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How is NCI supporting PROMIS?

The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)External Web Site Policy is a publicly available Web-based resource that can be used to measure key health symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) domains such as pain, fatigue, depression, and physical function. These domains are relevant to a variety of chronic diseases, including cancer.

This project represents a significant step forward to improve our understanding of the burden of cancer and to increase our ability to monitor patients' function over time. The measurement tools developed from this project may become the dominant instruments used in all NIH-supported research.

PROMIS is supported under the NIH Common Fund, whose initiatives are aimed at fostering collaborations across the NIH Institutes and Centers in order to improve the clinical research enterprise. The availability of such a powerful resource will allow the Outcomes Research Branch (ORB) to explore collaborative partnerships with other NCI Divisions (e.g., Division of Cancer Prevention, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis) that could benefit from such a patient-monitoring system in clinical trials. It also may be possible to integrate this system with NCI-supported databases such as the SEER registries and the caBIG project to support a variety of research applications.

Outcomes Research staff are actively involved on the PROMIS project with representation on the PROMIS Network Steering Committee and scientific contributions to the development of cancer specific HRQOL domains and development of the analytic plan. ORB also was instrumental in securing NCI funding for several supplemental PROMIS grants that will ensure that this research tool generates high-quality measures of HRQOL relevant to and validated for patients with cancer across the continuum of care. These grants support projects to:

  • increase cancer representation in PROMIS network data collection to incorporate patients with diverse ethnic/racial distributions stratified across the cancer continuum;
  • add cancer-relevant domains (e.g., illness impact, sexual function, sleep/wake function, and perceived cognitive function);
  • identify and address challenges related to PROMIS implementation in multi-center oncology clinical trials;
  • enhance the clinical meaningfulness of the PROMIS reporting system for practicing oncologists; and
  • develop short form instruments for use in NCI-sponsored clinical trials.

Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014