Patient-reported outcome measures in oncology: a qualitative study of the healthcare professional's perspective

C. Graupner*, S.O. Breukink, S. Mul, D. Claessens, A.H.M. Slok, M.L. Kimman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background In the last decades, the number of cancer survivors has increased significantly due to improved treatment and better detection of recurrence. This increased survival redirects the scope from survival towards optimising functional outcomes and improving health-related quality of life (HRQol). Functional and HRQoL outcomes can be assessed with patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). However, the use of PROMs in daily oncological care is not common. This qualitative study investigates the barriers and facilitators of PROM use in an oncological setting, from the perspective of the healthcare professionals (HCPs). Methods Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted among Dutch oncological HCPs. Barriers and facilitators of PROM implementation were identified on various levels of the healthcare system (i.e. level of the patient, individual professional, medical team, and healthcare organisation). Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were manually analysed by two independent reviewers using a thematic approach. Identified barriers and facilitators were categorised into Grol and Wensing's framework for changing healthcare practice. Results Nineteen oncological HCPs working in academic and non-academic hospitals were interviewed. Barriers for PROM implementation were lack of good IT support, lack of knowledge on how to use PROMs, lack of time to complete and interpret PROMs, and a high administrative burden. PROM implementation can be facilitated by providing clear guidance regarding PROM interpretation, evidence that PROMs can save time, and stimulating multidisciplinary teamwork. Conclusion From a HCP point of view, adequately functioning IT technology, sufficient knowledge on PROMs, and dedicated time during the consultation are essential for successful implementation of PROMs in oncological care. Additional local context-specific factors need to be thoroughly addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5253-5261
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Patient-reported outcome measure
  • PROM
  • Caregiver perspectives
  • Oncology
  • Barriers and facilitators
  • Personalised care
  • Implementation science


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