Evolution of Patient-Reported Outcomes and Their Role in Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Trials

Cindy J. Nowinski*, Deborah M. Miller, David Cella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are playing an increasing role in multiple sclerosis (MS) research and practice, and are essential for understanding the effects that MS and MS treatments have on patients’ lives. PROs are captured directly from patients and include symptoms, function, health status, and health-related quality of life. In this article, we review different categories (e.g., generic, targeted, preference-based) of PRO measures and considerations in selecting a measure. The PROs included in MS clinical research have evolved over time, as have the measures used to assess them. We describe findings from recent MS clinical trials that included PROs when evaluating Food and Drug Administration-approved disease-modifying therapies (e.g., daclizumab, teriflunomide). Variation in the measures used in these trials makes it difficult to draw any conclusions from the data. We therefore suggest a standardized approach to PRO assessment in MS research and describe 2 generic, National Institutes of Health-supported measurement systems [Neuro-QoL and the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)] that would facilitate such an approach. The use of PROs in MS care and research is expanding beyond clinical trials, as is demonstrated by examples from comparative effectiveness and other patient-centered research. The importance of PRO assessment is expected to continue to grow in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-944
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Clinical trials
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Patient-reported outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of Patient-Reported Outcomes and Their Role in Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Trials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this