Primary Care Outcomes Questionnaire
The Primary Care Outcomes Questionnaire (PCOQ) is a 24-item questionnaire designed to measure outcomes in primary care. Please use the links below to access the PCOQ, register as a user and download user instructions and scoring files.
What is the PCOQ?
The Primary Care Outcomes Questionnaire (PCOQ) is a 24-item questionnaire designed to measure outcomes in primary care.
While other questionnaires, for example the EQ-5D, are often limited to symptoms and function, the PCOQ measures a wider range of outcomes. It includes common primary care outcomes, such as reduction in pain or depression, that are captured on most generic patient-reported questionnaires, but also others, such as reduction in concern, a sense of confidence in health plan, or an understanding of illnesses/problems and an ability to manage symptoms, which are less well-captured elsewhere. This means that the PCOQ can detect beneficial effects that other questionnaires do not.
It is scored in four domains: Health & Wellbeing; Health Knowledge and Self-care; Confidence in Health Provision; and Confidence in Health Plan.
Who is it for?
The PCOQ is for use by researchers to capture the main outcomes which can be influenced by primary care. It can be used in trials of interventions in primary care where the outcomes expected are broader than improvement in symptoms and function.
Access the PCOQ and register as a user
The PCOQ is available free for non-commercial use only and is licensed under a PCOQ licence (PDF, 71kB). The terms of this licence state that the PCOQ must not be adapted, translated or otherwise adjusted without first seeking prior approval from the authors. The University of Bristol will retain rights to any adapted or translated versions.
How to use the PCOQ
When researchers measure the success of healthcare, they normally compare patient-reported questionnaires before and after a patient receives healthcare. By comparing the responses of groups of patients receiving different care, researchers can identify if the scores are significantly higher afterwards, and therefore whether the care has made any difference. The PCOQ measures status at a point in time, with the change between two points (before and after care or intervention) calculated as a difference in scores.
How it was developed
The PCOQ was developed by Dr Mairead Murphy and colleagues at the University of Bristol.
It was developed according to a rigorous process, involving consultation with patients, GPs and academics on which outcomes primary care patients seek and clinicians can influence. It is comprehensive, yet has a simple design, which is appealing to patients, and takes around four minutes to complete. It has been quantitatively tested in GP waiting rooms and demonstrated to be responsive to primary care intervention (see publications).
For more information on the development of the PCOQ, see the following publications:
- Murphy M, Hollinghurst S, Cowlishaw S, Salisbury C. Primary Care Outcomes Questionnaire: psychometric testing of a new instrument. British Journal of General Practice. 2018. Doi: 10.3399/bjgp18X695765
- Murphy M, Hollinghurst S, Salisbury C. Qualitative assessment of the primary care outcomes questionnaire: a cognitive interview study, BMC Health Services Research. 2018. Doi: 10.1186/s12913-018-2867-
- Murphy M, Hollinghurst S, Salisbury C. Identification, description and appraisal of generic PROMs for primary care: a systematic review, BMC Family Practice. 2018. Doi: 10.1186/s12875-018-0722-9
- Murphy M, Hollinghurst S, Salisbury C. Agreeing the content of a patient-reported outcome measure for primary care: a Delphi consensus study. Health Expectations. 2016. Doi: 10.1111/hex.12462.
- Murphy M, Hollinghurst S, Turner K, Salisbury C. Patient and practitioners' views on the most important outcomes arising from primary care consultations: a qualitative study. BMC Family Practice. 2015. Doi: 10.1186/s12875-015-0323-9
- Murphy M, Salisbury C, Hollinghurst S. Can the outcome of primary care be measured by a Patient Reported Outcome Measure? British Journal of General Practice. 2014. Doi:10.3399/bjgp14X683017.