Developing Metrics to Define Progress in Children's Surgery

World J Surg. 2019 Jun;43(6):1456-1465. doi: 10.1007/s00268-018-4868-3.


There is a need for relevant, valid, and practical metrics to better quantify both need and progress in global pediatric surgery and for monitoring systems performance. There are several existing surgical metrics in use, including disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), surgical backlog, effective coverage, cost-effectiveness, and the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery indicators. Most of these have, however, not been yet applied to children's surgery, leaving therefore significant data gaps in the burden of disease, infrastructure, human resources, and quality of care assessments in the specialty. This chapter reviews existing global surgical metrics, identifies settings where these have been already applied to children's surgery, and highlights opportunities for further inquiry in filling the knowledge gaps. Directing focused, intentional knowledge translation efforts in the identified areas of deficiency will foster the maturation of global pediatric surgery into a solid academic discipline able to contribute directly to the cause of improving the lives of children around the world.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services / standards*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Disabled Persons
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / adverse effects
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / mortality
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / standards*