Interpretation of PRO Results

It is important to understand what domain the PROM is measuring and how it is scored in order to be able to utilize it appropriately, especially if your institution will share the results with the patients. Additionally, it essential to be aware of how clinically significant change in scores between patients or within patients over time is defined and analyzed.

In PRO data reporting, minimally important differences (MIDs) represent a specific approach to measure clinical significance. They are defined as “the smallest difference in score in the outcome of interest that informed patients or informed proxies perceive as important.” Although this statistical method may be necessary to utilize when reporting scores, it may vary by population and by context and some PROMs may already have known thresholds or meaningful cut points. Further review of these statistical concepts may be necessary by participants as they utilize PRO data. AJRR's goal was to make participants aware of the issues of PRO data collection and usage. As AJRR’s PRO dataset develops, AJRR will be able to provide more insight on how to report and interpret PROM scores.

Therefore, the three main concepts to think about when interpreting PROM results are:

1. Knowing the domain that is being measured and labeling it correctly (e.g., degree pain interferes with physical activity, global physical health)
2. Understanding the score and the meaning of the score (e.g., provide the mean and indicate the reference population, describe the direction of score)
3. In addition to MIDs, there may also be known thresholds or meaningful cut points (e.g., mild/moderate/severe impairment)

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#4: 2017 Annual Report

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