Development of quality indicators for colorectal cancer surgery, using a 3-step modified Delphi approach. Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Little performance measurement has been undertaken in the area of oncology, particularly for surgery, which is a pivotal event in the continuum of cancer care. This work was conducted to develop indicators of quality for colorectal cancer surgery, using a 3-step modified Delphi approach. METHODS: A multidisciplinary panel, comprising surgical and methodological co-chairs, 9 surgeons, a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, a nurse and a pathologist, reviewed potential indicators extracted from the medical literature through 2 consecutive rounds of rating followed by consensus discussion. The panel then prioritized the indicators selected in the previous 2 rounds. RESULTS: Of 45 possible indicators that emerged from 30 selected articles, 15 were prioritized by the panel as benchmarks for assessing the quality of surgical care. The 15 indicators represent 3 levels of measurement (provincial/regional, hospital, individual provider) across several phases of care (diagnosis, surgery, adjuvant therapy, pathology and follow-up), as well as broad measures of access and outcome. The indicators selected by the panel were more often supported by evidence than those that were discarded. CONCLUSIONS: This project represents a unique initiative, and the results may be applicable to colorectal cancer surgery in any jurisdiction.


  • Gagliardi, Anna R
  • Simunovic, Marko
  • Langer, Bernard
  • Stern, Hartley
  • Brown, Adalsteinn D

publication date

  • December 2005