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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 Presenting Results.  The PROMIS Publications list is also available. If you want a generic PROMIS citation, use the 2007 Medical Care supplement article.

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 minority groups, participants with modest reading levels) for feedback on the language and clarity of items and the relevance of the content.
  • Responses to candidate items are collected from relevant participants, usually via computer administration to both community and clinical samples, during the psychometric testing stage of item bank development. Data from large samples confirm the factor structure of the domains and allow for analyses at the item and bank level at the item and bank level, using techniques from both classical test theory (CTT) and item response theory (IRT).
  • 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.

Additional Resources

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

Recent PROMIS research focuses on

The first of a two part series published in  Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling 2016 v.1 provides the first strong evidence supporting the measurement equivalence of the PROMIS short form measures in ethnically, socio-demographically diverse groups. This is a beginning step in meeting the international call for further study of their performance in such groups. Click here for links to articles.

PROMIS research is also active outside of the United States (see PROMIS International).