Quality of Life Research

, Volume 25, Issue 8, pp 2109–2116 | Cite as

Using patient-reported outcomes and PROMIS in research and clinical applications: experiences from the PCORI pilot projects

  • Clifton O. BinghamIII
  • Susan J. Bartlett
  • Peter A. Merkel
  • Thelma J. Mielenz
  • Paul A. Pilkonis
  • Lauren Edmundson
  • Emily Moore
  • Rajeev K. Sabharwal



The field of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) continues to develop. Patient-reported outcomes and, in particular the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) contribute complementary data to clinician-derived outcomes traditionally used in health decision-making. However, there has been little work to understand how PROMIS measures may inform or be integrated into PCOR or clinical applications.


Lead investigators from four pilot projects funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) collaborated to discuss lessons learned about the use of PROMIS in PCOR studies via virtual and in-person meetings. In addition, a qualitative data collection tool was used to assess the pilot projects’ experiences.


Lessons learned from the pilot projects centered on practical elements of research design, such as choosing the right outcomes to study, considering the advantages and limitations of the PROMIS short forms and computer adaptive technology versions, planning ahead for a feasible data collection process, maintaining the focus on patients by ensuring that the research is truly patient-centered, and helping patients and providers make the most of PROMIS in care.


The PCORI pilot projects demonstrated that PROMIS can be successfully used to conduct research that will help patients make decisions about their care. Interest in PCOR continues to grow and the lessons learned from these projects about the use of PROMIS will be helpful to investigators. Given the numerous benefits of PROMIS, implementing this tool in research and care will hopefully lead to significant progress in measuring health outcomes that are meaningful and relevant to all stakeholders.


PROMIS Patient-centered outcomes Assessment center Rheumatoid arthritis Vasculitis Chronic disease Substance use 



This work was supported through Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Awards: Contract Numbers IP2-PI000737 (Bingham PI), IP2-PI000603 (Merkel PI), IP2-PI000797 (Mielenz PI), IP2-PI000189 (Pilkonis PI), and 2000-20-10-10 CMO 0001 (AcademyHealth). All statements in this report, including its findings and conclusions, are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the PCORI, its Board of Governors or Methodology Committee. Dr. Bingham's work was also supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (P30-AR053503). Dr. Merkel’s work on this project was also supported by a grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (R01-AR064153). At the time of conceptualization and initial writing of the paper, Ms. Edmundson and Ms. Moore were employees of AcademyHealth.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of RheumatologyJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Divisions of Clinical Epidemiology, Rheumatology and Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Trials UnitMcGill University/Royal Victoria HospitalMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Division of Rheumatology and Department of Biostatistics and Clinical EpidemiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyColumbia University Mailman School of Public HealthNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  6. 6.Swedish Medical CenterSeattleUSA
  7. 7.University of Michigan School of Public HealthAnn ArborUSA
  8. 8.AcademyHealthWashingtonUSA

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