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Helpful Resources

Interested in using a PROMIS Computer Adaptive Test (CAT)? 

Try the PROMIS CAT Demo>>

To view copies of PROMIS measures, go to Search & View Measures>> 

Obtain & Administer Measures

PROMIS® measures are available as “respondent ready” PDFs and in numerous administration platforms.

Paper-based Measures

PDFs of PROMIS measures in English need no preparation, are “respondent ready,” and are available for free for paper administration.

Digital Measures

PROMIS measures are available for digital administration. Computer adaptive tests (CATs) require digital administration. PROMIS CATs, short forms, and profiles are available in:

  • REDCap: a secure web application for building and managing online surveys. Learn more>>
  • Epic: an electronic health record software housing selected PROMIS measures. Learn more>>
  • Assessment Center Application Programming Interface (API): an API connects your administration platform with the full library of PROMIS measures including CATs. Learn more>>
  • PROMIS iPad App and NIH Toolbox® iPad App. Learn more>>
  • Many other software platforms. Learn more>>

Permission for Electronic Administration

Integrating a PROMIS measure into an electronic or digital administration platform requires HealthMeasures Electronic Administration Permission (HEAP), which includes a permission letter and screenshot review; the screenshot review ensures the electronic administration retains validity.

Single research studies (randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case control studies, cross-sectional studies) by non-commercial users (i.e., any institution, organization, or other incorporated entity which is defined as a Tax-Exempt Organization under the regulations of the United States’ Internal Revenue Service; for users outside the United States, all not-for-profit entities including national health services and their affiliate providers and academic institutions) are exempt from the HEAP requirement. However, you may still opt for HEAP to support validity in your research.

A HEAP fee is charged for the review and approval process. This fee covers the time spent preparing permissions and , providing guidance on the appearance of PROMIS items in the respondent interface. HEAP fees are listed under Static Forms on the Pricing for Software Applications page. Contact to obtain HEAP and for additional information.

Obtaining Translations

Permission for Use

PROMIS measures are copyrighted. All English and some Spanish PROMIS measures are publicly available for use in one’s individual research, clinical practice, educational assessment, or other application without licensing or royalty fees. Commercial users must seek permission to use, reproduce, or distribute measures. Integration into proprietary technology requires written permission. Read the PROMIS Terms and Conditions of Use for more information.

Appearance of PROMIS Measures

If you are integrating PROMIS measures in a data collection system, follow our guidance for how the items should appear in the respondent interface. This will ensure the measures are administered consistently with how they were developed, tested, and validated. Contact to learn more.

Measure Names in Administration Platforms

Measure names may be abbreviated or use altered terms in some administration platforms.

  • Measures named “Item Banks” are administered as Computer Adaptive Tests (CATs). In any administration platform, a measure named Item Bank is the same as a CAT.
  • SF = short form
  • Ped = pediatric
  • NRS = numeric rating scale (e.g., 0 to 10)
  • Scale = a set of items that are administered in their entirety. They are not a subset of items from an item bank.
  • Profile = a fixed set of short forms or CATs that are administered together (e.g., PROMIS-29). They produce scores for multiple domains (e.g., physical function, pain interference, anxiety).
  • Battery = a set of measures that are administered together that produce multiple scores.
  • Pool = a collection of items that are not calibrated using item response theory. Item pools only generate raw response scores for each item and no summary score.
  • Recommended = CAT uses different stopping rules than standard administration. Learn more>>
  • Screen-to-CAT = CAT uses different stopping rules than standard administration. Learn more>>
  • PROMIS+[health condition] = a measure that includes existing PROMIS items plus new items relevant to a specific health condition.
  • PROMIS [measure type] v#.# - [domain]-[health condition] = a measure that includes existing PROMIS items that assess issues relevant to a specific health condition.

Best Practices in Administration

  • PROMIS self-report measures are intended to be completed by the respondent without help from anyone else.
  • If respondents are unable to answer on their own, have someone else (“proxy”) report on their behalf. Respondents requiring a proxy may include: young children, people in the early stages of dementia who may not recognize the extent of their impairment, people with cognitive or communication deficits, and people with severe disease burden. PROMIS includes measures for parents to report for young children (ages 1-5) and older children (ages 5-17). Learn more>>
  • Use the same proxy across multiple assessments. Different proxies may have different perspectives.
  • Keep respondents’ privacy in mind, but have staff readily available to help with any technology issues that may arise.
  • It is acceptable for staff to define a term (e.g., “nausea”), but not to define a concept where the respondent’s subjective interpretation is the goal of the question (e.g., “quality of life”).
  • Respondents should be instructed to answer all items to the best of their ability. For a respondent who indicates the item asks about an activity they don’t do, instruct them to consider what that activity would be like, and imagine or predict how it would be for them. For example, for the item “Are you able to use a hammer to pound a nail?” imagine the upper body strength, coordination, and dexterity needed to pound a nail with a hammer and evaluate to what degree they have that level of function. Respondents should always have the opportunity to skip an item if needed as well.
  • Utilize the same method (e.g., computer, telephone, or paper) and mode (e.g., self vs. interviewer) of administration. However, this is not always possible, and PROMIS measures have produced similar scores when the method of administration varied. 
  • In clinical settings, give respondents the optimal time needed to capture the most relevant perspective and complete data (e.g., before/after clinician visit or in between visits). This may depend on the study aims and/or clinic workflow. Learn more>>

Disinfecting Shared Devices

When a shared device (e.g., tablet computer) is used to administer measures, it is critical that the device is disinfected between users. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 1) using a wipeable cover and 2) following manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting. Learn more>>

Modify or Adapt a PROMIS Measure

Sometimes a PROMIS user wants to make a modification to a PROMIS item such as changing the time frame, altering the response options, or adding an instruction to consider only one health issue when responding. In general, our philosophy is that measures can be improved and we welcome others to make and test improvements. We believe instrument problems and improvements are based on data, not expert opinion alone. Modifications may alter how an item performs and invalidate scoring. Our guidance for modifying PROMIS measures varies on the intended use.  Learn more>> 


Last updated on 2/5/2024