Linda E. Carlson, PhD, Discusses Importance of Reliability, Validity in Patient-Reported Outcomes of Pain

An industry leader in psychosocial oncology detailed the importance of patient-reported outcomes to the field as a whole and emphasized a number of key details to remember when examining these end points.

Linda Carlson, PhD, from the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, discussed the emergence of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in the field of oncology, responding to a review article that was published in the journal ONCOLOGY®.

The article, entitled “Patient-Reported Outcomes of Pain and Related Symptoms in Integrative Oncology Practice and Clinical Research: Evidence and Recommendations,” summarized current and validated PROs in regard to cancer-related pain.

The authors, including Iris Zhi, MD, PhD, and Ting Bao, MD, DABMA, MS, of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Xin Shelley Wang, MD, MPH, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, spoke about their research on a recent episode of CancerNetwork's podcast, “Oncology Peer Review On-The-Go.”

Carlson focused her attention on the review article, specifically on the importance of reliability and validity of PROs as well as their emergence into mainstream oncology.

“First of all, I’m just happy to see that mainstream oncology is embracing this field of patient-reported outcomes and really listening to the patient experience, especially when we’re talking about something like pain, which is a personal experience,” explained Carlson. “There’s no scan you can do or measure pain without talking to the person about their experience. It’s innately an internal experience that there’s no other way to get at.”