Paper in Quality of Life Research
  • Rutherford, C., Costa, D., Mercieca-Bebber, R., Rice, H., Gabb, L., King, M. (2016). Mode of administration does not cause bias in patient-reported outcome results: a meta-analysis. Quality of Life Research, 25 (3) pp. 559-574.
    ABSTRACT

    Purpose:
    Technological advances in recent decades have led to the availability of new modes to administer patient-reported outcomes (PROs). To aid selecting optimal modes of administration (MOA), we undertook a systematic review to determine whether differences in bias (both size and direction) exist among modes.

    Methods:
    We searched five electronic databases from 2004 (date of last comprehensive review on this topic) to April 2014, cross-referenced and searched reference lists. Studies that compared two or more MOA for a health-related PRO measure in adult samples were included. Two reviewers independently applied inclusion and quality criteria and extracted findings. Meta-analyses and meta-regressions were conducted using random-effects models.

    Results:
    Of 5100 papers screened, 222 were considered potentially relevant and 56 met eligibility criteria. No evidence of bias was found for: (1) paper versus electronic self-complete; and (2) self-complete versus assisted MOA. Heterogeneity for paper versus electronic comparison was explained by type of construct (i.e. physical vs. psychological). Heterogeneity for self-completion versus assisted modes was in part explained by setting (clinic vs. home); the largest bias was introduced when assisted completion occurred in the clinic and follow-up was by self-completion (either electronic or paper) in the home.

    Conclusions:
    Self-complete paper and electronic MOA can be used interchangeably for research in clinic and home settings. Self-completion and assisted completion produce equivalent scores overall, although heterogeneity may be induced by setting. These results support the use of mixed MOAs within a research study, which may be a useful strategy for reducing missing PRO data.