OBJECTIVE: This systematic review aimed to assess the adequacy of measurement properties in Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) used to quantify psychosocial consequences of colorectal cancer screening among adults at average risk.
METHODS: We searched four databases for eligible studies: MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Embase. Our approach was inclusive and encompassed all empirical studies that quantified aspects of psychosocial consequences of colorectal cancer screening. We assessed the adequacy of PROM development and measurement properties for content validity using The COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) risk of bias checklist.
RESULTS: We included 33 studies that all together used 30 different outcome measures. Two PROMs (6.7%) were developed in a colorectal cancer screening context. COSMIN rating for PROM development was inadequate for 29 out of 30 PROMs (97%). PROMs lacked proper cognitive interviews and pilot studies and therefore had no proven content validity. According to the COSMIN checklist, 27 out of 30 PROMs (90%) had inadequate measurement properties for content validity.
DISCUSSION: The majority of included PROMs had inadequate development and measurement properties. These findings shed light on the trustworthiness of the included studies' findings and call for reevaluation of existing evidence on the psychosocial consequences of colorectal cancer screening. To provide trustworthy evidence about the psychosocial consequences of colorectal cancer screening, editors could require that studies provide evidence of the methodological quality of the PROM. Alternatively, authors should transparently disclose their studies' methodological limitations in measuring psychosocial consequences of screening validly.