Measuring Body Contouring Success

Better Tools Needed to Evaluate Patient-Reported Outcomes and Advance Practice

New York, NY (September 21, 2011)– The field of body contouring is fast growing, but a recent analysis suggests that creating better tools to more accurately measure patient satisfaction and quality of life will help advance the field even further.  A systematic review of the plastic surgery literature reveals that while appropriate questionnaires for measuring patient-reported outcomes currently exist for breast reduction patients, these instruments are lacking in other areas of body contouring. The results of the study are published in the article “Measuring Quality of Life and Patient Satisfaction After Body Contouring: A Systematic Review of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures,” appearing in the September issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal

“Ideally, patient-reported outcomes should be measured with procedure- or condition-specific questionnaires that are sensitive, reliable, and valid,” said co-author Andrea M. Pusic, MD, MHS, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “Our analysis shows that we still don’t have the best instruments to measure patient satisfaction and quality of life for most cosmetic and postbariatric body contouring patients, with the exception of those who undergo breast reduction procedures. This means we do not fully understand the scope of our success with the majority of body contouring procedures.”

The literature review uncovered five patient-reported outcome questionnaires developed to measure patient satisfaction and quality of life concerns among body contouring surgery patients: one liposuction (the Freiburg Questionnaire on Aesthetic Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, FQAD), one general plastic surgery (the Derriford Appearance Scale, DAS-59/24), and three breast reduction (the Breast Reduction Assessed Severity Scale Questionnaire, BRASSQ; Breast Related Symptoms questionnaire, BRS; and the BREAST-Q reduction module). Detailed examination of these measures revealed that the FQAD, DAS, and BRS questionnaires are limited by their content range and psychometric properties, while the BRASSQ and BREAST-Q demonstrate good psychometric performance and have been appropriately validated in breast reduction patients. Further, the BREAST-Q unique in its inclusion of items covering postoperative issues such as scarring, making it a better choice to evaluate specific patient satisfaction outcomes, according to the study authors. The authors conclude that while the BRASSQ and BREAST-Q are two measures that could appropriately be used with breast reduction patients, there is a clear lack of adequately-developed patient-reported outcome instruments for other body contouring procedures, especially for postbariatric surgery. 

“There is more to learn about patient satisfaction and quality of life after cosmetic or postbariatric body contouring surgery,” said Foad Nahai, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Aesthetic Surgery Journal. “This study opens the door to future research focused on better, broader instruments to evaluate outcomes from the patient perspective, which will undoubtedly help us advance our patient care”  

About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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