Is There Room for Individual Patient-Specified Preferences in the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Revolution?

J Patient Cent Res Rev. 2023 Nov 27;10(4):210-218. doi: 10.17294/2330-0698.2017. eCollection 2023 Fall.


Purpose: The study aim was to test the feasibility of collecting qualitative patient-preferred outcomes or goals and the degree of their attainment as an addition to a standardized process for collecting quantitative composite patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) from patients undergoing knee joint replacement.

Methods: Patients of a large Midwestern medical group scheduled to have total replacement of their knee joint have been asked to complete a PROMs survey preoperatively and at 3 and 12 months after surgery since 2014. In March 2020, an open-ended question about their most important preferred outcome was added to the existing questionnaire. The responses for all 3 time periods from the first 6 months of this addition were summarized quantitatively and analyzed by 2 reviewers.

Results: During that 6-month period, 1481 people completed the main survey while 1463 (98.8%) also completed the open-ended question. At baseline, 90.8% of the 590 baseline respondents identified a preferred outcome. If multiple-choice categories had been used, 82.7% of the responses would have lost some or a large amount of their preferred goals' meaning. Of the 144 who completed surveys at both baseline and 3 months, 86.1% reported another outcome in addition to pain relief, while 54.2% reported "Complete or Mostly" achieving their self-identified preferred outcome.

Conclusions: Most people who have joint replacement surgery and respond to a quantitative PROMs survey are willing to report on their other preferred outcomes as well. Adding an open-ended question to PROMs surveys may increase clinician focus on addressing outcomes important to each patient.

Keywords: PROMs; arthroplasty; knee joint; orthopedics; patient-centered care; patient-reported outcome measures.