Outcomes Measurement

Evaluating and improving methods for measuring cancer outcomes is critically important for NCI's initiatives to enhance the quality of cancer care, reduce cancer-related health disparities, and better understand the burden of disease on individuals and populations. To assess the current state of the science and to identify priorities for future research and practice, the Applied Research Program (ARP) created the Cancer Outcomes Measurement Working Group (COMWG) to evaluate existing endpoint measures and formulate alternative strategies for valid, reliable, sensitive, and feasible clinical and patient-centered endpoint measures. These measures include health-related quality of life, satisfaction with patient care and health system performance, and the economic burden of cancer. COMWG focuses on the four major disease sites (breast, prostate, colorectal, and lung) across the entire continuum of care.

Another focus of COMWG is improving outcomes measurement through the use of improved statistical methods for identifying clinical meaningful differences and accounting for missing data, and through the tools provided by the field of psychometrics. To that effort, the Applied Research Program has created tutorials and provided references for researchers to learn about psychometric tools and other tools to aid in assessing and developing outcomes measures. Questionnaire Design and Testing provides more information on psychometric tools. To better understand the impact of prostate cancer and its treatment on patient outcomes, the Prostate Cancer Outcomes Study was initiated in 1994 to study practice patterns and health-related quality of life in a large sample of patients in diverse health care settings.

To learn more about what the program is supporting in these areas of research, visit the Outcomes Research Branch Web site.

Last modified:
28 Mar 2007
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