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PROMs are enhancing and redefining patient care: Highlights from PROMs Conference 2017

The recent PROMs conference showed us how Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) really are helping to enhance and redefine patient experience & care across the UK and Ireland.

It was a real pleasure to attend the second annual UK and Ireland PROMs conference in Oxford, on 8th June 2017.  The one-day conference, held at St Anne's College was attended by 147 delegates and the day included a mixture of plenary sessions, oral presentations and posters aiming to describe advances in PROMs across the UK and Ireland.

The conference commenced with a very interesting collection of oral presentations across three parallel sessions. Talks included a range of PROMs topics, such as descriptions of the use of PROMs in different patient groups; technical discussions around how to ensure the use and application of the most robust PROMs; reports around how best to collect and use qualitative data and others.  The afternoon offered two excellent talks by the plenary speakers Professors Galina Velikova and Jose Maria Valderas. All the presentations are helpfully posted online.

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The plenary lectures summarised some of the recent advances in PROMs.  The first plenary, given by Professor Galina Velikova provided an insightful overview of the status of PROMs in cancer care.  Professor Velikova described how eRAPID (electronic patient self-Reporting of Adverse-events: Patient Information and aDvice, Figure 1) is now allowing for integrated real-time electronic patient records, which is enhancing patient care, improving the safe delivery of cancer treatment and most importantly allowing for standardized documenting of adverse events.  Online reports from eRAPID are immediately displayed in the patient hospital electronic records, so clinicians can use them to improve and streamline patient care.

Figure 1: eRAPID diagram (from Professor Velikova's plenary lecture)

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Professor Velikova showed us the benefits of eRAPID according to a thematic framework portraying recent qualitative data findings (see Figure 2).  This reinforces the importance of incorporating PROMs to support patient care in routine practice and the findings are aligned with a recent and very interesting publication demonstrating the clinical benefits associated with symptom self-reporting during cancer care (Basch et al. 2016). Various initiatives are currently taking place across the UK and Ireland to incorporate 'multi-purpose' PROMs in cancer care.  One such example outlined was the innovative ePRIME (electronic Patient self-Reported outcomes to Improve cancer Management and patient Experiences) approach in Yorkshire that is an intervention for remote monitoring to support ovarian cancer patients.  As new interventions are rolled out, there is a need for guidelines to help clinicians and researchers interested in implementing PROMs to aid patient care.  Hot off the press is the: Users' Guide to Integrating PROs in Electronic Health Records and this Users Guide is planned to facilitate integration of PROMs in electronic health records, enabling use of PROM data for multiple clinical, research, and administrative applications, and thereby further promoting patient-centred care.

Figure 2: Thematic Framework explaining the benefits of eRAPID (from Professor Velikova's plenary lecture)

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The second plenary, given by Professor Valderas provided an important UK perspective on the National Institute of Health (NIH)'s PROM Information System (PROMIS) that aims to  provide a common metric to facilitate interpretation across different PROMs.  The US derived PROMIS is gradually expanding beyond the US and it has clear domains for adult assessment (see Figure 3), with many item banks and short forms available (see Figure 4) and is increasingly being recognised as a gold standard measure.  Whilst its use in the UK remains limited, there is huge potential for PROMIS to be used for outcome measurement in NHS for individual or aggregate use.

Figure 3: PROMIS Domains for Adult Assessment (from Professor Valderas' plenary lecture)

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Thank you very much to the organising committee (Professor John Brazier, Professor Ray Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth Gibbons, Dr Caroline Potter, and Professor Jose Valderas) for their success with this year's conference. Next year's PROMs conference is planned to take place next year at the University of Birmingham and I am really looking forward to attending this and hearing about how the recent advances are continuing to enhance and redefine patient care in the UK and Ireland and beyond.

Figure 4: PROMIS Measure Types (from Professor Valderas' plenary lecture)

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For further details of pH Associates (an OPEN Health company) and its Patient Centred Outcomes (PCO) offering, please get in touch with Angela Rylands, Patient Centred Outcomes Consultant at pH Associates (an OPEN Health company) either via email: or 'phone: 01628 481 112