Implementing PROMS for elective surgery patients: feasibility, response rate, degree of recovery and patient acceptability

Natasha K. Brusco, Victoria Atkinson, Jeffrey Woods, Paul S. Myles, Anita Hodge, Cathy Jones, Damien Lloyd, Vincent Rovtar, Amanda M. Clifford, Meg E. Morris

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Background: Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) engage patients in co-evaluation of their health and wellbeing outcomes. This study aimed to determine the feasibility, response rate, degree of recovery and patient acceptability of a PROM survey for elective surgery. Methods: We sampled patients with a broad range of elective surgeries from four major Australian hospitals to evaluate (1) feasibility of the technology used to implement the PROMs across geographically dispersed sites, (2) response rates for automated short message service (SMS) versus email survey delivery formats, (3) the degree of recovery at one and four weeks post-surgery as measured by the Quality of Recovery 15 Item PROM (QoR-15), and (4) patient acceptability of PROMS based on survey and focus group results. Feasibility and acceptability recommendations were then co-designed with stakeholders, based on the data. Results: Over three months there were 5985 surveys responses from 20,052 surveys (30% response rate). Feasibility testing revealed minor and infrequent technical difficulties in automated email and SMS administration of PROMs prior to surgery. The response rate for the QoR-15 was 34.8% (n = 3108/8919) for SMS and 25.8% (n = 2877/11,133) for email. Mean QoR-15 scores were 122.1 (SD 25.2; n = 1021); 113.1 (SD 27.7; n = 1906) and 123.4 (SD 26.84; n = 1051) for pre-surgery and one and four weeks post-surgery, respectively. One week after surgery, 825 of the 1906 responses (43%) exceeded 122.6 (pre-surgery average), and at four weeks post-surgery, 676 of the 1051 responses (64%) exceeded 122.6 (pre-surgery average). The PROM survey was highly acceptable with 76% (n = 2830/3739) of patients rating 8/10 or above for acceptability. Fourteen patient driven recommendations were then co-developed. Conclusion: Administering PROMS electronically for elective surgery hospital patients was feasible, acceptable and discriminated changes in surgical recovery over time. Patient co-design and involvement provided innovative and practical solutions to implementation and new recommendations for implementation. Trial Registration and Ethical Approval ACTRN12621000298819 (Phase I and II) and ACTRN12621000969864 (Phase III). Ethics approval has been obtained from La Trobe University (Australia) Human Research Ethics Committee (HEC20479). Key points: Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) help to engage patients in understanding their health and wellbeing outcomes. This study aimed to determine how patients feel about completing a PROM survey before and after elective surgery, and to develop a set of recommendations on how to roll out the survey, based on patient feedback. We found that implementing an electronic PROM survey before and after elective surgery was relatively easy to do and was well accepted by patients. Consumer feedback throughout the project enabled co-design of innovative and practical solutions to PROM survey administration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Patient-Reported Outcomes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Acceptability
  • Co-design
  • Consumer
  • Feasibility
  • Hospital
  • Implementation science
  • Patient reported outcome measure (PROM)
  • Quality of recovery
  • Safety

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