Background: Patient-reported outcome (PRO) data is central to the delivery of quality health care. Establishing sustainable, reliable and cost-efficient methods for routine collection and integration of PRO data into health information systems is challenging. This protocol paper describes the design and structure of a study to develop and pilot test a PRO framework to systematically and longitudinally collect PRO data from a cohort of lung cancer patients at a comprehensive cancer centre in Australia.
Methods: Best-practice guidelines for developing registries aimed at collecting PROs informed the development of this PRO framework. Framework components included: achieving consensus on determining the purpose of the framework, the PRO measures to be included, the data collection time points and collection methods (electronic and paper), establishing processes to safeguard the quality of the data collected and to link the PRO framework to an existing hospital-based lung cancer clinical registry. Lung cancer patients will be invited to give feedback on the PRO measures (PROMs) chosen and the data collection time points and methods. Implementation of the framework will be piloted for 12 months. Then a mixed-methods approach used to explore patient and multidisciplinary perspectives on the feasibility of implementing the framework and linking it to the lung cancer clinical registry, its clinical utility, perceptions of data collection burden, and preliminary assessment of resource costs to integrate, implement and sustain the PRO framework. The PRO data set will include: a quality of life questionnaire (EORTC-QLQ-C30) and the EORTC lung cancer specific module (QLQC-LC-13). These will be collected pre-treatment (baseline), 2, 6 and 12 months post-baseline. Also, four social isolation questions (PROMIS) will be collected at baseline.
Discussion: Identifying and deciding on the overall purpose, clinical utility of data and which PROs to collect from patients requires careful consideration. Our study will explore how PRO data collection processes that link to a clinical data set can be developed and integrated; how PRO systems that are easy for patients to complete and professionals to use in practice can be achieved, and will provide indicative costs of developing and integrating a longitudinal PRO framework into routine hospital data collection systems.
Trial registration: This study is not a clinical trial and is therefore not registered in any trial registry. However, it has received human research ethics approval (LNR/16/PMCC/45).
Keywords: Feasibility; Lung cancer; Oncology; Patient-reported outcomes; Quality of care.