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Journal Articles BMC Medical Research Methodology Year : 2021

Assessing the hospital volume-outcome relationship in surgery: a scoping review


Introduction: Many recent studies have investigated the hospital volume-outcome relationship in surgery. In some cases, the results have prompted the centralization of surgical activity. However, the methodologies and interpretations differ markedly from one study to another. The objective of the present scoping review was to describe the various features used to assess the volume-outcome relationship: the analyzed datasets, study population, outcome, covariates, confounders, volume modalities, and statistical methods. Methods and analysis: The review was conducted according to a study protocol published in BMJ Open in 2020. Two authors (both of whom had helped to design the study protocol) screened publications independently according to the title, the abstract and then the full text. To ensure exhaustivity, all the papers included by each reviewer went through to the next step. Interpretation: The 403 included studies covered 90 types of surgery, 61 types of outcome, and 72 covariates or potential confounders. 191 (47.5%) studies focussed on oncological surgery and 37.8% focussed visceral or digestive tract surgery. Overall, 86.6% of the studies found a statistically significant volume-outcome relationship, although the findings differed from one type of surgery to another. Furthermore, the types of outcome and the covariates were highly diverse. The majority of studies were performed in Western countries, and oncological and visceral surgical procedures were over-represented; this might limit the generalizability and comparability of the studies' results.
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Dates and versions

inserm-03373523 , version 2 (11-10-2021)
inserm-03373523 , version 1 (09-05-2023)



Mathieu Levaillant, Romaric Marcilly, Lucie Levaillant, Philippe Michel, Jean-François Hamel-Broza, et al.. Assessing the hospital volume-outcome relationship in surgery: a scoping review. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 2021, 21 (1), pp.204. ⟨10.1186/s12874-021-01396-6⟩. ⟨inserm-03373523v2⟩
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