Quality of Life Research

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 179–193 | Cite as

The impact of measuring patient-reported outcomes in clinical practice: a systematic review of the literature

  • J. M. Valderas
  • A. Kotzeva
  • M. Espallargues
  • G. Guyatt
  • C. E. Ferrans
  • M. Y. Halyard
  • D. A. Revicki
  • T. Symonds
  • A. Parada
  • J. Alonso



The purpose of this paper is to summarize the best evidence regarding the impact of providing patient-reported outcomes (PRO) information to health care professionals in daily clinical practice.


Systematic review of randomized clinical trials (Medline, Cochrane Library; reference lists of previous systematic reviews; and requests to authors and experts in the field).


Out of 1,861 identified references published between 1978 and 2007, 34 articles corresponding to 28 original studies proved eligible. Most trials (19) were conducted in primary care settings performed in the USA (21) and assessed adult patients (25). Information provided to professionals included generic health status (10), mental health (14), and other (6). Most studies suffered from methodologic limitations, including analysis that did not correspond with the unit of allocation. In most trials, the impact of PRO was limited. Fifteen of 23 studies (65%) measuring process of care observed at least one significant result favoring the intervention, as did eight of 17 (47%) that measured outcomes of care.


Methodological concerns limit the strength of inference regarding the impact of providing PRO information to clinicians. Results suggest great heterogeneity of impact; contexts and interventions that will yield important benefits remain to be clearly defined.


Patient-reported outcomes Quality of life Health status indicators Outcome assessment Clinical practice 



Patient-reported outcomes


Randomized control trials



This work was supported in part by: Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (SAB2001-0088); the Spanish Public Health Network (RCESP) “Investigación en Epidemiología y Salud Pública: Determinantes, Mecanismos, Métodos y Políticas” (Exp. C03/09), and the Instituto de Salud Carlos III: Red de Investigación Cooperativa IRYSS (Exp. G03/202), and Ayudas para contratos de Profesionales Post MIR (Exp. CM0300118). A preliminary report of this work was presented at the Annual Conference of the International Society for Quality of Life Research in Hong Kong, China (2004).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Valderas
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Kotzeva
    • 3
  • M. Espallargues
    • 3
  • G. Guyatt
    • 4
  • C. E. Ferrans
    • 5
  • M. Y. Halyard
    • 6
  • D. A. Revicki
    • 7
  • T. Symonds
    • 8
  • A. Parada
    • 3
  • J. Alonso
    • 2
    • 9
  1. 1.National Primary Care Research and Development CenterThe University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Health Services Research UnitInstitut Municipal d’Investigació Mèdica (IMIM-Hospital del Mar)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Research (CAHTA)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  5. 5.College of Nursing (MC 802)University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  6. 6.Mayo ClinicScottdaleUSA
  7. 7.Center for Health Outcomes ResearchUnited Biosource CorporationBethesdaUSA
  8. 8.Worldwide Outcomes Research (IPC160)Pfizer Global Research and DevelopmentKentUK
  9. 9.Department of Experimental and Life SciencesUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain

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