Interpreting Patient-Reported Outcome Measures

Narrative and the "Fusion of Horizons"


  • Keith Meadows Health Outcomes Insights, Faringdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom



patient-reported outcome measures, mixed methods research, hermeneutics, patient experience


Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are valued in healthcare evaluation for bringing patient perspectives forward, and enabling patient-centered care. The range of evidence permitted by PROMs to measure patients’ quality of life narrowly denies subjective experience. This neglect is rooted in the epistemic assumptions that ground PROMs, and the tension between the standardization (the task of measurement) and the individual and unique circumstances of patients. To counter the resulting methodological shortcomings, this article proposes a hermeutical approach and interpretive phenomenology instead of generic qualitative research methods.


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How to Cite

Meadows, K. (2021). Interpreting Patient-Reported Outcome Measures: Narrative and the "Fusion of Horizons". Philosophy of Medicine, 2(2).