The Importance of International Patient-Reported Indicators in Mental Health

Research Paper Title

Patient-reported indicators in mental health care: towards international standards among members of the OECD.


Achieving people-centred health care systems requires new and innovative strategies to capture information about whether, and to what degree, health care is successful in improving health from the perspective of the patient. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and Patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) can bring some of these new insights, and are increasingly used in research, clinical care, and policymaking.


This paper reflects the ongoing discussions and findings of the OECD PaRIS Working Group on Patient-reported Indicators for Mental Health Care.


The OECD has been measuring quality of care for mental health conditions over the last 14 years through the Health Care Quality and Outcomes (HCQO) programme; nonetheless, information on how persons with mental health problems value the services they receive, and impact of the services, remains limited. As of 2018, a survey from the OECD showed that only five of the twelve countries surveyed (Australia, Israel, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom) reported PROMs and PREMs collection on a regular basis in mental health settings. The paper details some of the challenges specific to the collection and use of PROMs and PREMs in mental health care, and examples from countries which have implemented comprehensive programmes to gather information about PROMs and PREMs for individuals receiving mental health services.


Given the health and economic impact of mental ill-health across all OECD countries, there is significant value to being able to assess the quality and outcomes of care in this area using internationally-comparable measures. Continued international harmonisation of PROMs and PREMs for mental health through international coordination is a key way to facilitate the sharing of national experiences, promote the use of PROMs and PREMs, and create meaningful indicators for national and international benchmarking.


de Bienassis, K., Kristensen, S., Hewlett, E., Roe, D., Mainz, J. & Klazinga, N. (2021) Patient-reported indicators in mental health care: towards international standards among members of the OECD. International Journal for Quality in Health Care. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzab020.