Patient-reported outcomes are among the most prominent types of clinical outcome assessments employed in research. These measures provide vital medical data based on a patient report, which is given directly by the patient. In fact, the official definition claims that “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” can be classified as a patient-reported outcome (“Patient-reported outcomes,” 2018).
Since health-related information comes directly from the subject, patient-reported outcomes can be widely used in research and practice. From measuring emotional well-being to evaluating physical conditions, such as alcohol cravings, these objective behavioral measures are crucial indicators in medicine (Deshpande et al., 2011). As these reports reveal symptoms that are known only to the subject, patient-reported outcomes can explore metrics that lab tests may miss. On top of that, patient-reported outcomes can be used across various domains and diseases. Therefore, they can help experts understand the impact a disease or a new treatment may have on subjects, families, and societies. Last but not the least – due to the strict ethical and inclusion criteria in research – patient-reported outcomes can also be used to determine which subjects can participate in a clinical trial. Patient-reported outcomes facilitate communication and empower patients.