Collection of cancer Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS) to link with primary and secondary electronic care records to understand and improve long term cancer outcomes: A protocol paper

PLoS One. 2022 Apr 15;17(4):e0266804. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0266804. eCollection 2022.


Introduction: More people are living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis. There is limited understanding of the long-term effects of cancer and cancer treatment on quality of life and personal and household finances when compared to people without cancer. In a separate protocol we have proposed to link de-identified data from electronic primary care and hospital records for a large population of cancer survivors and matched controls. In this current protocol, we propose the linkage of Patient Reported Outcomes Measures data to the above data for a subset of this population. The aim of this study is to investigate the full impact of living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis compared to age and gender matched controls. A secondary aim is to test the feasibility of the collection of Patient Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMS) data and the linkage procedures of the PROMs data to electronic health records data.

Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional study, aiming to recruit participants treated at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service Trust. Eligible patients will be cancer survivors at around 5 years post-diagnosis (breast, colorectal and ovarian cancer) and non-cancer patient matched controls attending dermatology out-patient clinics. They will be identified by running a query on the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust patient records system. Approximately 6000 patients (2000 cases and 4000 controls) will be invited to participate via post. Participants will be invited to complete PROMs assessing factors such as quality of life and finances, which can be completed on paper or online (surveys includes established instruments, and bespoke instruments (demographics, financial costs). This PROMs data will then be linked to routinely collected de-identified data from patient's electronic primary care and hospital records.

Discussion: This innovative work aims to create a truly 'comprehensive patient record' to provide a broad picture of what happens to cancer patients across their cancer pathway, and the long-term impact of cancer treatment. Comparisons can be made between the cases and controls, to identify the aspects of life that has had the greatest impact following a cancer diagnosis. The feasibility of linking PROMs data to electronic health records can also be assessed. This work can inform future support offered to people living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis, clinical practice, and future research methodologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electronics
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Quality of Life*
  • State Medicine

Grants and funding

GH and AG are the Principal Investigators and received the funding for this study. This research is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support (URL: (Grant number: 4757730). The funders had no role in study design, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.