Most-Cited Patient-Reported Outcome Measures Within Otolaryngology - Revisiting the Minimal Clinically Important Difference: A Review

Andrew M. Peterson, Brevin Miller, Patrick Ioerger, Firas Hentati, Michelle M. Doering, Dorina Kallogjeri, Jay F. Piccirillo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Importance: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) allow clinicians and researchers to assess health-related information from a patient's perspective. These measures have been used more frequently over the last several decades, but an associated minimal clinically important difference (MCID) is needed to optimize their utility. This narrative review identified the top 100 most-cited otolaryngology-related PROM development and validation publications and assessed the presence and characteristics of the PROMs' associated MCID. Observations: In this narrative review, a literature search in Scopus and Web of Science was conducted on June 29, 2022, using keywords related to PROM development and validation studies in otolaryngology and reference lists. Studies that met the definition of a PROM and assessed an otolaryngologic disorder or study population were included for full-text review. After full-text review of 188 articles, the top 100 most-cited PROM development and validation publications, resulting in 106 total PROMs, were chosen for review. A total of 39 (37%) of the identified PROMs had an associated MCID. Of those reporting an MCID, 14 (35.9%) used an anchor-based method, 12 (30.8%) used a distribution-based method, 10 (25.6%) used both, and 3 (7.7%) did not specify or used neither method. Rhinology had the greatest number of PROMs with an associated MCID (16 of 24, 66%), and pediatrics had the fewest (1 of 13, 7.7%). The median number of citations of PROMs with an MCID was higher than those without an MCID. Conclusions and Relevance: The majority of the most-cited PROMs in otolaryngology lack an associated MCID. These data indicated that there are a multitude of PROMs that have been cited hundreds of times and used for decades without the ability to identify whether a particular change in score on the instrument is clinically meaningful. There is a need to determine and validate MCIDs for commonly used PROMs to aid clinical research and trial interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-276
Number of pages16
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 9 2023


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