Open Access Technical advance

Monitoring health-related quality of life in paediatric practice: development of an innovative web-based application

Lotte Haverman1*, Vivian Engelen1, Marion AJ van Rossum23, Hugo SA Heymans2 and Martha A Grootenhuis1

Author Affiliations

1 Psychosocial Department, Emma Children's Hospital, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands

2 Paediatric Rheumatology, Emma Children's Hospital, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands

3 Paediatric Rheumatology, Jan van Breemen Instituut, Dr Jan van Breemenstraat 2, 1056 AB Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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BMC Pediatrics 2011, 11:3  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-3

Published: 12 January 2011

Abstract

Background

Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) questionnaires are increasingly used in clinical practice. These Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) are provided to the paediatrician to facilitate communication with patients during a consultation. The aim of the current article is to describe the development and introduction of a new web-based application for the use of PROs in daily paediatric clinical practice.

Methods

Currently, the use of PROs in daily clinical practice is very time consuming and often has logistical problems. The use of a web-based programme can overcome these problems and contributes to an improved use of PROs in clinical practice. We therefore developed an easily accessible website (KLIK) for outpatient treatment and a training programme for paediatricians to maximize the effectiveness and the practical use of PROs (KLIK PROfile).

Results

The KLIK study was launched in August 2008 to evaluate the use of the KLIK PROfile in daily clinical practice. The KLIK study evaluates whether feedback from HRQOL data could influence patient satisfaction with the consultation, the advice given, the type of referrals and topics discussed. In this multicentre study, a control group (without the use of the KLIK PROfile) is compared to an intervention group (with the use of the KLIK PROfile). A sequential cohort design is chosen to avoid contamination between the study groups.

Conclusions

Based on the positive experiences with the use of the KLIK PROfile acquired during the study we conclude that the KLIK PROfile may contribute to systematically monitor and discuss HRQOL issues during consultations. The next steps will be a comprehensive evaluation of the KLIK study data and the implementation of the KLIK PROfile in daily clinical practice in different patient groups.