Prospects and challenges in using patient-reported outcomes in clinical practice

Qual Life Res. 2008 Dec;17(10):1297-302. doi: 10.1007/s11136-008-9379-5. Epub 2008 Aug 18.


Background: Patient-reported measures include preferences and reports about care received, health behaviors, and outcomes of care (patient satisfaction and health-related quality of life). These measures are a core aspect of health care, but there is much to be learned about how to use them to improve clinical practice.

Method: We specify linkages among different patient-reported measures and focus upon the prospects and challenges for use of patient-reported outcomes in clinical practice.

Results: Patient-reported measures are important throughout the continuum of patient care. At the initial visit, patient-reported outcomes provide information about what is important to the patient, the patient's current behaviors, and the patient's baseline health-related quality of life. At subsequent visits, patient-reported outcomes help evaluate disease progression or regression as well as treatment effects.

Conclusions: Patient-reported measures can help clinicians target interventions that will improve patient outcomes of care. However, there are a number of challenges in using patient-reported outcomes in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Quality of Life