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A decision analysis tool for the assessment of posterior fossa tumour surgery outcomes in children–the "Liverpool Neurosurgical Complication Causality Assessment Tool"

Journal title
Child's nervous system : ChNS : official journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery
Publication year
Zakaria, R.; Ellenbogen, J.; Graham, C.; Pizer, B.; Mallucci, C.; Kumar, R.

INTRODUCTION: Complications may occur following posterior fossa tumour surgery in children. Such complications are subjectively and inconsistently reported even though they may have significant long-term behavioural and cognitive consequences for the child. This makes comparison of surgeons, programmes and treatments problematic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We have devised a causality tool for assessing if an adverse event after surgery can be classified as a surgical complication using a series of simple questions, based on a tool used in assessing adverse drug reactions. This tool, which we have called the "Liverpool Neurosurgical Complication Causality Assessment Tool", was developed by reviewing a series of ten posterior fossa tumour cases with a panel of neurosurgery, neurology, oncology and neuropsychology specialists working in a multidisciplinary paediatric tumour treatment programme. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: We have demonstrated its use and hope that it may improve reliability between different assessors both in evaluating the outcomes of existing programmes and treatments as well as aiding in trials which may directly compare the effects of surgical and medical treatments.

Research abstracts