Application of the national institutes of health patient-reported outcome measurement information system (PROMIS) to mental health research

William T. Riley*, Paul Pilkonis, David Cella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Background: The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMISj) is a National Institutes of Health initiative to develop item banks measuring patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and to create and make available a computerized adaptive testing system (CAT) that allows for efficient and precise assessment of PROs in clinical research and practice. Aims of the Study: This paper provides an overview of PROMIS and its application to mental health research. Methods: The PROMIS methodology for item bank development and testing is described, with a focus on the implications of this work for mental health research. Results: Utilizing qualitative item review and state-of-the-art applications of item response theory (IRT), PROMIS investigators have developed, tested, and released item banks measuring physical, mental, and social health components. Ongoing efforts continue to add new item banks and further validate existing banks. Discussion: PROMIS provides item banks measuring several domains of interest to mental health researchers including emotional distress, social function, and sleep. PROMIS methodology also provides a rigorous standard for the development of new mental health measures. Implications for Health Care Provision: Web-based CAT or administration of short forms derived from PROMIS item banks provide efficient and precise dimensional estimates of clinical outcomes that can be utilized to monitor patient progress and assess quality improvement. Implications for Future Research: Use of the dimensional PROMIS metrics (and co-calibration of the PROMIS item banks with existing PROs) will allow comparisons of mental health and related health outcomes across disorders and studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-208+211+214
JournalJournal of Mental Health Policy and Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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