The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS): progress of an NIH Roadmap cooperative group during its first two years

David Cella, Susan Yount, Nan Rothrock, Richard Gershon, Karon Cook, Bryce Reeve, Deborah Ader, James F Fries, Bonnie Bruce, Mattias Rose
Medical Care 2007, 45 (5 Suppl 1): S3-S11

BACKGROUND: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Roadmap initiative ( is a 5-year cooperative group program of research designed to develop, validate, and standardize item banks to measure patient-reported outcomes (PROs) relevant across common medical conditions. In this article, we will summarize the organization and scientific activity of the PROMIS network during its first 2 years.

DESIGN: The network consists of 6 primary research sites (PRSs), a statistical coordinating center (SCC), and NIH research scientists. Governed by a steering committee, the network is organized into functional subcommittees and working groups. In the first year, we created an item library and activated 3 interacting protocols: Domain Mapping, Archival Data Analysis, and Qualitative Item Review (QIR). In the second year, we developed and initiated testing of item banks covering 5 broad domains of self-reported health.

RESULTS: The domain mapping process is built on the World Health Organization (WHO) framework of physical, mental, and social health. From this framework, pain, fatigue, emotional distress, physical functioning, social role participation, and global health perceptions were selected for the first wave of testing. Item response theory (IRT)-based analysis of 11 large datasets supplemented and informed item-level qualitative review of nearly 7000 items from available PRO measures in the item library. Items were selected for rewriting or creation with further detailed review before the first round of testing in the general population and target patient populations.

CONCLUSIONS: The NIH PROMIS network derived a consensus-based framework for self-reported health, systematically reviewed available instruments and datasets that address the initial PROMIS domains. Qualitative item research led to the first wave of network testing which began in the second year.

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