Patient-Reported Outcomes

11. Summary

Quality of life measurements are important for measuring the impact of disease, treatment, health and social policies, and the progress of economic and social development. Developers and users should specify and label the content and type of measure for every application of a PRO and provide evidence of its appropriateness to the intended use, for validity of the measure as used in a particular case, and how to interpret results. A major challenge faces developers and users of these measures in establishing a testable theory of the expected and observed relationships among the different concepts and domains of quality of life. Assessing the perspective of the person or patient is an important enterprise, and progress will be made most rapidly when we recognize that, as the poem notes, the measurement of ‘Spring’ requires careful description as to its purpose, its limits, and especially the evidence provided of where the content came from, what health or quality of life actually represents, and how the measures perform in application.