Selection of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) for use in health systems

J Patient Rep Outcomes. 2021 Oct 12;5(Suppl 2):99. doi: 10.1186/s41687-021-00374-2.


Many healthcare systems around the world have been increasingly using patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in routine outcome measurement to enhance patient-centered care and incorporate the patient's perspective in health system performance evaluation. One of the key steps in using PROMs in health systems is selecting the appropriate measure(s) to serve the purpose and context of measurement. However, the availability of many PROMs makes this choice rather challenging. Our aim was to provide an integrated approach for PROM(s) selection for use by end-users in health systems.The proposed approach was based on relevant literature and existing guidebooks that addressed PROMs selection in various areas and for various purposes, as well as on our experience working with many health system users of PROMs in Canada. The proposed approach includes the following steps: (1) Establish PROMs selection committee; (2) Identify the focus, scope, and type of PROM measurement; (3) Identify potential PROM(s); (4) Review practical considerations for each of the identified PROMs; (5) Review measurement properties of shortlisted PROMs; (6) Review patient acceptance of shortlisted PROMs; (7) Recommend a PROM(s); and (8) Pilot the selected PROM(s). The selection of appropriate PROMs is one step in the successful implementation of PROMs within health systems, albeit, an essential step. We provide guidance for the selection of PROMs to satisfy all potential usages at the micro (patient-clinician), meso (organization), and macro (system) levels within the health system. Selecting PROMs that satisfy all these purposes is essential to ensure continuity and standardization of measurement over time. This is an iterative process and users should consider all the available information from all presented steps in selecting PROMs. Each of these considerations has a different weight in diverse clinical contexts and settings with various types of patients and resources.