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      A narrative review of data collection and analysis guidelines for comparative effectiveness research in chronic pain using patient-reported outcomes and electronic health records

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          Abstract

          Chronic pain is a widespread and complex set of conditions that are often difficult and expensive to treat. Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is an evolving research method that is useful in determining which treatments are most effective for medical conditions such as chronic pain. An underutilized mechanism for conducting CER in pain medicine involves combining patient-reported outcomes (PROs) with electronic health records (EHRs). Patient-reported pain and mental and physical health outcomes are increasingly collected during clinic visits, and these data can be linked to EHR data that are relevant to the treatment of a patient’s pain, such as diagnoses, medications ordered, and medical comorbidities. When aggregated, this information forms a data repository that can be used for high-quality CER. This review provides a blueprint for conducting CER using PROs combined with EHRs. As an example, the University of Pittsburgh’s patient outcomes repository for treatment is described. This system includes PROs collected via the Collaborative Health Outcomes Information Registry software and cross-linked data from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center EHR. The requirements, best practice guidelines, statistical considerations, and caveats for performing CER with this type of data repository are also discussed.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Core outcome domains for chronic pain clinical trials: IMMPACT recommendations.

          To provide recommendations for the core outcome domains that should be considered by investigators conducting clinical trials of the efficacy and effectiveness of treatments for chronic pain. Development of a core set of outcome domains would facilitate comparison and pooling of data, encourage more complete reporting of outcomes, simplify the preparation and review of research proposals and manuscripts, and allow clinicians to make informed decisions regarding the risks and benefits of treatment. Under the auspices of the Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials (IMMPACT), 27 specialists from academia, governmental agencies, and the pharmaceutical industry participated in a consensus meeting and identified core outcome domains that should be considered in clinical trials of treatments for chronic pain. There was a consensus that chronic pain clinical trials should assess outcomes representing six core domains: (1) pain, (2) physical functioning, (3) emotional functioning, (4) participant ratings of improvement and satisfaction with treatment, (5) symptoms and adverse events, (6) participant disposition (e.g. adherence to the treatment regimen and reasons for premature withdrawal from the trial). Although consideration should be given to the assessment of each of these domains, there may be exceptions to the general recommendation to include all of these domains in chronic pain trials. When this occurs, the rationale for not including domains should be provided. It is not the intention of these recommendations that assessment of the core domains should be considered a requirement for approval of product applications by regulatory agencies or that a treatment must demonstrate statistically significant effects for all of the relevant core domains to establish evidence of its efficacy.
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            The future of outcomes measurement: item banking, tailored short-forms, and computerized adaptive assessment.

            The use of item banks and computerized adaptive testing (CAT) begins with clear definitions of important outcomes, and references those definitions to specific questions gathered into large and well-studied pools, or "banks" of items. Items can be selected from the bank to form customized short scales, or can be administered in a sequence and length determined by a computer programmed for precision and clinical relevance. Although far from perfect, such item banks can form a common definition and understanding of human symptoms and functional problems such as fatigue, pain, depression, mobility, social function, sensory function, and many other health concepts that we can only measure by asking people directly. The support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as witnessed by its cooperative agreement with measurement experts through the NIH Roadmap Initiative known as PROMIS (www.nihpromis.org), is a big step in that direction. Our approach to item banking and CAT is practical; as focused on application as it is on science or theory. From a practical perspective, we frequently must decide whether to re-write and retest an item, add more items to fill gaps (often at the ceiling of the measure), re-test a bank after some modifications, or split up a bank into units that are more unidimensional, yet less clinically relevant or complete. These decisions are not easy, and yet they are rarely unforgiving. We encourage people to build practical tools that are capable of producing multiple short form measures and CAT administrations from common banks, and to further our understanding of these banks with various clinical populations and ages, so that with time the scores that emerge from these many activities begin to have not only a common metric and range, but a shared meaning and understanding across users. In this paper, we provide an overview of item banking and CAT, discuss our approach to item banking and its byproducts, describe testing options, discuss an example of CAT for fatigue, and discuss models for long term sustainability of an entity such as PROMIS. Some barriers to success include limitations in the methods themselves, controversies and disagreements across approaches, and end-user reluctance to move away from the familiar.
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              Practical and statistical issues in missing data for longitudinal patient-reported outcomes.

              Patient-reported outcomes are increasingly used in health research, including randomized controlled trials and observational studies. However, the validity of results in longitudinal studies can crucially hinge on the handling of missing data. This paper considers the issues of missing data at each stage of research. Practical strategies for minimizing missingness through careful study design and conduct are given. Statistical approaches that are commonly used, but should be avoided, are discussed, including how these methods can yield biased and misleading results. Methods that are valid for data which are missing at random are outlined, including maximum likelihood methods, multiple imputation and extensions to generalized estimating equations: weighted generalized estimating equations, generalized estimating equations with multiple imputation, and doubly robust generalized estimating equations. Finally, we discuss the importance of sensitivity analyses, including the role of missing not at random models, such as pattern mixture, selection, and shared parameter models. We demonstrate many of these concepts with data from a randomized controlled clinical trial on renal cancer patients, and show that the results are dependent on missingness assumptions and the statistical approach. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2019
                24 January 2019
                : 12
                : 491-500
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, wasanad@ 123456upmc.edu
                [2 ]UPMC Pain Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, wasanad@ 123456upmc.edu
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ajay D Wasan, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 5750 Centre Ave, Suite 400, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA, Tel +1 412 665 8048, Fax +1 412 665 8033, Email wasanad@ 123456upmc.edu
                [*]

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                Article
                jpr-12-491
                10.2147/JPR.S184023
                6353217
                © 2019 Dressler et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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