Promoting effective use of patient-reported outcomes in clinical practice: themes from a “Methods Tool kit” paper series

Michael D. Brundage, Albert W. Wu, Yonaira M. Rivera, Claire Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives: “PRO-cision Medicine,” using patients' reports of their symptoms, functioning, and well-being to personalize their care, is becoming more prevalent. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are assessed using standardized, validated measures. Research shows that clinicians' and patients’ understanding of what the PRO scores mean and how to act on them is often suboptimal. Methods to improve interpretation of PRO scores and action based on PRO results can promote more effective use of PROs in practice. Study Design and Setting: A recent supplement to Medical Care describes various approaches to address challenges in interpreting and acting on PROs in practice and therefore serves as a “PRO-cision Medicine Methods Tool kit.” This commentary provides an overview of the supplement and identifies cross-cutting themes guided by a theoretical framework. Results: Six papers describe methods for interpreting PROs, and eight papers describe how different PRO systems address interpreting PRO scores and/or acting on PRO results. Based on the theoretical framework, cross-cutting themes are described in terms of (1) providing PRO information, (2) using PRO data, (3) screening for problems and monitoring for changes, and (4) changing management and behavior. Conclusions: The PRO-cision Medicine Methods Tool kit provides a useful resource for interpreting and acting on PRO scores to personalize patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical epidemiology
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology


  • Cancer
  • Clinical encounter
  • Guidance
  • Interpretation
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Symptom monitoring


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