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|Issue 133||November 2017|
The report is a product of the VA/HSR&D Evidence Synthesis Program.
Enhanced Recovery after Surgery Programs for Patients Undergoing Colorectal Surgery
Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) – also referred to as an enhanced recovery program or fast-track rehabilitation, among similar descriptors – is a multidisciplinary approach to perioperative care. A protocol of components related to preadmission, preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care is implemented to:
Although guidelines for ERAS for elective colorectal (CRC) surgery exist, variation in the number and definition of protocol components contributes to difficulties in determining effectiveness. Little is known about implementation barriers and facilitators, as well as components (or combinations of components), that are key for improved clinical outcomes. In addition, protocol compliance, when reported, may be measured by the percentage of components applied or completed without standardization across components (e.g., timing, regimens, doses, etc.). This report provides a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs) that examined comparative effectiveness and harms of enhanced recovery protocols for elective colorectal surgery overall – and by type of surgery, colorectal condition, and differentiation from usual care protocols. This review also assessed barriers and facilitators to implementation, and provides a contextual discussion of compliance and outcomes.
Investigators with VA's Evidence-based Synthesis Program Center in Minneapolis, MN searched MEDLINE® and CINAHL for relevant articles published from 2011 to July 2017. After reviewing 1,789 citations, investigators identified 25 trials reported in 27 articles, 10 articles with information about implementation barriers and facilitators, and 13 systematic reviews.
Summary of Findings
There is no reliable evidence on enhanced recovery components – alone or in combination – that are vital to improving patient outcomes. Therefore, the value of investing time and resources into implementing all of the enhanced recovery components remains largely unknown.
Note: None of the trials and only two of the qualitative studies of barriers to and facilitators of implementation were done in the United States. There is no direct evidence of the effectiveness or harms of an enhanced recovery protocol for colorectal surgery in the U.S. or at VA facilities.
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ESP is currently soliciting review topics from the broader VA community. Nominations will be accepted electronically using the online Topic Submission Form. If your topic is selected for a synthesis, you will be contacted by an ESP Center to refine the questions and determine a timeline for the report.
This Management e-Brief is provided to inform you about recent HSR&D findings that may be of interest. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you have any questions or comments about this Brief, please email CIDER. The Center for Information Dissemination and Education Resources (CIDER) is a VA HSR&D Resource Center charged with disseminating important HSR&D findings and information to policy makers, managers, clinicians, and researchers working to improve the health and care of Veterans.
This report is a product of VA/HSR&D's Quality Enhancement Research Initiative's (QUERI) Evidence-Based Synthesis Program (ESP), which was established to provide timely and accurate synthesis of targeted healthcare topics of particular importance to VA managers and policymakers – and to disseminate these reports throughout VA.
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