The purpose of this study is to define a standardized (network) outcomes set for traumatic spinal cord injury (t-SCI), covering the patient journey from acute to chronic rehabilitation phase, including patient-relevant outcomes, adequate measurement instruments, as well as case-mix and risk factors.
Acute Spinal Cord Injury (ASCI) Unit Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
A modified Delphi method was performed, including a multidisciplinary panel of 19 health-care professionals with experience in t-SCI management. Formal consensus was reached after two web-based surveys, a face-to-face meeting, and a final confirmation round (threshold consensus: 70%).
In the first two Delphi rounds, 18/19 invited panelists (94.7%) responded and 10 panelists participated in the final meeting. The prefinal set was confirmed by all panelists. The standard set encompasses the three-tiered outcome hierarchy and consists of patient-reported and clinician-reported outcome domains and measurement instruments. Consensus was reached to include survival, degree of health or recovery, time to recovery, and return to normal activities, disutility of care or treatment process, sustainability of health and nature of recurrences, and long-term consequences of therapy. A measurement schedule was defined as well as for proposed casemix and risk factors, including demographics, clinical status, and treatment process.
A standard set of network outcomes is developed that could be implemented in hospitals and rehabilitation centers involved in the treatment of t-SCI. Using this standard set, comparison of the quality of care is possible and prognostic prediction of outcomes of treatment is feasible, so that each patient receives the right care at the right time in the right place.