BACKGROUND: Patient-related outcome measures (PROM) such as quality of life (QoL) after hernia repair are important to monitor, since QoL is an important indication of a hernia repair. Carolinas Comfort Scale (CCS) is a hernia-specific questionnaire regarding health-related QoL after a mesh hernia repair. The primary objective of this study was to monitor changes in health-related QoL over time after different mesh hernia repair procedures using the CCS. METHODS: We performed a prospective study with an exploratory, intraobserver design enrolling consecutive patients who were to undergo elective mesh hernia repair. Four different hernia repair techniques were included and analyzed specifically for each surgical group. Patients scored themselves using CCS preoperatively and at several fixed times postoperatively. Since no gold standard exists for either hernia-specific QoL questionnaires or change of scores on PROMs as a function of time after hernia repair, we compared the CCS scores with the visual analog scale (VAS) scores reflecting the subdomains of the CCS. RESULTS: A total of 166 patients completed the study. CCS scores for QoL, pain, sensation of mesh, and activity limitations changed significantly with time during the 90-day study period. Furthermore, CCS and VAS showed significant agreement and correlation (ρ = 0.52-0.82, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The present study is the first to demonstrate significant changes over time in health-related QoL using the CCS after four different types of hernia repair with mesh.
World Journal of Surgery, 2014, Vol 38, Issue 7, p. 1852-1859