The reporting of outcomes in surgical trials for gastric cancer is inconsistent. The GASTROS study ( GAstric Cancer Surgery TRials Reported Outcome Standardisation) aims to address this by developing a core outcome set (COS) for use in all future trials within this field. A COS should reflect the views of all stakeholders, including patients. We undertook a series of interviews to identify outcomes important to patients which would be considered for inclusion in a COS.
All interviews took place within the UK. Interviews were carried out face-to-face at hospitals and cancer support centres or via the telephone.
Twenty participants at varying stages of recovery following surgery for gastric cancer with curative intent.
Qualitative design using semistructured interviews, supported by an interview guide which was iteratively modified; thematic analysis was used to explore patient priorities.
Six themes enveloping 38 outcomes were identified; surviving and controlling cancer, technical aspects of surgery, adverse events from surgery, recovering from surgery, long-term problems following surgery and long-term life impact of surgery. The ‘most important’ patient priority was to be ‘cured of cancer’.
Surgical trials for gastric cancer should consider broader priorities of patients when choosing which outcomes to report. This study highlighted the importance of longer-term outcomes such as cancer survival. Outcomes identified in this study will be used to inform an international Delphi survey to develop a COS in this field.