Utilizing the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) to increase referral to ancillary support services for severely symptomatic patients with gynecologic cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 2019 Mar;152(3):509-513. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2018.10.042.


Objective: The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) Network has developed a comprehensive repository of electronic patient reported outcomes measures (ePROs) of major symptom domains that have been validated in cancer patients. Their use for patients with gynecologic cancer has been understudied. Our objective was to establish feasibility and acceptability of PROMIS ePRO integration in a gynecologic oncology outpatient clinic and assess if it can help identify severely symptomatic patients and increase referral to supportive services.

Methods: English-speaking patients with a confirmed history of gynecologic cancer completed PROMIS ePROs on iPads in the waiting area of an outpatient gynecologic oncology clinic. Symptom scores were calculated for each respondent and grouped using documented severity thresholds. Response data was compared with clinicopathologic characteristics across symptom domains. Severely symptomatic patients were offered referral to ancillary services and asked to complete post-exposure surveys assessing acceptability of the ePRO.

Results: Of the 336 patients who completed ePROs, 35% had active disease and 19% had experienced at least one disease recurrence. Sixty-nine percent of the cohort demonstrated moderate to severe physical dysfunction (60%), pain (36%), fatigue (28%), anxiety (9%), depression (8%), and sexual dysfunction (32%). Thirty-nine (12%) severely symptomatic patients were referred to services such as psychiatry, palliative care, pain management, social work or integrative oncology care. Most survey respondents identified the ePROs as helpful (78%) and easy to complete (92%).

Conclusions: Outpatient PROMIS ePRO administration is feasible and acceptable to gynecologic oncology patients and can help identify severely symptomatic patients for referral to ancillary support services.

Keywords: Cancer symptoms; Computer adaptive test; Health related quality of life; PROMIS; Patient reported outcomes; ePRO.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / diagnosis*
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Referral and Consultation*