What are PROMs?

Patient-reported outcomes measures (PROMs) are reports coming directly from patients about how they feel or function in relation to a health condition and its therapy without interpretation by healthcare professionals or anyone else (Patrick et al, 2008).

Why are they important?

PROMs and Patient Experience Measures (PREMs) represent an important part of assessing whether osteopaths and other healthcare professionals are improving the symptoms reported by their patients.  PROMs and PREMs attempt to identify:

  • if treatment has improved a patient’s symptoms;
  • if treatment has improved a patient’s health and well-being;
  • if patients are satisfied with treatment;
  • the type of experience of care patients have received at the practice.

Different types of PROMs are available depending on why a patient has sought treatment.  These are discussed in the next section.

Are there different types of PROMs?

A range of different PROMs exists.  These are selected depending on the particular reason for treatment, or what a practice wishes to measure about patient care.  In general, PROMs can be categorised as relating to:

  • a specific area of the body e.g. low back pain;
  • a specific symptom or condition e.g. headache;
  • general health and well-being;
  • the cost effectiveness of treatment.

Is anyone else collecting PROM data?

Since 2009, PROM data have been collected in the National Health Service (NHS).  The NHS PROM programme collects data from patients who have undergone certain types of surgery for the following:

  • Hip replacement;
  • Knee replacement;
  • Varicose veins;
  • Groin hernia.

PROMs data are being collected in England only at the present time.  Further information about this process can be found here.