Clinical Outcome Assessment in Cancer Rehabilitation and the Central Role of Patient-Reported Outcomes

Cancers (Basel). 2021 Dec 24;14(1):84. doi: 10.3390/cancers14010084.


The aim of cancer rehabilitation is to help patients regain functioning and social participation. In order to evaluate and optimize rehabilitation, it is important to measure its outcomes in a structured way. In this article, we review the different types of clinical outcome assessments (COAs), including Clinician-Reported Outcomes (ClinROs), Observer-Reported Outcomes (ObsROs), Performance Outcomes (PerfOs), and Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs). A special focus is placed on PROs, which are commonly defined as any direct report from the patient about their health condition without any interpretation by a third party. We provide a narrative review of available PRO measures (PROMs) for relevant outcomes, discuss the current state of PRO implementation in cancer rehabilitation, and highlight trends that use PROs to benchmark value-based care. Furthermore, we provide examples of PRO usage, highlight the benefits of electronic PRO (ePRO) collection, and offer advice on how to select, implement, and integrate PROs into the cancer rehabilitation setting to maximize efficiency.

Keywords: cancer rehabilitation; outcome assessment; patient reported outcome measures; patient-reported outcomes; rehabilitation; value-based care.

Publication types

  • Review