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Measuring patient outcome using data capture by mobile app

The use of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) to measure effectiveness of care, and supporting patient management is being advocated increasingly in clinical and research settings. Current patient data capture involves completion of paper questionnaires which is costly and environmentally challenging. New innovations are required to balance the challenges of introducing data capture directly from patients while considering budgets, access to Information Technology, and the capability to use technological devices.

The development of content for a mobile and web app for capturing PROM data has been informed by two qualitative studies, and a systematic review. The qualitative studies involved interviews and focus groups with patients and clinicians (osteopaths) concerning their views on using PROMs in clinical practice, and a selection of specific PROMs. The systematic review compared the measurement properties of three PROMs (the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire, the Oswestry Disability Index, and the Bournemouth Questionnaire).

Patients (N=18) have been enthusiastic about using PROMs in practice welcoming the opportunity to provide feedback, and undaunted by use of technology. It was shown to be important to include PROMs with numerical scales, and text descriptions of symptoms. Clinicians (N=30) also recognised the value of PROMs and the importance of outcome data being collected independently of their clinics. However, there were some concerns. Patients wanted clarity concerning the use of data, and to whom it would be accessible. In addition patients were concerned about the potential disruption to the consultation process. Clinicians were concerned about fitting the collection of PROM data into the consultation process, and how this could affect the relationship with patients.

The findings of these three studies have informed the development of a mobile and web app. Both apps are currently being piloted in private and training clinics for osteopaths.

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Correspondence to Carol Fawkes.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Fawkes, C., Froud, R. & Carnes, D. Measuring patient outcome using data capture by mobile app. Trials 16 (Suppl 1), P27 (2015).

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