Logistics of collecting patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in clinical practice: an overview and practical examples

Qual Life Res. 2009 Feb;18(1):125-36. doi: 10.1007/s11136-008-9436-0. Epub 2009 Jan 20.


Purpose: Interest in collecting patient-reported outcomes (PROs), such as health-related quality of life (HRQOL), health status reports, and patient satisfaction is on the rise and practical aspects of collecting PROs in clinical practice are becoming more important. The purpose of this paper is to draw the attention to a number of issues relevant for a successful integration of PRO measures into the daily work flow of busy clinical settings.

Methods: The paper summarizes the results from a breakout session held at an ISOQOL special topic conference for PRO measures in clinical practice in 2007.

Results: Different methodologies of collecting PROs are discussed, and the support needed for each methodology is highlighted. The discussion is illustrated by practical real-life examples from early adaptors who administered paper-pencil, or electronic PRO assessments (ePRO) for more than a decade. The paper also reports about new experiences with more recent technological developments, such as SmartPens and Computer Adaptive Tests (CATs) in daily practice.

Conclusions: Methodological and logistical issues determine the resources needed for a successful integration of PRO measures into daily work flow procedures and influence significantly the usefulness of PRO data for clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection / methods
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Quality of Life