Patient-Reported Outcomes

9. Types of Measures

There are a number of ways of categorizing instruments designed to measure PROs such as health status and quality of life (Fitzpatrick et al., 1992; Patrick and Erickson, 1993). Taxonomy of self-reported health status and quality of life measures is contained in Table 4.

Table 4

A Taxonomy of PRO Measures
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Source of Report
Mode of Collection
Testing Strategy
Types of Scores Produced
Range of Populations and Concepts
Weighting System

instruments measure the full range of health and quality of life, without focusing on specific areas. They are designed for use across a wide variety of populations.

Specific instruments are designed for application to individuals, conditions or diseases, domains, or populations.

Generic and specific instruments may be health profiles or utility measures, which are distinguished by having preference weights applied to the items and domains. Some utility measures, and indeed some profiles, also incorporate an index score or single number for analyses. Utility measures are useful for economic applications, since they produce quality-adjusted life years, a combined measure of how long one lives as measured by survival or mortality and how well one lives, as measured by functional status and well-being.
Patrick D.L., Erickson P. (1993). Health status and health policy: Quality of life in health care evaluation and resource allocation. New York: Oxford University Press.