Quality of Life Research

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 367–378 | Cite as

A method to create a standardized generic and condition-specific patient-reported outcome measure for patient care and healthcare improvement

  • Karen E. SchifferdeckerEmail author
  • Susan E. Yount
  • Karen Kaiser
  • Anna Adachi-Mejia
  • David Cella
  • Kathleen L. Carluzzo
  • Amy Eisenstein
  • Michael A. Kallen
  • George J. Greene
  • David T. Eton
  • Elliott S. Fisher



Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), which are generic or condition-specific, are used for a number of reasons, including clinical care, clinical trials, and in national-level efforts to monitor the quality of health care delivery. Creating PROMs that meet different purposes without overburdening patients, healthcare systems, providers, and data systems is paramount. The objective of this study was to test a generalizable method to incorporate condition-specific issues into generic PROM measures as a first step to producing PROMs that efficiently provide a standardized score. This paper outlines the method and preliminary findings focused on a PROM for osteoarthritis of the knee (OA-K).


We used a mixed-methods approach and PROMIS® measures to test development of a combined generic and OA-K-specific PROM. Qualitative methods included patient focus groups and provider interviews to identify impacts of OA-K important to patients. We then conducted a thematic analysis and an item gap analysis: identified areas covered by existing generic PROMIS measures, identified “gap” areas not covered, compared gap areas to legacy instruments to verify relevance, and developed new items to address gaps. We then performed cognitive testing on new items and drafted an OA-K-specific instrument based on findings.


We identified 52 existing PROMIS items and developed 24 new items across 14 domains.


We developed a process for creating condition-specific instruments that bridge gaps in existing generic measures. If successful, the methodology will create instruments that efficiently gather the patient’s perspective while allowing health systems, researchers, and other interested parties to monitor and compare outcomes over time, conditions, and populations.


Patient-reported outcome measure Healthcare quality Mixed methods Osteoarthritis of the knee 



This work was supported by the Patient-centered Outcomes Research Institute contract number ME-1303-5928. The authors wish to thank their valuable research partners in this work: Drs. Gene Nelson, Jill Gelow, Lynn Marshall, Taressa Fraze and Faraz Ahmad; and Brendin Beaulieu-Jones and Zabin Patel. We are especially grateful for the input of our patient and provider participants and for the guidance and advice from our Patient and Family Advisory Committee: Annette Jo Giarrante, Janet Trzaska, David Swanz, Jeff Gardner, Carol DuBois, Roger Arend and Linda Wilkinson.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen E. Schifferdecker
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Susan E. Yount
    • 3
  • Karen Kaiser
    • 3
  • Anna Adachi-Mejia
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • David Cella
    • 3
  • Kathleen L. Carluzzo
    • 2
  • Amy Eisenstein
    • 3
    • 5
  • Michael A. Kallen
    • 3
  • George J. Greene
    • 3
  • David T. Eton
    • 6
  • Elliott S. Fisher
    • 4
  1. 1.Community and Family MedicineGeisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Program Design and Evaluation at DartmouthGeisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medical Social SciencesNorthwestern University’s Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  4. 4.The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical PracticeGeisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  5. 5.Leonard Schanfield Research Institute at CJE SeniorLifeChicagoUSA
  6. 6.Department of Health Sciences Research, Division of Health Care Policy and ResearchMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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