Introduction: The Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) created a task force to address the issue of surgical outcomes as it pertains to clinical practice. A survey of its members was conducted to determine which domains of "outcomes" are important and relevant to surgical oncologists. Methods: Participation of 1,929 SSO members was solicited via e-mail; 1,881 messages were successfully delivered. The survey instrument was administered via a web-based portal. The questionnaire was comprised of three parts: demographic information; rating scales to assess interest, involvement, and knowledge in the various domains of surgical outcomes; and questions to elicit preferences and opinions on current topics in the field of surgical outcomes. Results: There was an overall response rate of 30% (570 of 1,881). Respondents were representative of the general membership with respect to demographics acquired in self-reported profiles. Most members valued the clinical application of evidence-based medicine, adoption of new technologies, and quality monitoring of cancer care as particularly important areas in outcomes research. SSO members also rated quality improvement measures as important. However, there is uncertainty whether current efforts to enforce quality indicators by third party payers or with public accountability would be helpful. Conclusion: Overall, this survey successfully delineated beliefs and views of the SSO members with regard to areas of particular interest in surgical outcomes, including improving the quality of cancer care. These findings have implications for planning future agendas for outcomes and health service research and in guiding national policy efforts on behalf of all SSO members.
- Surgical oncology