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Am Fam Physician. 2022;106(2):134-135

This clinical content conforms to AAFP criteria for CME.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial relationships.

Clinical Question

Are patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) effective at improving patient-reported health outcomes and processes of care for patients and health care professionals?

Evidence-Based Answer

PROMs (e.g., CAGE questionnaire, Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item questionnaire) completed by patients (or other individuals pertinent to the patient) improve diagnosis and documentation of relevant health information in the patient's chart, such as accurate coding, severity of disease, and relevant changes with treatment related to the PROM (relative risk [RR] = 1.73; 95% CI, 1.44 to 2.08). PROMs also improve communication with health care professionals, as perceived by the patient, including discussion about side effects of treatment and other areas of concern (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.36; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.52). The use of PROMs improves quality of life (SMD = 0.15; 95% CI, 0.05 to 0.26) and disease control (RR = 1.25; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.41). However, PROMs seem to have little to no effect on a patient's general health perception, social functioning, or pain.1 (Strength of Recommendation: B, inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence.)

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These are summaries of reviews from the Cochrane Library.

This series is coordinated by Corey D. Fogleman, MD, assistant medical editor.

A collection of Cochrane for Clinicians published in AFP is available at

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