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The importance of patient-reported outcome measures in reconstructive urology

Jackson, Matthew Ja; N'Dow, Jamesb; Pickard, Robc

doi: 10.1097/MOU.0b013e32833cf4a5
Reconstructive surgery: Edited by Christopher R. Chapple

Purpose of review: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are now recognised as the most appropriate instruments to assess the effectiveness of healthcare interventions from the patient's perspective. The purpose of this review was to identify recent publications describing the use of PROMs following reconstructive urological surgery.

Recent findings: A wide systematic search identified only three original articles published in the last 2 years that prospectively assessed effectiveness using a patient-completed condition-specific or generic health-related quality of life (HRQoL) instrument. These publications illustrate the need to administer PROMs at a postoperative interval relevant to the anticipated recovery phase of individual procedures. They also highlight the difference in responsiveness of generic HRQoL instruments to symptomatic improvement between straightforward conditions such as pelviureteric junction obstruction and complex multidimensional conditions such as meningomyelocele.

Summary: PROMs uptake and awareness is increasing in reconstructive urology but more work is required to demonstrate the effectiveness of surgical procedures for patients and healthcare funders alike. Healthcare policy-makers now rely on these measures to determine whether specific treatments are worth financing and to compare outcomes between institutions.

aDepartment of Urology, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

bAcademic Urology Unit, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK

cInstitute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Correspondence to Matthew Jackson, Department of Urology, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN, UK Tel: +44 191 213 7139; fax: +44 191 213 7127; e-mail: matthewjackson@me.com

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.