Using PROMs in osteopathic practice

Thank you to Carol Fawkes from NCOR who kindly agreed to write this blog on PROMs:

Many of you will have heard of the term “PROMs” and might have read about the PROM app which has been developed for osteopaths, but what are PROMs and why might they be useful to your practice?

PROM is the acronym for Patient Reported Outcome Measure.  It is “a report coming directly from patients about how they feel or function in relation to a health condition and its therapy without interpretation by healthcare professionals or anyone else” (Patrick et al, 2008).  The osteopathic PROM app has been developed with input from patients and osteopaths: it was developed to be workable for all osteopaths whether in large or single-handed practices.

Why would PROMs be useful in my practice?

To answer this, I would ask you whether you can answer the following questions:

  • What types of patients attend your practice? Do you have a good idea about their age, work status or gender?
  • What is the main reason for your patients seeking treatment at your practice?
  • How satisfied are your patients with your treatment?
  • What is your patients’ experience of osteopathic care?
  • Overall how do your patients rate their change in symptoms since beginning their treatment?

This information is collected in the PROM app, and independent to your practice.   Data from the app will be fed back to you in a summary report.

How would the app work in my practice?

The process for using the app is shown in the flow chart.


An information pack is sent to osteopaths who want to use the app in their practice.  This includes  information sheets which include a code for patients to use.  Other additional information is available if patients request it e.g. instructions on how to download an app.  The app is available for use on Android and Apple (iOS) devices.

Follow up data collection

After the initial questions are completed in the app, patients are emailed two follow up questionnaires.  I have found in my own practice it can be useful to ask patients if they managed to complete the questionnaire.  They can either respond that they don’t wish to, it can be a reminder to them if they have forgotten, or they can flag up if they have had any problems.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Since the PROMs app has been used by osteopaths a range of different questions have evolved.  One of the most frequently asked is around sharing of data.  Data from an individual osteopath will not be shared with anyone else.  More information around FAQs can be found here

Further information

More information around the development of a PROMs app for osteopathy can be found here, or you can contact Carol Fawkes at


Patrick DL, Guyatt GH, Acquadro C on behalf of the Cochrane Patient Reported Outcomes Methods Cochrane Review Group. (2008).  Patient Reported Outcomes.  Ch. 17.


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