Cohort Studies & Audits

Multicentre snap-shot prospective audits have the power to bring together surgeons and units across multiple regions or countries for a common research goal, thus strengthening an active network of research participation across Europe and beyond. ESCP has a dedicated Cohort Studies Sub-Committee co-ordinating annual snap-shot audits.

Multicentre snap-shot audits provide a superb opportunity to generate large datasets on surgical interventions and their outcomes without many of the hurdles of performing a randomised controlled trial (RCT), and at a fraction of the cost and time investment.

There is a particular need for surgeons to engage in high quality prospective studies of this type to bridge the current gulf between a paucity of RCTs (some of which are themselves of dubious quality) and the over-abundance of level IV evidence derived from personal case series and poor quality cohort studies.

Thus far, the ESCP has adopted a strategy of promoting short duration, high volume prospective audits (termed snap-shot audits) and these have been hugely successful (see below).

It is, however, an ambition of the research committee that before 2020, the ESCP will identify and promote at least two major prospective cohort studies with sufficient patient-level follow up to derive meaningful functional outcomes for colorectal interventions with uncertain (inadequate or contradictory) clinical effectiveness. Such outcomes will ideally cross-reference to ESCP development work in core outcome sets, especially patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS).


How do I get involved?

  • Almost everyone who performs common colorectal interventions can join in this important ESCP research initiative.
  • No expertise or prior experience are required
  • Snap-shot audits require very little additional work and even the busiest surgeon can help (in fact it is the busiest surgeons we want!)
  • To start, consider the available studies linked to below and sign up to a study when they become open

2019 ESCP prospective cohort study

The ESCP research committee will formally launch this new and exciting initiative at the 2018 meeting in Nice. 


Previous snap-shot audits

ESCP Affiliates