Quality of Life and Clinical Assessment Tools

Improving Standard of Care

Quality of life and clinical assessment tools are important for treating and improving the standard of care delivered to patients. Emory researchers and clinicians have worked arduously to develop several tools to help clinicians improve patient outcomes and understand the impact that disease can have on an individual’s daily life. These technologies help to both guide clinicians and procure the most up-to-date and concise data. Emory University is an integral supporter of new emerging technologies as technology today continues to be at the forefront of the healthcare field.

Aiding Diagnosis and Treatment

Adherence to Refills and Medications Scale (ARMS): Today, taking medication on time is essential for the success of disease management. In fact, statistics reveal that only 50% to 70% of patients adhere to the medication direction as they are prescribed. To further exacerbate this problem, as illiteracy increases, the difficulty of medication adherence can also increase. This results in individuals being less likely to follow their medication regime. As a result, Emory researchers have developed the “Adherence to Refills and Medications Scale” (ARMS). ARMS functions as a contemporary medication adherence scale which can be used across literacy levels. The ARMS is composed of 14 questions that are administered verbally by healthcare professionals. This tool is currently available in more than 10 languages. ARMS has also been further optimized for type-2 diabetic patients (ARMS-D). The ARMS-D also identifies barriers to adherence, which may be useful in research and clinical practice. These tools may be used to improve prescription drug adherence across a large patient population. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid:18080)

E-Trip: Emory Treatment Resistance Interview for PTSD:  Boadie Dunlop, MD and Barbara Rothbaum, PhD have worked together to create a new technology in mental health care known as, “E-TRIP”, the Emory Treatment Resistance Interview for PTSD. Today, nearly seven million American adults suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite available treatments, some patients struggle from treatment resistance. Due to this, many patients suffer with further exacerbation of PTSD, known as treatment resistant PTSD (TR-PTSD), which if incorrectly treated can lead to further patient disease exacerbation. E-TRIP is an interview score system created to directly quantify the level of treatment resistance in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This tool is a clinician-administered questionnaire intended for assessing the adequacy and benefit derived from past treatment trials. “E-TRIP,” can quantify the degree of resistance to previously provided treatments that would inform research in patients with PTSD. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid:17018)

HandyChart: “Read the smallest line you can see” – these are the words spoken during nearly every eye exam. Yet, a problem presents itself if a patient is too young to know the letters or if a language barrier exists. This is where HandyChart, a technology created by a group at Emory including retired Special Education teacher Cindy Lou Herrington, makes life easier. Rather than using letters or shapes, HandyChart consists of a series of drawings of hands that the patient can mimic using his or her own. A group volunteering in Honduras recently used the test to administer eye exams for orphans, allowing a group that may not have had access to eye care before to be able to see what the world can offer. Check out our success story on this technology.

Hemophilia-Related Distress Questionnaire: Hemophilia is a medical condition in which the body lacks coagulation factors limiting the ability for blood to clot for patients. The “Hemophilia-Related Distress Questionnaire” (HRDq) is an instrument developed to numerically measure the distress associated with hemophilia and disease management. This tool is concise, consistent, and promotes patient advocacy for improved health outcomes. This questionnaire identifies four main domains that contribute to hemophilia-related distress: hemophilia-management concerns, financial concerns, perceived self-efficacy and daily function concerns. This tool consists of 24 questions, each answered on a 6-point scale (never to always). The total score ranges from 0 to 120 points. HRDq functions to facilitate patient-centered care and achieve the goal of improving health outcomes in a clinical setting. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid: 19204)

Parent-Rated Anxiety Scale for Autism Spectrum Disorder (PRAS-ASD): Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neuro-developmental disorder characterized by social communication deficits and repetitive behavior. Scientific literature estimates that 40% of youth with ASD have at least one type of anxiety disorder. “Parent-Rated Anxiety Scale for Autism Spectrum Disorder” (PRAS-ASD) is a new technology specifically designed for ASD pediatric patients. The PRAS-ASD is a scale/survey tool used for measuring anxiety in children with ASD, based upon the parent’s report. The PRAS-ASD is a reliable and valid measure that can be used to assess severity of anxiety in youth with ASD and evaluate change with treatment. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid:18178)

Questionnaires for Assessing the Effect of Visual Impairment on Quality of Life and Function in Children: Today, almost five million children have been diagnosed with vision problems and almost two million children in the United States suffer from a form of visual impairment. Researchers have created a new technology targeted to help quantify data for visually impaired children. Unlike other vision instruments that are specifically targeted at adults, this questionnaire provides data that are split into a series of questionnaires that ask age-appropriate questions for the assessment of children from ages 8 to 18. This questionnaire has the ability to quantify the effect of visual impairment on the quality of life and functional capabilities of children. The data from this questionnaire directly correlate to the degree vision impairment will impact daily activities of children. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid:11016)

Understanding and Improving Patient Experiences with Skin Treatments

With information collected from these QoL indexes, doctors can better treat patients and perform further research on the skin diseases’ effects. Skin diseases, especially chronic skin diseases, have a major impact on a patient's daily quality of life (QOL). These technologies continue to support and advocate for patients and assist providers.

ItchyQuant: Numeric Scale for Itch: Itching (also known as pruritus) is an irritating condition that can be involved in any part of the body and creates the urge to scratch. ItchyQuant is a dermatological related technology created to provide a self-reported numeric rating scale to help understand the severity of itchiness. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid: 06083)

ItchyQol: A Pruritus-Specific Quality of Life Instrument: Pruritus is an itchy sensation that is common in many dermatological disorders. As a result, Emory researchers have designed a quantitative measure of disease burden in pruritus patients. This tool, entitled ItchyQol can be used to measure a patient's response to a therapy. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid:06082).

RosaQoL: Rosacea-Specific Quality of Life Instrument: Rosacea is a chronic skin disease resulting in redness of the skin. Suephy Chen, MD developed an instrument that functions as a quantitative measure of the disease burden in rosacea patients. RosaQoL functions to be a tool specific for issues related to rosacea and is sensitive to subtle changes in the disease over time. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid: 05067)

Scalpdex: A Quality of Life Instrument for Scalp Dermatitis: Scalp dermatitis is a skin condition that affects the scalp. This can be predominantly caused by two common inflammatory dermatoses: psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Suephy Chen, MD and her colleagues developed a scalp dermatitis' specific instrument, Scalpdex.This tool was created by the patients for the patients, as it focuses on specifically mentioned constructs mentioned by patients. This technology functions to be a quantitative measure of disease burden in scalp dermatitis patients. Scalpdex can be used to measure a patient's response to a therapy. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid: 06083)

Standard Dermatology Outcome Measures (SDOM) & SkinDexMini: Quality of Life Instruments for Skin Disease: Emory University researchers have enhanced the SkinDex questionnaire. Known as the SkinDexMini, this updated technology further improves efficacy for routine use in the clinical setting. The three domains focused in the clinical assessment are the patient’s: symptoms, emotions, and function. In efforts to further strengthen the SkinDexMini, the Standard Dermatology Outcome Measures (SDOM) can be used to determine the “itch score” by using a visual analog scale, a patient global assessment of skin disease treatment response, an assessment of skin disease treatment adequacy, and a screen for possible disease injury from treatment. Together these advancing technologies help further create a comprehensive dermatological assessment for providers. For more information about SDOM & SkinDexMini, visit our technology brief. (Techid: 17192)