Since the PROM project began, a series of developmental stages have been undertaken. The app was developed through qualitative work involving patients (n=22), and clinicians including osteopaths, physiotherapists, and chiropractors (n=46). A systematic review to investigate the measurement properties of different PROMs was conducted also. The findings from these research studies informed the content of the app for piloting.
Piloting of the app
Piloting of the app took place over a period of 18 months. This process, involving osteopaths in private practice, and clinics attached to osteopathic educational institutions, was undertaken to investigate key elements of the app’s performance. These elements included feasibility – would using the app work in private practices, reliability – how the PROMs behaved in an electronic format, and responsiveness – would the PROMs detect change in the symptoms of patients attending osteopathic practices. At the end of the pilot process, the app underwent some small refinements and is now available for use by the osteopathic profession.
Osteopaths are naturally concerned that patients won’t want to fill out questionnaires or that older patients won’t fill out online surveys. The opposite was found to be true, with 90% of patients stating that it was very important to them to be given the opportunity to provide feedback about their experience to their osteopath.
PROM data collection in osteopathic practice
A total of 326 osteopaths are currently enrolled in the PROM data collection programme in the United Kingdoms (correct as of March 2019). The PROM app has undergone further development: patients can now complete a questionnaire for themselves or for their children to allow adult and paediatric data to be collected. A pilot study has been completed involving osteopaths in Europe where the app content has been translated into French, German, and Dutch (Flemish). Further development work will be taking place throughout the next eighteen months involving osteopaths in France, Greece, Spain, Sweden, and Norway.
This pilot study is supported by the European Federation and Forum for Osteopathy.