Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) facilitate anonymous feedback from patients enabling osteopaths to check how patients respond to osteopathic treatment by asking:
- How patients feel before treatment
- How patients feel one week after treatment
- How patients feel six weeks after treatment.
Being aware of this information can help osteopaths to enhance their treatments and learn more about the effectiveness of the treatments that they are providing.
The National Council for Clinical Research (NCOR) has launched a service available to all osteopaths and their adult patients nationally enabling patients to provide their feedback easily and quickly to NCOR.
NCOR will analyse the data and provide a report to individual osteopaths. Reflection on that report enables the osteopath to both enhance their practice and to meet the ‘objective activity’ requirement of the CPD scheme.
Participating in PROMs will also support the osteopathic profession to develop a more robust evidence base for treatment. The more osteopaths that participate, the better the evidence base will be.
What questions are patients asked to answer?
NCOR are using the Bournemouth patient questionnaire which is available at: http://www.aecc.ac.uk/cdn/Research/Publications/BQ%20ONLY%20(MSK).pdf
There are seven questions rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Patients are asked to rate responses to levels of pain, levels of interference in daily activities, levels of interference in social activities, levels of anxiety, levels of depression, the effect of work and the ability to self-manage pain.
Prior to treatment
Patients are asked to provide:
- Anonymous demographic information including age, sex, work status and ethnicity
- Duration of current symptoms
- General Health Status
- Waiting time to first appointment
- Main reason for seeking treatment
- Main areas affected by symptoms
- Bournemouth Questionnaire scores
Follow up at one week:
- Patient satisfaction of osteopathic care
- Patient experience of osteopathic care
- Change in patients’ global health status(how they are feeling as a result of treatment)
- Patient’s change in symptoms using Bournemouth Questionnaire
Follow up at six weeks
Patients are asked to provide:
- Patients satisfaction with osteopathic care
- Patients’ experience of osteopathic care
- Change in patient’s global health status
- Patients’ change in symptoms using the Bournemouth Questionnaire
- Total number of treatments received.
When do I receive a report from NCOR
When NCOR have received completed data sets (completed before treatment, one week and six weeks post treatment) from 25 patients, they will send you a report. This ensures that individual patients are not identified.
NCOR will also use your anonymous and aggregated data to develop the evidence base for osteopathy. You will not be identified, but will be contributing to the development of the profession.
How do I collect patient reported outcome measures?
What preparation is required?
- First, you need to register with NCOR so that they can give you the information to give to your patients. In order to do this, you should contact Carol Fawkes at: This can be done either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by telephone (07494059509). You will receive the information that you need to start in around one week.
You will receive:
- Information sheets to send out to your patients before their first treatment with you. The information sheets explain the purpose of the project and provide assurance of confidentiality to the patient and explain how the information that they provide will be used. The information sheets also explain how patients can provide the information (either via a website or via an app for most smart phones). Contact details are also provided for patients to contact if they have any questions or difficulties in providing data.
- Codes for you and your patients to use.
- You will be asked to give information to each of your new adult patients.
- Consider how you will send information to patients in advance of their treatment with you. For example, you may send the information about PROMs to patients along with your practice leaflet and any other information that you send to patients in advance.
- As well as sending information in advance, consider publicising the study in your waiting room with a poster or other information to encourage patients to provide the feedback. (NCOR can help with this).
On the day
- You will not know which patients have decided to participate in the NCOR PROMS.
- At the beginning or end of your consultations, consider asking your receptionist to tell patients that you are participating in a national study about the quality of osteopathic treatment to enhance your practice. And consider asking patients to feed back anonymously via the website or the app about their experience of treatment with you should they wish to do so.
After the event
- NCOR will contact you when they have received the minimum number of data sets.
- When you receive the report, reflect on the results. Patient experience questionnaires can be used to show a quality service, and they may also identify areas where you could improve or enhance your practice further.
- Consider how the results confirm what is going well and identify areas of strength.
- Consider any areas for further development. Consider how might the results help you to enhance your practice further. Consider discussing this with a colleague – or consider asking patients generally what you could do to enhance a particular part of your practice. (Do be aware that some patients are concerned about providing direct feedback in case it affects the quality of care given to them). You may find it helpful to use one of the reflection templates (including the Objective Activity Reflection Sheet) available at the annex:
- You may find it helpful to develop an Action Plan which identifies what you might do differently. You may find it helpful to speak to a colleague – perhaps your selected ‘peer’ (who will sign off your peer discussion review) – about this.
Consider re-doing the questionnaires in a few months time to see if the changes you made to your practice enhance the results of your patient feedback.
You can also download this information as a pdf, along with a sample Objective activity reflection sheet and action plan.