Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) include reports and ratings provided by patients or their proxies about their health, functioning, health behaviours and quality of care. PROMs reflect the patient perspective and increase the comprehensiveness of outcome measurement in clinical research. There is growing interest in using PROMs in clinical practice: for screening, monitoring and improving communication at the individual level; and to aid in decision-making, monitor populations and assess quality in the aggregate. For use in clinical practice, the authors draw an analogy to getting to the prom (a North American graduation dance). Whom to go with? They recommend seeking a group of partners and developing methods and standards with national and international groups. The authors advocate for incentives to encourage broad participation. What to wear? They suggest selecting existing, well-tested PROMs and highlight the ability of dynamic questionnaires to provide tailored assessments. How to get there? The authors recommend web-based formatting of measures and results, using their system, PatientViewpoint, as an example. How to get the most out of the experience? They discuss the variety of applications of PROMs data and recommend providing clinicians with actions that they can take to mitigate problems in non-clinical domains.
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