Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) are tools that can be used by therapists to capture information about the services they provide, from the perspective of the client.
There are a number of different types of PROMs but most are in the form of a simple questionnaire, which is completed during the consultation process and can help to monitor change between treatments. For example, the client might be asked to choose one or two current concerns they have, and then rate these on a scale of 0 to 6. Depending on the individual, this could be the level of pain they are experiencing, or something else that is affecting their health, wellbeing or quality of life.
By recording this data, therapists can assess the changes in clients over time or after a specific number of treatments. This can help to provide evidence that a treatment plan is having the desired effect or, conversely, indicate that it may not be the most appropriate course of action for the client’s presenting problem.
The 2019 FHT member survey showed that 15% of FHT members are already using PROMs to monitor client or patient progress. Many of these therapists work in hospices, hospitals and other healthcare settings, where PROMs are often used to evaluate a complementary therapy service and hopefully demonstrate its value to those accessing treatment.
As a long-standing corporate member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare (PGIH), the FHT is supportive of the recommendation in its recently published Integrated Health report that ‘Complementary, traditional and natural healthcare associations should take steps to educate and advise their members about the use of Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profiles (MYMOP), and patient outcome measures should be collated by an independent central resource to identify for what conditions patients are seeking treatment, and with what outcomes’.
At present, the Research Council for Complementary Medicine is in discussions with the PGIH regarding independently collating and analysing patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) data gathered from members of complementary therapy associations, including the FHT.
The FHT will keep its members updated of any progress in future communications and at the 2019 FHT Conference at The King’s Fund, London, this November (see below).
Learn more about patient reported outcome measures at the 2019 FHT Conference
Dr John Hughes will be providing an overview of patient reported outcome measures at this year’s FHT Conference, including different types of PROMs that are client and therapist-friendly, the contexts where these can be used, benefits and limitations of PROMs, and how the data can be used to evaluate treatments and further integrated healthcare.
John is director of research for the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, UCLH NHS Trust, and co-chair of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine (RCCM). He is also a visiting fellow within the Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, University of Southampton, and works closely with the World Health Organisation on the subject of traditional medicine.