Selecting Patient-Reported Outcome Measures to Contribute to Primary Care Performance Measurement: a Mixed Methods Approach

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New models of primary care include patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) to promote patient-centered care. PROMs provide information on patient functional status and well-being, can be used to enhance care quality, and are proposed for use in assessing performance. Our objective was to identify a short list of candidate PROMs for use in primary care practice and to serve as a basis for performance measures (PMs). We used qualitative and quantitative methods to identify relevant patient-reported outcome (PRO) domains for use in performance measurement (PRO-PM) and their associated PROMs. We collected data from key informant groups: patients (n = 13; one-on-one and group interviews; concept saturation analysis), clinical thought leaders (n = 9; group discussions; thematic analysis), primary care practices representatives (n = 37; six focus groups; thematic analysis), and primary care payer representatives (n = 10; 12-question survey; frequencies of responses). We merged the key informant group information with findings from environmental literature scans. We conducted a targeted evidence review of measurement properties for candidate PROMs. We used a scoping review and key informant groups to identify PROM evaluation criteria, which were linked to the National Quality Forum measure evaluation criteria. We developed a de novo schema to score candidate PROMs against our criteria. We identified four PRO domains and 10 candidate PROMs: 3 for depressive symptoms, 2 for physical function, 3 for self-efficacy, 2 for ability to participate. Five PROMs met ≥ 70% of the evidence criteria for three PRO domains: PHQ-9 or PROMIS Depression (depression), PF-10 or PROMIS-PF (physical functioning), and PROMIS Self-Efficacy for Managing Treatments and Medications (self-efficacy). The PROMIS Ability to Participate in Social Roles and Activities met 68% of our criteria and might be considered for inclusion. Existing evidence and key informant data identified 5 candidate PROMs to use in primary care. These instruments can be used to develop PRO-PMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2687-2697
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • MCCs
  • PRO-PM
  • PROM
  • multiple chronic conditions
  • patient-centered care
  • patient-reported outcome measures
  • performance measurement
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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