Patient-Reported Outcomes Special Interest Group (PRO-SIG)


The aspiration to achieve the best possible quality of life for people affected by illness is ubiquitous; it is shared by patients, their families, health care providers and funders. This is particularly true for cancer, where toxic treatments induce trade-offs between the benefits and harms, and the very word “cancer” incites fear and distress. HRQOL and other PROs are therefore commonly included in research objectives and plans, whether or not in response to the incentives of research funders. Yet numerous robust literature reviews show that research involving PROs is often flawed. Despite its apparent simplicity (“just use a questionnaire”), good quality PRO research requires careful planning and specialist expertise. It is a multidisciplinary endeavour, requiring insights and methods from medicine, psychology and statistics.

The CRN includes some world leaders in various aspects of HRQOL/PRO assessment. In particular, the University of Sydney hosts the Cancer Australia QOL Chair, QOL Office and the Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG). These are valuable resources, rare if not unique internationally. The Patient-Report Outcomes Special Interest Group (PRO-SIG) allows the expertise of those few individuals to flow and grow into a critical mass, to ensure that when members of the CRN conduct PRO research, they do it with world-class levels of excellence.

Aims and objectives

The PRO-SIG aims to:

  • provide a forum and focus for discussion of HRQOL/PRO-related issues and methods among CRN members;
  • facilitate the development of understanding and expertise in the measurement, analysis, interpretation and application of a broad range of patient-reported outcomes (PRO), including health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among CRN members;
  • foster excellence in methodology for HRQOL/PRO endpoints in the research of CRN members;
  • foster cross-disciplinary collaborations within the CRN, bridging medical, psychological, behavioural and biostatistical disciplines;
  • mentor early career researchers from a range of disciplines in various aspects of HRQOL/PRO methodology; and
  • develop a critical and sustainable mass of HRQOL/PRO expertise within the CRN.

Join the group

The PRO-SIG is Chaired by Dr Claudia Rutherford (Research Fellow, Quality of Life Office, School of Psychology). Membership is open to all staff of the University of Sydney, its teaching hospitals and affiliated research institutes.

If you are interested in participating, please send the following information to the Cancer Research Office by :

  • Name:
  • Contact telephone number:
  • Email:
  • Department:
  • Up to 5 keywords (describing your interests and technical expertise):