There are several important features of self reported measures in medicine and public health:
Clinical measures include physiologic measures that require professional knowledge to interpret and clinician judgments that come from interviews and observations of patients.
Self-report measures of health and quality of life often have more meaning to the persons who are affected by disease, are undergoing treatments, or are trying to restore or maintain health.
Because perceptions of health and illness influence what people do about their health (e.g. visit doctors, go to a hospital, or ignore signs and symptoms), policy makers are also increasingly interested in self-reported outcomes.
Self-reported measures diff from clinical measures in three important ways.