Outcomes Research Branch Areas of Research
- Health-related Quality of Life Assessment & Application
- Instrument Development & Testing for Quality of Life Measurement
- Patient-Centered Care & Communication
- Quality of Care
Health-related Quality of Life Assessment & Application
A main objective of the Outcomes Research Branch is to enhance the conceptualization and measurement of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and to increase the application of HRQOL data for decision-making in research, practice, and policy. Within the context of cancer outcomes research, HRQOL can be understood as including physical and psychosocial well-being that are affected by cancer and its treatments as perceived by individuals throughout the cancer care continuum.
Instrument Development & Testing for Quality of Life Measurement
For outcomes research to achieve its potential to enhance care delivery, one prerequisite is that outcome measures must be psychometrically sound and relevant to decisions (Lipscomb, Donaldson, and Hyatt, 2004).Instrument development and testing examines how innovations in psychometric science can enhance the ability for patient-reported outcomes measures to affect decision-making in cancer research. Outcomes Research staff are involved in this area of research in several ways.
Patient-Centered Care & Communication
Patient-centeredness is increasingly being recognized as a critical indicator of high-quality health care delivery. Two attributes are considered central to the delivery of patient-centered care: being responsive to patient needs and incorporating the patient's perspective and experiences in care planning and decision-making.
The Outcomes Research Branch facilitates research aimed at improving methods for assessing, monitoring, and improving patient-centered care across the cancer continuum. A specific priority is research on patient-centered communication between cancer patients/survivors, their family members, and health care delivery teams.
Quality of Care
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines quality of care as "the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge." In 1999, the IOM issued Ensuring Quality Cancer Care, a report that documented significant gaps in the quality of cancer care in the United States.
To enhance our ability to address these gaps, the Outcomes Research Branch supports several research initiatives aimed at understanding the determinants of the quality of cancer care, and developing, improving, and implementing quality measures.
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013