Study by Joan Broderick, PhD and Colleagues Demonstrates Applicability of PROMIS Measures in Osteoarthritis

A longitudinal study conducted by Joan Broderick, PhD, Arthur Stone, PhD,  and colleagues validated the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) for research studies of patients with osteoarthritis and took a step toward facilitating their use in clinical treatment.

PROMIS is an initiative by the National Institutes of Health “to create a system of highly reliable, valid, flexible, precise, and responsive assessment tools that measure patient–reported health status.” Researchers at several universities, including Stony Brook, have validated sets of survey items that measure pain, fatigue, and other subjective experiences. The initial focus of PROMIS was to validate the item banks and describe the distribution of responses in the general population. This study and others like it are aimed at testing the validity of the measures in disease-specific populations, establishing normative data for specific populations and exploring the feasibility of introducing PROMIS measures into clinical practice.

Dr. Broderick and her colleagues analyzed the responses of 100 people with osteoarthritis to questions about pain, fatigue, physical functioning and pain interference, and compared them to the responses of 100 people representing the general population of the United States. In each of the four domains, the mean scores of participants with osteoarthritis were significantly higher than scores of the general population.

The researchers also tested the validity of computer adaptive test (CAT) instruments administered once a week for 4 weeks. When they compared results from them to results obtained from standard short-form item banks administered daily over the same time period, they found that while mean scores from the CAT instruments were systematically higher than those obtained from standard item banks, the differences between the scores in the osteoarthritis population and the general population were the same using either method. The CAT instruments are preferable because they make it possible to obtain the same information with fewer questions.

Stefan Schneider, PhD, Doerte Junghaenel, PhD, and Joseph Schwartz, PhD co-authored the article which was accepted and published on line in Arthritis Care & Research on April 16, 2013. The article is titled “Validity and Reliability of Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Instruments in Osteoarthritis.” The study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.