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Currently submitted to: JMIR Perioperative Medicine

Date Submitted: Jul 25, 2019
Open Peer Review Period: Jul 29, 2019 - Sep 23, 2019
(currently open for review)

Benefits and pitfalls of electronic patient reported outcome measures: a systematic review

  • Jill Meirte; 
  • Nick Hellemans; 
  • Mieke Anthonissen; 
  • Lenie Denteneer; 
  • Koen Maertens; 
  • Peter Moortgat; 
  • Ulrike Van Daele; 



Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) are important in clinical practice and research. The growth of (e)-health technologies provide unprecedented opportunities to systematically collect information via PROMs.


The aim of this study was to give an objective and comprehensive overview of the benefits, barriers and pitfalls of digital collection of qualitative data with electronic Patient Reported Outcome Measures (ePROMs).


A systematic review was performed in Pubmed and Web of Science. PRISMA guidelines were followed during all stages. The search strategy yielded a total of 2333 records from which 32 met the predefined in- and exclusion criteria. Relevant ePROM related information from each study was extracted.


Results were clustered in benefits and pitfalls. Reported benefits of ePROMs were a higher patient preference and acceptability, lower costs, equal or faster completion time, better data quality and response rates and facilitated symptom management and patient-clinician communication. Within the included studies tablets seem the most used ePROM modality (44%) and as a platform web-based systems seem (81%) most applied. Aspects to consider as possible pitfalls are privacy protection, a possible initial large financial investment and exclusion of certain populations or ‘digital divide’.


In conclusion the ePROMs offers many advantages over paper administration. Overall, they are preferred more, data quality improves, completion time is equal or faster, costs are lower and clinical decision making and symptom management is facilitated. Disadvantages regarding ePROMs have been mapped and suggestions are stated to counter-act these pitfalls. We provide a path forward for researchers and clinicians interested in implementing ePROMs.


Please cite as:

Meirte J, Hellemans N, Anthonissen M, Denteneer L, Maertens K, Moortgat P, Van Daele U

Benefits and pitfalls of electronic patient reported outcome measures: a systematic review

JMIR Preprints. 25/07/2019:15588

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.15588


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