Measurement of quality of recovery after surgery using the 15-item quality of recovery scale: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Paul S. Myles, Mark A. Shulman, Jennifer Reilly, Jessica Kasza, Lorena Romero

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There are very few patient-centred global outcome measures of recovery in the days or weeks after surgery. This meta-analysis evaluated the psychometric properties and clinical acceptability of the 15-item quality of recovery (QoR-15) scale. Methods: We searched bibliographic databases for studies undertaking psychometric evaluation of the QoR-15 or using the QoR-15 as an outcome measure after surgery. Record screening, data extraction, and quality assessments were independently done by two researchers. Weighted averages estimating overall summary statistics across all the studies were calculated using random-effects meta-analysis. Pooled correlation coefficients were transformed using a Fisher z-transformation and then back-transformed to calculate pooled results. The four co-primary endpoints were validity, reliability, responsiveness, and clinical utility of the QoR-15 scale. Results: A total of 26 unique studies met the eligibility criteria, yielding up to 22 847 patients across 16 countries, in 15 languages. A further 172 studies in a further 18 countries and six languages used the QoR-15 as an outcome measure. The QoR-15 had excellent discriminant validity, with the mean difference in QoR-15 scores in patients with and without postoperative complications (9.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.9–13.3; P<0.001), and good convergent validity (for a global visual analogue recovery scale, pooled r=0.63; 95% CI, 0.54–0.71). There was excellent reliability: internal consistency (pooled α=0.85; 95% CI, 0.83–0.87), split-half reliability=0.80 (95% CI, 0.75–0.84), and test–retest reliability=0.97 (95% CI, 0.95–0.98). There was also high responsiveness (pooled standardised response mean=0.87; 95% CI, 0.65–1.08), patient recruitment into evaluation studies (96%; 95% CI, 93–99), and excellent completion and return rates (91%; 95% CI, 84–96). The mean time to complete the QoR-15 was 2.7 (95% CI, 2.2–3.1) min. Conclusions: The QoR-15 is a valid, reliable, and responsive patient-centred outcome metric in surgical patients. It is highly acceptable to both patients and clinicians. Registration: Open Science Framework Identifier: DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/78HTA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1039
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • anaesthesia
  • outcome
  • patient centred outcome measure
  • psychometrics
  • quality of life
  • recovery
  • surgery
  • validity

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