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J Health Serv Res Policy. 2000 Jan;5(1):27-36.

In pursuit of patient-centred outcomes: a qualitative evaluation of the 'Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile'.

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  • 1Warwick House Medical Centre, Taunton, UK.



To ascertain the ability of a patient-generated outcome measure, the 'Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile' (MYMOP), to reflect the outcomes of consultations which patients consider are most important, as derived from qualitative interviews.


A qualitative study using a constant comparative method to analyse semistructured interviews which were then compared with the results of MYMOP questionnaires. A variable-orientated analysis was used to develop themes and a case-orientated analysis was used to develop narrative summaries called vignettes from the interviews. The MYMOP questionnaire was completed by the interviewees (n = 20), a minimum to twice and a maximum of nine times over a four-month period. The scores were displayed on individual MYMOP charts. For each individual, the outcome as measured by MYMOP was compared with the outcome data from the qualitative interviews. The interviewees were attending a variety of complementary practitioners in primary care.


The treatment effects which people described were encompassed by five themes: reduction in symptoms; reduction in disability; reduction in, or avoidance of, medication; gaining control and improving coping skills; and securing support and hope through the patient-practitioner relationship. The vignettes demonstrated how individuals identified and valued these various effects and weighed them up in evaluating the overall benefit of the treatment. Their MYMOP charts were able to measure some effects better than others.


The treatment effects, as quantified using MYMOP, accorded with those described by most patients at interview, but some important limitations were identified with MYMOP, particularly an underplaying of the importance of medication avoidance or medication reduction in this patient group. This dimension is lacking in most outcome questionnaires and has been included in a new version of MYMOP. This study also showed that qualitative interview data can help in evaluating the ability of outcome questionnaires to measure the treatment effects that particular patient groups consider most important.

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