A scoring system for 3D surface images of breast reconstruction developed using the Delphi consensus process.
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INTRODUCTION:Evaluation of aesthetics after breast reconstruction is challenging. In the absence of an objective measurement, panel assessment is widely adopted. Heterogeneity of scales and poor internal consistency make comparison difficult. Development and validation of an expert panel scale using a Delphi consensus process is described. It was designed specifically for use as the gold standard for development of an objective evaluation tool using 3-Dimensional Surface Imaging (3D-SI). MATERIALS AND METHODS:20 items relating to aesthetic assessment were identified for consideration in the Delphi consensus process. Items were selected for inclusion in the definitive panel scale by iterative rounds of voting according to importance, consensus discussion, and a final vote. The Delphi-derived scale was tested on a clinical research series for intra- and inter-panellist, and intra-panel reliability, and correlation with Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs). RESULTS:61 surgeons participated in the Delphi process. Oncoplastic and plastic surgeons were represented. The Delphi-derived scale included symmetry, volume, shape, position of breast mound, nipple position, and a global score. Intra-panellist reliability ranged from poor to almost perfect (wκ<0to0.86), inter-rater reliability was fair (ICC range 0.4-0.5) for individual items and good (ICC0.6) for the global score, intra-panel reliability was moderate to substantial (wκ0.4-0.7), and correlation with PROMs was moderate (r = 0.5p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS:The Delphi-derived panel evaluation is at least as good as other scales in the literature and has been developed specifically to provide expert evaluation of aesthetics after breast reconstruction. The logistical constraints of panel assessment remain, reinforcing the need to develop an objective evaluation method.
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European journal of surgical oncology : the journal of the European Society of Surgical Oncology and the British Association of Surgical Oncology, 2020, 46 (9), pp. 1580 - 1587