Measuring Patient-Reported Outcomes: Key Metrics in Reconstructive Surgery

Annu Rev Med. 2018 Jan 29:69:467-479. doi: 10.1146/annurev-med-060116-022831.


Satisfaction and improved quality of life are among the most important outcomes for patients undergoing plastic and reconstructive surgery for a variety of diseases and conditions. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are essential tools for evaluating the benefits of newly developed surgical techniques. Modern PROMs are being developed with new psychometric approaches, such as Rasch Measurement Theory, and their measurement properties (validity, reliability, responsiveness) are rigorously tested. These advances have resulted in the availability of PROMs that provide clinically meaningful data and effectively measure functional as well as psychosocial outcomes. This article guides the reader through the steps of creating a PROM and highlights the potential research and clinical uses of such instruments. Limitations of PROMs and anticipated future directions in this field are discussed.

Keywords: BODY-Q; BREAST-Q; CLEFT-Q; patient-reported outcome measure; reliability; validity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results