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Helpful Resources

Citing a PROMIS Measure

If you have used a specific PROMIS short form or CAT, cite the article describing the development of that domain item bank. You can find it by searching PubMed for “PROMIS development” for the domain of interest (e.g., anxiety, depression, or anger). Suggestions for recommended citations are on PROMIS Publications

Measure Development & Research


PROMIS® utilizes rigorous methodology for developing its measures, also known as item banks, and testing their validity.

  • Comprehensive literature searches of existing measures, yielding hundreds of potential items, are performed to ensure content validity (i.e., the assurance that each measure represents all facets of a domain)
  • To ensure comprehensive coverage of the conceptual area, focus groups are conducted with relevant participants and thematic analyses are performed of the topics discussed. Following the focus groups, an initial item-review process is completed involving elimination of items that are redundant, confusing, or poorly written.
  • Cognitive interviews are also performed so that each candidate item is reviewed by multiple individuals with diverse characteristics (i.e., both genders, members of minoritized groups, participants with modest reading levels) for feedback on the language and clarity of items and the relevance of the content.
  • Items are reviewed and revised for translatability in order to use words, grammar, and concepts that translate well in other languages and cultures (e.g., replace idiomatic expressions, jargon, non-universal units of measurement).
  • Responses to candidate items are collected from relevant participants, usually via computer administration to both community and clinical samples, during psychometric testing. Data from large samples confirm the factor structure of the domain and allows for analyses at the item and bank level. This approach is described by Reeve et al with an update from Hansen et al. Techniques from both classical test theory (CTT) and item response theory (IRT) are used.
  • Validity studies are conducted to determine the degree to which an instrument measures what it is intended to measure.
  • Translations result from a process of forward and back-translation, multiple expert reviews, harmonization across languages, and cognitive debriefing with a sample of native speakers of the target language (linguistic validation). A universal approach to translation ensures that, whenever possible, one language version is created for multiple countries instead of country-specific versions of the same language.

Standards for Measure Creation

Read about the PROMIS Instrument Development and Validation Scientific Standards

For additional information on PROMIS instrument development, see a presentation on PROMIS Instrument Development and Psychometric Evaluation Scientific Standards. This presentation describes a set of standards that serve as the scientific foundation and guidance for the development and evaluation of PROMIS item banks and instruments.

Also, the PROMIS Instruments Maturity Model provides information to assist developers in meeting the scientific standard criteria, from item pool or scale development to fully validated instruments ready for use in clinical research and practice.

Recent Research

PROMIS research today focuses on:

  • Advancing psychometric methods including differential item functioning, linking, and multilevel/multidimensional item response theory.
  • Assessing validity of specific measures within a population for a specific purpose.
  • Development of new item banks using PROMIS methods.
  • Use of PROMIS measures in specific populations. 
  • Implementation of PROMIS measures to inform clinical care or evaluate healthcare quality.
  • Use of PROMIS measures internationally


Last updated on 4/20/2023