Meaningfulness of Health Outcomes

In order for health outcomes data to be truely useful, it must be meaningful for both care givers and patients
Todate, PROs have primaily been used in clinical trials to establish the effectiveness of a new medical treatment.  There are ample data that provide many approaches to interpret the population based PRO data summaries, but these are still too complicated for many clinicians to use in any practical way. The practicing medical community needs measures of relevant outcomes that are simple to collect, reported in a way they can understand and, most importantly, are meaningful in guiding how they should manage individual patients.  Physicians recognize that different patients have their own unique preferences that need to be considered in choosing a recommended course of treatment.  Choosing a treatment based upon a mean PRO score or even a domain score from a clinical trial is almost useless.

  Meaningful for Physicians and Care Givers

  • Easy to collect the data
  • Simple summaries that are easy to understand
  • Relevant for both physicians and care givers
  • Useful in setting goals of treatment with patients
  • Provides information to guide treatment
  • Useful measures of achiement of goals of treatment

  Meaningful for Patients

  • Respect as an individual with unique preferences
  • Unbiased information to understand the benefits and risks of different treatment options and their costs

  • Involvement of family/relatives as desired by the patient
  • Treatment plan where the patient understands the goals
  • Feedback about progress toward the goals of treatment
  • An integrated healthcare system that provides care for
    the elderly and rehabilitation for independent living
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