Exploring the feasibility of implementing an online patient reported outcome measure for patients attending private physiotherapy treatment in the UK

Shemane Murtagh, Liz Bryant, George Olivier, Sandy Lewis

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    Background: The benefits of collecting patient reported outcome measure (PROM) data in routine practice are well known however challenges including technical and logistical barriers have limited adoption. Having the means to collect and match PROM data, independently reported by patients, with practitioner-reported data can provide useful unbiased information for physiotherapists to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of their service. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility and implementation of an online PROM for patients attending private physiotherapy treatment, with a view to match the PROM data with practitioner-data captured in clinic. This study was nested within a larger national online standardised data collection project across private physiotherapy practices in the UK, namely the Physio First: Data for Impact (DfI) project. Methods: Physiotherapists participating in the DfI project were provided the opportunity for their patients to use an online PROM. The validated Brighton musculoskeletal Patient Reported Outcome Measure (BmPROM) was set up online for patients to complete independently. Physiotherapists were provided with a unique login code, a link to access the BmPROM and simple instructions which they passed onto their patients. Patients were asked to complete the BmPROM once pre-treatment and once post-treatment. When accessing the BmPROM, patients were asked to enter their gender, the first two letters of their first name, first two letters of their surname and age prior to completing the BmPROM. These series of data points allowed for DfI data and BmPROM data to be matched whilst also ensuring patient anonymity. BmPROM data was collected over a period of five months. As part of the DfI project physiotherapists recorded data including patient details, diagnosis, body site & symptoms, treatment and discharge information (i.e. outcome of referral and goal achievement). Results: Forty-three private physiotherapists participated in the study. A total of 681 BmPROM data entries were downloaded, consisting of 526 pre-treatment and 155 post-treatment. Of the 526 pre-treatment BmPROM data entries, 104 (19.7%) were matched with corresponding post-treatment BmPROM. Of the 104 completed BmPROM data entries (i.e. completed pre-treatment and post-treatment), 74 (71.2%) of these data sets were successfully matched with the DfI data collected in clinic by the physiotherapist. Conclusions: The implementation of an online version of the BmPROM into private physiotherapy in the UK has provided empirical insight into the ability to collect patient reported outcomes and match it with data collected in-clinic. The use of a series of data points collected from the patient was demonstrated as a means of reducing logistical challenges for matching patient-reported data with practitioner-reported DfI data, whilst ensuring patient privacy. Ensuring that patients complete the online BmPROM post-treatment remains a challenge. In future collection of online PROM data we would recommend the use of additional prompts for patients by practitioners on completion of treatment to increase response rates post-treatment. Implications: Implementation of the online BmPROM provided suitable means to enable PROM data to be collected routinely by private physiotherapy practitioners. PROM data can be used by the practitioners to help demonstrate the effectiveness of their treatment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    EventWorld Confederation of Physical Therapy 2019: WCPT 2019 - Palexpo Geneve, Geneva, Switzerland
    Duration: 11 May 201913 May 2019


    ConferenceWorld Confederation of Physical Therapy 2019
    Abbreviated titleWCPT 2019
    Internet address


    • patient reported outcome measures
    • Standardised data collection
    • Physiotherapy
    • Musculoskeletal


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