Objectives: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are essential when evaluating many new treatments in health care; yet, current measures have been limited by a lack of precision, standardization, and comparability of scores across studies and diseases. The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) provides item banks that offer the potential for efficient (minimizes item number without compromising reliability), flexible (enables optional use of interchangeable items), and precise (has minimal error in estimate) measurement of commonly studied PROs. We report results from the first large-scale testing of PROMIS items.
Study design and setting: Fourteen item pools were tested in the U.S. general population and clinical groups using an online panel and clinic recruitment. A scale-setting subsample was created reflecting demographics proportional to the 2000 U.S. census.
Results: Using item-response theory (graded response model), 11 item banks were calibrated on a sample of 21,133, measuring components of self-reported physical, mental, and social health, along with a 10-item Global Health Scale. Short forms from each bank were developed and compared with the overall bank and with other well-validated and widely accepted ("legacy") measures. All item banks demonstrated good reliability across most of the score distributions. Construct validity was supported by moderate to strong correlations with legacy measures.
Conclusion: PROMIS item banks and their short forms provide evidence that they are reliable and precise measures of generic symptoms and functional reports comparable to legacy instruments. Further testing will continue to validate and test PROMIS items and banks in diverse clinical populations.
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