This study is evaluating the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of emergency general surgery compared to non-operative strategies for patients with acute conditions. We are using data from Hospital Episode Statistics for patients who present as emergency admissions to NHS Trust hospitals in the UK.
An advanced quantitative method (flexible instrumental variable approach) is being used to address the key methodological challenge of confounding by indication, which arises when there are important differences in prognosis between the patient groups under comparison. The research will provide policy-relevant estimates of the relative benefits, harms and cost-effectiveness of emergency general surgery according to patient subgroups.
This study is part of the NIHR ESORT (Emergency Surgery – Or noT) project, which aims to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of emergency surgery for patients with common acute conditions presenting as emergency hospital admissions.