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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2001 May;83(3):215-8.

The realities of postoperative disability and the carer's burden.

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  • 1Wessex Neurological Centre, Southampton University Hospitals Trust, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK.


Outcome after high-risk, complex neurosurgery for progressive skull base pathology, and its effect on carers, has been examined. Two different outcome measures were used. The Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS) assesses overall social capability and dependence of the patient, while the 36 item short-form health survey (SF-36), a generic quality of life measure, can be compared directly with the general population. Overall outcome using the GOS indicated a favourable outcome for 13 of the 17 patients studied. The SF-36 demonstrated that more than half the patients were functioning at a level below the accepted norm. The reasons for this discrepancy and the validity of outcome scales have been analysed. In addition, the effect upon carers, its relevance to assessment of outcome, and the need to involve potential carers in the process of informed consent was stated. Our conclusions are applicable throughout the surgical specialities, and especially to high-risk complex surgery.

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