As part of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) created in 2004, The PROMIS Global-10 is a publically available global health assessment tool that allows measurements of symptoms, functioning, and healthcare-related quality of life (HRQoL) for a wide variety of chronic diseases and conditions.
The PROMIS Global-10 short form consists of 10 items that assess general domains of health and functioning including overall physical health, mental health, social health, pain, fatigue, and overall perceived quality of life. The 10 questions of the Global-10 have largely been adapted from other frequently used “legacy” measures such as the SF-36 and EQ-5D. But rather than hitting ‘copy/paste’, the developers of this tool extensively reviewed each of the legacy tool questions, and made modifications that resulted in greater sensitivity and precision than the questions as originally worded.
The scoring system of the PROMIS Global-10 allows each of the individual items to be examined separately to provide specific information about perceptions of physical function, pain, fatigue, emotional distress, social health and general perceptions of health.
A recent study from the PROMIS network has supported derivation of two 4-item summary scores: A Global Physical Health (GPH) score and a Global Mental Health (GMH) score. The GPH and GMH score can be used to arrive at a “bottom-line” summary of health and mental status. GPH and GMH scores can be easily converted to a T-Score metric allowing for comparisons to a general (norm) population. A final useful feature of this measure is the ability to estimate an EQ-5D index score from a linear combination of eight Global-10 items.
When it comes to Gloabl Health Patient-Reported Outcome Measures, the PROMIS Global-10 is the newest of the validated tools available. The legacy tools such as the SF-36 and EQ-5D have 20 years of experience, validation, and testing that trump what’s been done with the Global 10. But that’s not stopping people from using it. It’s quickly becoming the crowd favorite amount clinicians, researchers, payers, and regulatory bodies. Why?
It’s got some serious potential and in the short amount of time it’s been around, it’s proven to be a reliable, sensitive, and an easy to use tool. Plus, it’s free … like 100% free. So in a nutshell, great tool that is validated and free, but may need some more time to fully evaluate its strengths and weaknesses.
PROMIS Global-10 does not require a license.
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