PROMs data: can it be used to make decisions for individual patients? A narrative review
Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are increasingly used in clinical practice providing health care professionals with patients’ perceptions and views of their health. They have traditionally been utilized in health research and health service evaluation and are now starting to be used in routine clinical practice with individual patients. The repeated administration of PROMs over the course of care with individual patients has a role in patient assessment, assisting clinical decision-making, and tracking patient progress. This approach can influence the patient–clinician encounter impacting the therapeutic alliance and increasing patient engagement with care. It is also theorized to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction with care. Advances in technologies and innovations in methodology have led to the use of electronic systems to simplify the collection and reporting of PROMs. Challenges of using PROMs with individual patients include clinician knowledge and skills, and access to appropriate technology. This paper reviews the use of PROMs with individual patients, illustrating how they may affect the patient–clinician encounter impact satisfaction and health outcomes. The routine use of PROMs during a course of care rather than just at the start and end provides additional opportunity to inform clinician and patient with benefits to both. The adoption of PROMs in clinical practice can help health care professionals to make decisions for individual patients. Further work is needed to examine the implementation of PROMs and benefits of PROMs in different clinical contexts.