The development of a clinical outcomes survey research application: Assessment centerSM

Richard Gershon*, Nan E. Rothrock, Rachel T. Hanrahan, Liz J. Jansky, Mark Harniss, William Riley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Introduction The National Institutes of Health sponsored Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System(PROMIS) aimed to create item banks and computerized adaptive tests (CATs) across multiple domains forindividuals with a range of chronic diseases. Purpose Web-based software was created to enable a researcher to create study-specific Websites that could administer PROMIS CATs and other instruments to research participants or clinical samples. This paper outlines the process used to develop a user-friendly, free, Web-based resource (Assessment CenterSM) for storage, retrieval, organization, sharing, and administration of patient-reported outcomes (PRO) instruments. Methods Joint Application Design (JAD) sessions were conducted with representatives from numerous institutions in order to supply a general wish list of features. Use Cases were then written to ensure that end user expectations matched programmer specifications. Program development included daily programmer "scrum" sessions, weekly Usability Acceptability Testing (UAT) and continuous Quality Assurance (QA) activities pre- and post-release. Results Assessment Center includes features that promote instrument development including item histories, data management, and storage of statistical analysis results. Conclusions This case study of software development highlights the collection and incorporation of user input throughout the development process. Potential future applicationsof Assessment Center in clinical research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-685
Number of pages9
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Health surveys
  • Outcome assessment (health care)
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of life
  • Questionnaires
  • Software
  • Software design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'The development of a clinical outcomes survey research application: Assessment center<sup>SM</sup>'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this