Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) in the upper extremity: the future of outcomes reporting?

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2017 Feb;26(2):352-357. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2016.09.054.


Patient reported outcomes (PROs) serve an integral role in clinical research by helping to determine the impact of clinical care as experienced by the patient. With recent initiatives in health care policy and pay for performance, outcome reporting is now recognized as a policy-driven requirement in addition to a clinical research tool. For outcome measures to satisfy these regulatory requirements and provide value in understanding disease outcomes, they must be responsive and efficient. Recent research has uncovered certain concerns regarding traditional PROs in patients with upper extremity disability and injury. These include lack of consensus regarding selection of PROs for a given diagnoses, inconsistent techniques of administration of the same PROs, and the administrative burden to patients and providers of completing these forms. To address these limitations, emphasis has been placed on streamlining the outcomes reporting process, and, as a result, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) created the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). PROMIS forms were created to comprehensively and efficiently measure outcomes across multiple disease states, including orthopedics. These tools exist in computer adaptive testing and short forms with the intention of more efficiently measuring outcomes compared with legacy PROs. The goals of this review are to highlight the main components of PROMIS reporting tools and identify recent use of the scores in the upper extremity literature. The review will also highlight the research and health policy potentials and limitations of implementing PROMIS into everyday orthopedic practice.

Keywords: PROMIS; clinical assessment; health care policy; orthopedics; outcomes; shoulder; upper extremity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • United States
  • Upper Extremity / injuries*