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In this post, Elizabeth Gibbons gives us a breakdown of the 2nd National CLAHRC  Patient Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMs) Research Conference, held in Oxford on the 8th of June at St Anne's College.


In the UK there are many PROMs events, however until last year there were no national researcher-led activities on methodologies around development, testing and use of PROMs in different contexts and settings. Following the success of the inaugural national PROMS research conference (June 2016) hosted by Professor John Brazier, YH CLAHRC University of Sheffield, the 2nd conference was organised.

The event was organised by a scientific committee comprised of Professor John Brazier (ScHARR and NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber theme lead); Professor Ray Fitzpatrick (Theme Lead, CLAHRC Oxford and Nuffield Department of Population Health), Elizabeth Gibbons, and Caroline Potter (Nuffield Department of Population Health, Oxford and NIHR CLAHRC Oxford); Professor Jose M Valderas, (Exeter and NIHR CLAHRC Peninsula).

The following six CLAHRCs provided crucial funding and support: Oxford, Yorkshire and Humber, South West Peninsula, East of England, West and West Midlands.  It was also endorsed by the International Society of Quality of Life.

The role of CLAHRCs was prominently displayed both in advance publicity and on the day.  It was made clear that it was an NIHR CLAHRC event.

The format for the event was of parallel sessions with presentations in the morning followed by a more substantive session in the afternoon with two plenary presentations on Using Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) in cancer care, Professor Galina Velikova and The National Institutes of Health Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS): a view from the UK, Professor Jose M Valderas.

There was time for Q&As about each presentation and a concluding discussion on the direction of PROMs research, Professor Ray Fitzpatrick. Seventy-seven abstracts were submitted for consideration and from these, n=36 oral presentations and 39 poster presentations were selected. Twenty-five PhD students presented their work (n=9 oral, n=16 poster).

Twelve reviewers volunteered to peer review and score abstracts and chair a parallel session; most representing the supporting CLAHRCs.

143 registrations were received, including 20 free PhD places. The attendees principally were researchers and clinicians leading and involved in all aspects of PROMs research. Other delegates were represented from industry, pharma and research consultancy organisations.

The journal Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, Biomed Central will be publishing the 38 abstracts from the conference with open access at no cost. This is expected to be published this month (October 2017).

So, how did the day go?

AUDIENCEWe were pleased to see there was substantial engagement on Twitter during and after the conference.

Informal feedback was extremely positive with encouragement for continuation in the future. Delegates commented on the relevance of the themes of topics presented in the programme, high quality of research presented and focus on the NHS. The broad range of methodological research and clinical applications were reported as excellent. Furthermore, it was viewed as a significant example of cross-CLAHRC collaboration.

There were useful suggestions for future conferences in relation to minor practical issues with some delegates suggesting that a two-day conference might address these. Examples included: difficulty in choosing an oral session to attend because of the number of sessions; more time for poster viewing.

Thirty-two Post-event questionnaires were completed and returned to KC Jones conference & events at the event. The relevant information obtained via a feedback form, issued to the delegates in their registration packs.

Delegate feedback

General feedback:

  • 94% of delegates rated the Online registration process as excellent or good
  • 93% of delegates rated the Pre Event Assistance as excellent or good
  • 97% of delegates rated the Range of topics as excellent or good
  • 94% of delegates rated the Programme format as excellent or good
  • 100% of delegates rated the Management of the event as excellent or good
  • 97% of delegates rated the Venue as excellent or good
  • 84% of delegates rated the Catering as excellent or good

Plenary Session:


  • 68% of delegates said that Using Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) in cancer care, Professor Galina Velikova was very useful to them
  • 70% of delegates said that The National Institutes of Health Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS): a view from the UK, Professor Jose M Valderas was very useful to them
  • 47% of delegates said that General discussion: Directions in PROMs research was very useful to them

Parallel Sessions:

  • 68% of delegates said that Parallel Sessions were very useful to them

The conference overall:

  • 72% of delegates said that The Conference was very useful to them

Next steps

It is clear that there continues to be firm commitment from delegates supporting a future event.

Professor Melanie Calvert, University of Birmingham, a key PROMs researcher in the UK and internationally recognised, has agreed to host the event in June 2018. We will be seeking support from the CLAHRCs again in order to keep fees down, particularly for PhD students ensure the NHS focus of the event.  

Professor Ray Fitzpatrick, NIHR CLAHRC Oxford, University of Oxford

Professor John Brazier, NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber, University of Sheffield

Elizabeth Gibbons, Senior Research Scientist NIHR CLAHRC, Oxford, University of Oxford


Click here to find out more about CLAHRC Oxfords PROMS research.

Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not of the NIHR CLAHRC Oxford, the NIHR, the NHS or the Department of Health.

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