It seems quite obvious in hindsight that surgeons should strive to optimize outcomes that matter to patients. Yet sometimes the obvious can be easily overlooked. For decades, surgical research was rich with measurement of blood loss, complications, and easily quantifiable variables which had differing meaning for patients. A revolution was needed to reframe our research agenda; perhaps we should ask patients what matters to them? In response, stakeholders have generated patient-reported outcomes (PROs), along with validated instruments, patient-centered research, and an emphasis on quality of life (QOL).
Smith AB, Schwarze ML. Translating Patient-Reported Outcomes From Surgical Research to Clinical Care. JAMA Surg. Published online June 21, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.1583