
Physical functioning
General health perceptions / HRQoL:
Health-related quality of life
Overall quality of life:
Overall quality of life
Adults (18-65)
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
PRO / non-PRO:
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires