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Reported Outcome Measures in Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy: A Systematic Review.

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McHugh, Maire 
Elgheriani, Ali 
Kolias, Angelos G 
Tetreault, Lindsay A 


OBJECTIVE: Degenerative cervical myelopathy [DCM] is a disabling and increasingly prevalent group of diseases. Heterogeneous reporting of trial outcomes limits effective inter-study comparison and optimisation of treatment. This is recognised in many fields of healthcare research. The present study aims to assess the heterogeneity of outcome reporting in DCM as the premise for the development of a standardised reporting set. METHODS: A systematic review of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases, registered with PROSPERO (CRD42015025497) was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Full text articles in English, with >50 patients (prospective) or >200 patients (retrospective), reporting outcomes of DCM were eligible. RESULTS: 108 studies, assessing 23,876 patients, conducted world-wide, were identified. Reported outcome themes included function (reported by 97, 90% of studies), complications (reported by 56, 52% of studies), quality of life (reported by 31, 29% of studies), pain (reported by 29, 27% of studies) and imaging (reported by 59, 55% of studies). Only 7 (6%) studies considered all of domains in a single publication. All domains showed variability in reporting. CONCLUSIONS: Significant heterogeneity exists in the reporting of outcomes in DCM. The development of a consensus minimum dataset will facilitate future research synthesis.



Cervical Vertebrae, Humans, Outcome Assessment, Health Care, Pain, Prospective Studies, Quality of Life, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Recovery of Function, Retrospective Studies, Spinal Cord Compression

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PLoS One

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Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Medical Research Council (MC_PC_12009)
TCC (None)
MRNK is supported by NIHR Clinician Scientist Award; PJAH holds a NIHR research professorship.