What is it about?

Malignant bowel obstruction is a complication of certain advanced cancers, in particular ovarian and bowel cancers. It causes severe symptoms that profoundly affect people's quality of life. Clinical management remains complex, and outcome assessment is inconsistent, making it difficult to aggregate evidence about the effectiveness of a range of different treatments. This review aimed to identify a comprehensive list of the outcomes currently used to evaluate palliative treatment for inoperable malignant bowel obstruction, and to examine their relevance from the patient's perspective. It comprised Phase I of a four-phase study which developed a Core Outcome Set using COMET methodology.

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Why is it important?

Assessment of inoperable malignant bowel obstruction currently focuses on survival, complications and overall symptom control. There is a need for definitions of treatment ‘success’ that are meaningful to patients, a more consistent approach to symptom assessment, and greater consideration of how to measure wellbeing in this population.

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This page is a summary of: The range and suitability of outcome measures used in the assessment of palliative treatment for inoperable malignant bowel obstruction: A systematic review, Palliative Medicine, September 2022, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/02692163221122352.
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