Using Clinical Outcome Assessment (COA) measures to help understand patient perspectives on health conditions and treatments

COAs measure different aspects of how a patient feels about a disease or treatment. Patients, health care providers, researchers, or caregivers report this information using questionnaires, rating scales, daily diaries and performance-based evaluations.

There are 4 types of COA measures:

  • Patient-reported outcome (PRO)
  • Clinician-reported outcome (ClinRO)
  • Observer-reported outcome (ObsRO)
  • Performance outcome (PerfO)

COAs may measure different aspects of the patient experience, such as:

  • Signs and symptoms
  • How a disease or treatment affects a patient physically and emotionally
  • How a disease or treatment affects a patient’s daily activities and social life
  • How a patient feels about their disease or treatment 

People living with a health condition are in a unique position to help researchers understand the benefits and value of medical products and treatments as measured by COAs. This is why data from COA measures are increasingly being used to support healthcare decisions.  

Over the past 25 years, MSD has created and validated more than 25 COA measures based on best practices. We also help guide the analysis of COA data from clinical programs, such as clinical trials. This work enables MSD to collect and assess the patient perspective on many diseases and treatments.

We welcome you to explore this site to find information about our MSD-developed COA measures and how you can request permission to use them for research.

FDA, 2019, Patient-focused drug development guidance series for enhancing the incorporation of the patient’s voice in medical product development and regulatory decision making. 
This site only provides information on MSD's clinical outcome assessment measures. It is not intended to provide any detail on medical products nor be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. MSD does not provide medical advice or medical services.

This website was developed and is updated with the help of Mapi Research Trust. MSD is the website editor and Mapi Research Trust is the host of this website.