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Evaluation of postoperative recovery: past, present and future
  1. Yijun Liu1,2,
  2. Yanhua Qiu1,2,
  3. Yifan Fu1,2,
  4. Jin Liu1,2
  1. 1Department of Anaesthesiology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
  2. 2The Research Units of West China(2018RU012)-Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yanhua Qiu, Department of Anaesthesiology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China; 1781585803{at}


Postoperative recovery, as a window to observe perioperative treatment effect and patient prognosis, is a common outcome indicator in clinical research and has attracted more and more attention of surgeons and anaesthesiologists. Postoperative recovery is a subjective, multidimensional, long-term, complex process, so it is unreasonable to only use objective indicators to explain it. Currently, with the widespread use of patient-reported outcomes, various scales become the primary tools for assessing postoperative recovery. Through systematic search, we found 14 universal recovery scales, which have different structures, contents and measurement properties, as well as their own strengths and weaknesses. We also found that it is urgently necessary to perform further researches and develop a scale that can serve as the gold universal standard to evaluate postoperative recovery. In addition, with the rapid development of intelligent equipment, the establishment and validation of electronic scales is also an interesting direction.

  • adult surgery
  • rehabilitation medicine
  • public health
  • quality in health care

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  • Contributors YL and YQ wrote the manuscript. YL and YF helped with the literature search and background studies for the paper. JL as a recognised national authority in the field of perioperative medicine. He gave expert advice on the recent development in this area.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.