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February 26, 2020

Challenges in Understanding, Scoring, and Comparing Patients’ Reports

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA Dermatol. 2020;156(4):369-370. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.4658

Outcomes researchers who work with patients’ reports (often called patient-reported outcomes, or PROs) are accustomed to skepticism.1 For example, although the measurement of PROs is based on decades of quantitative social science research, other scientists may doubt that patients’ reports can be measured accurately. Similarly, quantitative scores of PRO tools are often unfamiliar, and clinicians may question whether PROs are useful to inform decision-making or improve care.

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