Measuring outcomes using self-report tools

Many outcomes measurement tools – such as quality of life indicators – are administered with respondents self-reporting their situation or status, either using self-completion questionnaires or in face-to-face interviews. Both the GP Patient Survey and the Adult Social Care Survey involve self-completion questionnaires, for example.

In this group of projects we consider the implications of using a self-report approach, particularly whether there are limitations and how these could be addressed.

The following two strands of work were initiated as responsive mode requests.

Aims and methods

Strand 1: The effect of help in completing the Adult Social Care Survey 2011 on Adult Social Care Outcome Framework indicators

This study explores the impact of having help in completing questions on the Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS) 2011 on five outcome measures from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF). ‘Help’ in this study includes that from relatives and/or care workers as participants answer survey questions.
We will use mainly statistical regression methods: models using a standard case-mix adjustment (CMA) and with propensity score weights.

Strand 2: Personal outcome measures and postal surveys of social care

Personal outcomes are the goals people want to achieve through their social care services and support. Personal outcomes are often categorised as ‘soft’ outcomes and placed in contrast to ‘hard’, process-based measures of service performance and throughput. They are also often distinguished from outcomes based on policy or clinical outcomes.

The aim of the study is to assess the feasibility of including a personal outcome measure in a postal survey: the Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS).

This study involves a rapid scoping review of the literature on personal outcomes, drawing on literature available in journals, online and as suggested/provided by LA contacts and researchers at PSSRU.

Timing and outputs

These strands of work will be completed in 2013. In both cases we will write reports to be published on the QORU website. The intention is then to revise and submit for publication in a suitable academic journal. We will also present the work at the annual QORU seminar.