Development of a conceptual framework of recovery after abdominal surgery

Roshni Alam, Joel Montanez, Susan Law, Lawrence Lee, Nicolò Pecorelli, Yusuke Watanabe, Luciana D. Chiavegato, Massimo Falconi, Satoshi Hirano, Nancy E. Mayo, Liane S. Feldman, Julio Flavio Fiore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is a lack of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) with robust measurement properties to assess postoperative recovery and support patient-centered care after abdominal surgery. The aim of this study was to establish a conceptual framework of recovery after abdominal surgery to support the development of a conceptually relevant and psychometrically sound PROM. Methods: Patients from four different countries (Canada, Italy, Brazil, and Japan) participated in qualitative interviews focusing on their lived experiences of recovery after abdominal surgery. Interviews were guided by a previously developed hypothesized conceptual framework established based on a literature review and expert consensus. Interviews were analyzed according to a modified grounded theory approach and transcripts were coded according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Codes for which thematic saturation was reached were classified into domains of health that are relevant to the process of recovery after abdominal surgery. These domains were organized into a structured diagram. Results: 30 Patients with diverse demographics and surgical characteristics were interviewed (50% female, age 57 ± 18 years, 66% major or major extended surgery). 39 Unique domains of recovery emerged from the interviews, 17 falling under the ICF category of “Body Functions” and 22 under “Activities and Participation”. These domains constitute the conceptual framework of recovery after abdominal surgery. Conclusions: This study provides comprehensive insight into patients’ perspectives of the recovery process after abdominal surgery. This conceptual framework will support content validity and provide the pivotal basis for the development of a novel PROM to inform quality improvement initiatives and patient-centered research in abdominal surgery. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2665-2674
Number of pages10
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01-06-2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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