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Director's Message: Research Tools for Patient-Reported Outcomes

September 9, 2014

In a new NINR Director’s Message, Dr. Patricia Grady discusses powerful new tools that can be used to advance nursing science.

“Today, more people are living with chronic illnesses and the adverse symptoms that result from them,” Dr. Grady said in her message. “New advances in genomics and other fields have allowed scientists to better understand the symptoms of chronic illness, such as pain, fatigue, and disordered sleep.”

With support from the NIH, new tools are being developed to assess symptoms and health-related quality of life. As examples, Dr. Grady described PROMIS®, the NIH Toolbox, and NeuroQOL. The Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) is a set of tools used in the assessment of patient-reported health status, including measures of physical, mental, and social well–being. The NIH Toolbox and NeuroQOL are additional tools that focus on neurological function and behavior. Like PROMIS®, they use state-of-the-art psychometric approaches, as well as psychometrically-robust computer adaptive testing (CAT), and are adaptable to advances in measurement and technology.

“NINR encourages investigators to explore these powerful new tools and the opportunities to incorporate them into study designs to further symptom science, self-management, wellness, and end-of-life and palliative care research,” Dr. Grady concluded.

To read the full Director’s Message, visit

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