Validation of days at home as an outcome measure after surgery: A prospective cohort study in Australia

Paul S. Myles, Mark A. Shulman, Stephane Heritier, Sophia Wallace, David R McIlroy, Stuart McCluskey, Isabella Sillar, Andrew Forbes

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Objective To evaluate €days at home up to 30 days after surgery' (DAH 30) as a patient-centred outcome measure. Design Prospective cohort study. Data source Using clinical trial data (seven trials, 2109 patients) we calculated DAH 30 from length of stay, readmission, discharge destination and death up to 30 days after surgery. Main outcome The association between DAH 30 and serious complications after surgery. Results One or more complications occurred in 263 of 1846 (14.2%) patients, including 19 (1.0%) deaths within 30 days of surgery; 245 (11.6%) patients were discharged to a rehabilitation facility and 150 (7.1%) were readmitted to hospital within 30 days of surgery. The median DAH 30 was significantly less in older patients (p<0.001), those with poorer physical functioning (p<0.001) and in those undergoing longer operations (p<0.001). Patients with serious complications had less days at home than patients without serious complications (20.5 (95% CI 19.1 to 21.9) vs 23.9 (95% CI 23.8 to 23.9) p<0.001), and had higher rates of readmission (16.0% vs 5.9%; p<0.001). After adjusting for patient age, sex, physical status and duration of surgery, the occurrence of postoperative complications was associated with fewer days at home after surgery (difference 3.0(95% CI 2.1 to 4.0) days; p<0.001). Conclusions DAH 30 has construct validity and is a readily obtainable generic patient-centred outcome measure. It is a pragmatic outcome measure for perioperative clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere015828
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • clinical trials
  • outcome
  • perioperative medicine

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