John D. McCormick J Am Acad Orthop Surg February 2013 ; 21 Abstract
The ultimate goals of intervention for spinal pathology are to improve the patients quality of life, restore function, and relieve pain. Traditional clinician-based assessments typically fall short of adequately addressing these important outcomes because these assessments are inherently biased and may not describe patients perception of their state of health. Patient-reported outcome measures have been developed to obtain quantitative data regarding general health quality, function, and pain. These data can aid the clinician in stratifying the severity of the disorder to formulate an appropriate treatment plan. This information also can be followed over time to assess treatment efficacy. Patient-reported outcome measures have become increasingly important with increased scrutiny of quality of care. Given the increasing importance and use of patient-reported outcome measures, knowledge regarding proper implementation of these tools is essential for accurate assessment of general health quality, function, and pain.