Benefits of and barriers to using patient-rated outcome measures in athletic training

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Journal of Athletic Training


Context: Patient-rated outcome measures (PROMs) are important for driving treatment decisions and determining treatment effectiveness. However, athletic trainers (ATs) rarely use them; understanding why may facilitate strategies for collection of these outcomes. Objective: To identify the benefits of and barriers to using PROMs in athletic training. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Web-based survey. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 1469 randomly sampled ATs (age = 36.8 ± 9.8 years; 48% female) working in the college/university, 2-year institution, secondary school, clinic, hospital, or industrial/occupational setting. Intervention(s): An e-mail was sent to ATs inviting them to complete a survey regarding the use, benefits, and barriers of PROMs. Athletic trainers who indicated they used PROMs (ATPRs) completed 65 questions about the benefits of and barriers to their use. Athletic trainers who indicated no use of PROMs (AT-NONs) completed 21 questions about barriers of use. Main Outcome Measure(s): Dependent variables were the endorsements for the benefits of and barriers to the use of PROMs. Results: A total of 458 ATs initiated the survey and 421 (AT-PR = 26%, AT-NON = 74%) completed it (response rate = 28.7%). The most frequently endorsed benefits by AT-PRs were enhancing communication with patients (90%) and other health care professionals (80%), directing patient care (87%), and increasing examination efficiency (80%). The most frequently endorsed barriers by AT-PRs were that PROMs are time consuming (44%), difficult (36%), and confusing (31%) for patients and time consuming for clinicians to score and interpret (29%). The most frequently endorsed problems by ATNONs were that PROMs are time consuming for clinicians to score and interpret (31%), time consuming (46%) and irrelevant to patients (28%), and lacking a support structure for clinicians (29%). Conclusions: These results suggest that, although benefits to using PROMs exist, there are also barriers. Barriers are similar for AT-PRs and AT-NONs. Strategies to decrease barriers and facilitate the use of PROMs warrant investigation.

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