This initiative -the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) – aims to revolutionize the way patient-reported outcome tools are selected and employed in clinical research and practice evaluation. It will also establish a national resource for accurate and efficient measurement of patient-reported symptoms and other health outcomes in clinical practice. As part of the NIH Roadmap, NIH funded six primary research sites and a statistical coordinating center as the PROMIS network. PROMIS aims to develop ways to measure patient-reported symptoms, such as pain and fatigue, and aspects of health-related quality of life across a wide variety of chronic diseases and conditions. “There is a pressing need to better quantify clinically important symptoms and outcomes that are now difficult to measure,” says NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, MD. “Our clinical research communities would benefit greatly from efficient, consistent, well-validated approaches to measuring these and other subjective outcomes.”Clinical outcome measures, such as x-rays and lab tests, have minimally immediate relevance to the day-to-day functioning of patients with chronic diseases such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and asthma, as well as chronic pain conditions. Often, the best way patients can judge the effectiveness of treatments is by perceived changes in symptoms. One main goal of the PROMIS initiative is to develop a set of publicly available computerized adaptive tests for the clinical research community.
Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability and 21st in terms of overall burden.