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PROs: Why They Matter

To conduct high-quality clinical trials and provide truly patient-centered clinical care, it is critical to understand patients’ experience. That is why it is valuable to obtain patients’ perspectives about their symptoms, functioning, and well-being.

A patient-reported outcome (PRO) is any report of the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or anyone else. In other words, PROs are patients’ own reports of how they feel, function, live their lives, and survive.

PROs In Clinical Trials

PROs are now considered a central component in the design and conduct of clinical trials, based on a robust international scientific consensus.

Symptoms, side effects, quality of life, and other PRO data can be more detailed and specific than other data (such as performance-based, clinician-reported, or observer-reported data), and can yield unanticipated insights and considerable research value.

In clinical trial design, researchers today are likely to be asked, “Why aren’t you using PROs?”

Explore the PROTEUS-Trials section here.

PROs In Clinical Practice

PROs uniquely provide the patients’ perspective on their symptoms, functioning, and well-being. When individual patients’ PROs are collected as part of routine care, the PRO data can provide complementary information to clinical exams, laboratory tests, and imaging studies to monitor how patients are doing and inform their care.

Research has shown that using PROs in clinical practice enhances patient-clinician communication, improves problem detection and management, may lead to greater efficiency, and produces better symptoms, quality of life, and survival.

Explore the PROTEUS-Practice section here.

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