Intended for healthcare professionals


Maximising the impact of patient reported outcome assessment for patients and society

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 24 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:k5267
  1. Melanie Calvert, professor of outcomes methodology1,
  2. Derek Kyte, lecturer in health research methods and NIHR fellow1,
  3. Gary Price, patient partner, member of CPROR executive1,
  4. Jose M Valderas, professor of health services and policy research2,
  5. Niels Henrik Hjollund, clinical professor3
  1. 1Centre for Patient Reported Outcomes Research (CPROR), Institute of Applied Health Research, and NIHR, Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre, University of Birmingham B15 2TT UK
  2. 2NIHR PenCLAHRC and Institute for Health Services Research, University of Exeter Medical School, St Luke’s Campus, St Leonards, Exeter EX1 2LU, UK
  3. 3AmbuFlex/WestChronic, Regional Hospital West Jutland, Herning, Denmark, and Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to: M Calvert m.calvert{at}

Patient reported outcome measures can help drive global patient centred healthcare reform, but we need a more efficient coordinated approach to assessment if we are to fully realise benefits for patients and society, say Melanie Calvert and colleagues

Key messages

  • Patient reported outcome data are increasingly being used by a range of stakeholders in healthcare

  • These data may offer major benefits to patients and society, but current use is fragmented and suboptimal

  • We propose an integrated evidence based approach to data collection to meet multiple stakeholder needs

Over the past decade we have seen a global rise in the involvement of patients in coproducing research and decisions about their health and care. “Measuring what matters to patients” is recognised as central to improving patient care and service delivery, but patients need to be involved in deciding what to measure and how.1

One way to measure what matters is using patient reported outcome measures (PROMs), which are questionnaires completed by patients to assess the effects of disease or treatment (or both) on symptoms, functioning, and health related quality of life from their perspective. PROM data can be used to inform health technology assessment, pharmaceutical labelling claims, health policy and service improvement, and can support communication between patients and healthcare professionals.23

Here we discuss the current applications and potential benefits of PROMs in healthcare and challenges that reduce their potential to drive improvements in patient care. We focus on recent developments in the use of PROMs and consider strategies for efficient PROM data collection to maximise benefits for patients and society.

Current use and benefits

PROM assessment in research and routine clinical practice offers a range of potential benefits for individual patient care and for clinicians, regulators, healthcare management teams, commissioners, and policy makers (table 1).

View this table:
Table 1

Use of PROM data by stakeholders, and current …

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