Implementing Electronic Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Outpatient Cosmetic Surgery Clinics: An Exploratory Qualitative Study

Aesthet Surg J. 2019 May 16;39(6):687-695. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjy280.


Background: Patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) data are increasingly being collected over the internet or on a smart device by means of electronic versions (e-PROMs). Limited evidence exists about factors influencing e-PROM implementation in outpatient clinics.

Objectives: The authors sought to identify barriers to collection of PRO data from different locations (home or cosmetic surgery office) by means of different modes (paper vs e-PROM) from the perspective of patients, plastic surgeons, and clinic administrative staff; and to explore patient preferences for the design of e-PROM platforms.

Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 11 patients, 3 cosmetic surgeons, and administrative staff. Patients were shown 1 of the 3 PROMs (ie, the BODY-Q Satisfaction with Body scale, BREAST-Q Augmentation Module Satisfaction with Breast scale, or FACE-Q Satisfaction with Facial Appearance scale). The formats included paper and electronic (REDCap and TickiT) on a tablet and laptop computer. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative descriptive analysis was conducted.

Results: Patients and providers preferred electronic over paper format. The flexibility of the hardware, data entry point (remote location vs point-of-care), and the privacy of the data were the most recurring themes from the patient's perspective. The objective of collecting PROM data, role in peer-benchmarking, and return on investment were key to surgeons and administrative staff.

Conclusions: The e-PROMs were well accepted in the community setting by the patients and plastic surgeons alike. The design and interface features of e-PROMs were explored in this study, which may be useful for future, mixed method studies evaluating the implementation of e-PROMs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Computers, Handheld
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario
  • Patient Preference*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Surgery, Plastic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult