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Outcome Measures in Adult Spine Surgery

How Do We Identify the Outcomes of Greatest Utility for Research?

Slattery, Casey, BS; Verma, Kushagra, MD, MS

doi: 10.1097/BSD.0000000000000773

The goal of any surgical intervention in spine surgery is to restore function, relieve pain, and improve quality of life. Traditional assessments of patient outcomes failed to accurately reflect patient’s quality of life improvement. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) were designed to translate the patients perceived health into quantitative data. The data can help providers gauge the severity of a condition, develop a treatment plan, and follow the patient over time to determine treatment efficacy. Both in clinical practice and research, PROMs are helpful in comparing treatment options and advancing the field of spine surgery. This article discusses the utility and reliability of patient-reported outcomes, utilization in research, and provides examples of the most widely utilized PROMs in spine surgery.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Casey Slattery, BS, University of Washington SOM, 1959 NE Pacific St., Seattle, WA 98195 (e-mail:

Received January 5, 2018

Accepted November 26, 2018

© 2019 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.