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News

05.14.24

Advancing Women’s Health Research: The Role of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures

Advancing Women’s Health Research: The Role of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures

The healthcare industry has long faced a shortage of impactful research and treatments that specifically target current issues in women’s health, from breast and cervical cancers, to maternal health and menopause-related conditions, to autoimmune diseases and mental health challenges. Making progress on women’s health research requires immediate attention, strategic approaches and innovative instruments that can improve the quality of life for women around the world.

Women need answers now when it comes to their health. Personalized care fueled by patient-first data can help healthcare professionals deliver those answers more effectively. As people and systems evolve, patient perspectives will play a crucial role in advancing clinical research and care initiatives.

One way to collect and apply patient perspectives is through patient-reported outcomes (PROs), health surveys that capture, analyze and interpret the impact and health outcomes of various conditions from a patient’s own point of view. These instruments have the potential to accelerate innovation across therapeutic areas with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) insights that empower women throughout many different types of healthcare experiences.

Learn how PROs are revolutionizing women’s health using patient-first data.

New Advancements in Women’s Health Research

There are significant gaps in women’s health research that are slowly seeing attention through newer initiatives. The Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health conducts and champions scientific research, workshops and initiatives that not only facilitate FDA regulatory decision-making but also further our understanding of health conditions that are unique to women.

The Office of Research on Women’s Health and several NIH institutes and centers recently issued a Notice of Special Interest to encourage more research applications focused on chronic diseases and health conditions that affect women, such as Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune diseases, depressive disorders, gender-based violence, endometriosis and other conditions that manifest differently in women.

These developments represent a concerted effort to understand how diseases and conditions impact women differently, aiming for advancements in treatment and prevention that cater specifically to their needs.

The Potential of Patient-Reported Outcomes

Patient-reported outcome measures can play an important role in achieving the objectives of these larger national initiatives for involved scientists, researchers and physicians. PROs are an essential element in a modern, patient-centric approach, giving women the opportunity to feel seen, heard, understood and educated regarding their personal care. Using data from PRO health surveys can facilitate more strategic women’s health research studies that ultimately revolutionize women’s health.

  • Help Diagnose & Treat Conditions
  • Inform Symptom Management
  • Improve Care Quality
  • Compare Patient Outcomes
  • Boost Patient Satisfaction
  • Support Product Development

Measuring Premenstrual Symptoms

Most women of reproductive age experience discomfort in the menstruation phase of a regular menstrual cycle. Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder are characterized by signs that span physical, emotional, cognitive and social domains. A recent study has also observed a reduction of quality-adjusted life years in those with PMDD.1 With the disease-specific Premenstrual Symptoms Impact Survey™ (PMSIS) PRO health instrument, women can answer questions regarding their experiences to provide real-world data that informs everything from diagnostics and treatment decision-making to product development.

Informing Thyroid Conditions

Integrating PROs into clinical settings can support the treatment of women with thyroid disorders by improving patient-physician communication, enhancing quality of life, highlighting unaddressed health needs and potentially reducing unnecessary outpatient appointments.2 The SF-36v2® Health Survey can facilitate the examination of adults diagnosed with chronic hypoparathyroidism,3 illuminate the impact of benign thyroid diseases and treatments on HRQoL2 or assess quality of life in thyroid cancer.4

Screening for Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a significant health issue affecting women around the world. Yet there may be disparities in cervical cancer screening among women with disabilities. QualityMetric, a leader in PRO health surveys and scientific research, has experience leveraging a patient-first lens to study disparities in cervical cancer screening evident in disability subgroups5 and to investigate the odds of cervical cancer screening using HPV tests by disability type.6

Illuminating Headache Impact

Chronic headaches and migraines can affect many aspects of daily life, including productivity, job performance, personal relationships, and leisure activities. As a neurological, invisible illness, severe head pain experienced by women may not be taken seriously. The Headache Impact Test™ (HIT-6™) captures the impact of headaches, migraines and treatments on functional health and well-being to screen and monitor pain levels, functional limitations, general tiredness, irritation and mood swings.

Finding Industry-Leading PRO Measures

QualityMetric is proud to be a leader in scientifically validated PRO measures and an active participant in industry efforts to increase visibility in women’s health through patient-first insights. Our PRO instruments and scientific consulting work have been instrumental in aiding global research teams as they better understand the patient experience across various qualitative and quantitative research designs and methods.

We remain committed to advancing women’s health research as a trusted partner to scientists and healthcare providers. To learn more about the impact of our work and the ongoing progress in women’s health research, we encourage you to view and share our informative infographic below. Click to view.

Discover QualityMetric’s contributions, and contact us for help leveraging PROs to achieve your own research and care goals.

Elevating Women's Health with PROs Infographic Thumbnail

 

 

References

  1. Yamada K, Kamagata E. Reduction of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) in patients with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Qual Life Res. 2017;26(11):3069-3073. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-017-1642-1
  2. Cramon P, Bjorner J, Groenvold M, et. al. Implementation of thyroid-related patient-reported outcomes in routine clinical practice. Frontiers in endocrinology. 2022;13:1000682. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2022.1000682
  3. Brod M, Waldman LT, Shu AD, Smith A. Content validation of the SF-36v2® Health Survey Acute for use in hypoparathyroidism. Qual Life Res. 2023;32(6):1795-1806. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-023-03352-x
  4. Watt T, Christoffersen T, Brogaard MB, et al. Quality of life in thyroid cancer. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2023;37(1):101732. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beem.2023.101732
  5. Orji AF, Sodeyi MY, Anoke CI, Cevasco KE, Orji BC. Disparities in cervical cancer screening by disability types: A systematic review. J Cancer Educ. 2023;38(3):752-760. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-023-02280-1
  6. Orji AF, Gimm G, Desai A, Parekh T. The association of cervical cancer screening with disability type among u.s. women (aged 25-64 years). Am J Prev Med. 2024;66(1):83-93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2023.08.010