Vall d'Hebron validates the Spanish version of the QoR-15 questionnaire to assess the quality of postoperative recovery

The new tool will improve patient care and allow early detection of complications, as the hospital previously did not have a specific form.


In 2019, almost 4 million operations were performed in the Spanish public health system. One of the great challenges of medicine today is to improve the quality of care in the postoperative period, because it has been shown that good care in this phase reduces mortality, morbidity, hospitalization time and the chances of readmissions. To assess the quality of postoperative recovery and the evolution of patients at this stage, the QoR-15 questionnaire was created in 2013. Since the effectiveness of the original document in English was proven, several initiatives have adapted it to their language reality with good results, but there was still no official version in Spanish. Now, the Anaesthesia, Resuscitation and Pain Management Department of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital has presented a version for Spanish speakers. According to the results of the prospective study published in The American Journal of Surgery, the new questionnaire has the same degree of validity and reliability as the original.

The use of this tool will make it possible to measure and optimize the quality of treatment and recovery after surgery. It will also facilitate the early detection of postoperative complications. Until now, healthcare teams have been using the SF-36 document, a document that analyzes the health-related quality of life of individuals, but which is not designed for the specificities of the person who has undergone surgery. This action is conducted within the framework of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery strategy, which seeks to improve patient care, enabling a multidisciplinary team that uses scientific evidence to create more humanized postoperative circuits that reduce patient stress and facilitate recovery.

To achieve an accurate translation adapted to the cultural realities of Spanish patients, a four-stage adaptation process was followed. In the first step, two official translators worked individually on the document and then shared the results and produced a first consensus version between them. The resulting document was then handed over to two new independent official translators who were unaware of the work done so far. The task entrusted to them was to take the Spanish translation done by the first two translators and turn it back into English without being able to consult the original document. Once completed and a new English document was created, it was compared with the original version of the QoR-15 survey and no significant differences were detected. In order to ensure that no meaning was lost in the Spanish adaptation, a multidisciplinary expert committee reviewed and approved the document, resulting in the Spanish survey QoR-15E.

This document was validated by means of a prospective study led by the Anesthesiology and Resuscitation service with the voluntary participation of 242 adult patients at Vall d'Hebron who had a scheduled surgery.

The results of the study will allow us to extend the use of the survey to most of the post-surgical situations that occur at Vall d'Hebron and other Spanish hospitals. It should be kept in mind that the document has been designed in the cultural context of Spain and, therefore, for use in other Hispanic countries it may require minor cultural adaptations, as well as for use by people who, although they understand Spanish, do not speak it as their mother tongue.

This action is conducted within the framework of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery strategy

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