Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about MSD’s COA measures

  • Yes. The COA measures in this library were developed by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Rahway, New Jersey, USA (MSD) and are copyright protected with all rights reserved.  MAPI Research Trust oversees the translations and manages use of the COA measures on this site.

    If you would like to use an MSD COA measure, you must have a user agreement in place with MAPI Research Trust. To do so, please follow the steps in the "How do I request to use an MSD COA measure" section below

  • 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, such as pain scales for patients to report how much pain they are in
    • Daily diaries
    • Tests to find out how well a patient can move, do tasks, or understand concepts

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

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

  • There are 4 different types of COA measures:

    1. Patient-reported outcome (PRO)
      Patient-reported outcomes use information that comes directly from the patient. It can either be reported by the patient, for example by filling out a questionnaire, or it can be gathered in an interview with a health care provider or researcher. PROs include information only the patient would know, such as how much pain they are in, or how difficult it is to cope with certain symptoms.  
    2. Clinician-reported outcome (ClinRO)
      Clinician-reported outcomes use information about a patient’s health condition that is collected by a health care provider. This can include:
      - Test results
      - Information about health problems captured during an office visit or hospital stay
      - Information collected using rating scales, such as a depression rating scale 
    3. Observer-reported outcome (ObsRO)
      Observer-reported outcomes use information about a patient that is captured by someone who observes that patient in daily life, such as a parent or other caregiver. 
    4. Performance outcome (PerfO)
      Performance outcomes use information captured by having a patient complete a set of specific tasks, such as a word recall test to test a patient’s memory. The patient can do the task themselves, or with the help of a health care provider or researcher. 

    Source: BEST (Biomarkers, EndpointS, and other Tools Resource)

  • You should not modify an MSD COA measure unless you have written permission according to the user agreement to do so. Modifying a COA measure may change the reliability (ability to get consistent results) or validity (ability to get true results) of the information. Examples of modifying a COA measure include to:

    • Delete or add an item
    • Change the order of questions
    • Change the way the COA measure is given

  • Each COA measure has a specific scoring process. Details can be accessed in one of these ways:
    • A manual that comes with the COA measure
    • On the COA measure ePROVIDE page
    • In the published journal article for the COA measure

  • Most of MSD’s COA measures have gone through psychometric validation to ensure they are reliable and valid to collect information in a specific way. To learn more about how a certain COA measure is validated, go to:

    • The COA measure page on this site
    • The COA measure ePROVIDE page
    • The published journal article for the COA measure

  • If you would like to use one of MSD’s COA measures listed on this site, the first step is to request access via ePROVIDE. 

    To request access:

    1. Visit ePROVIDE and click the button “Submit A Request” in the top right corner of the menu bar.
    2. If you already have an account, log in. If you are a new user, create an account.
    3. After you log in, complete all required information.
    4. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the button “Send Request”.
    5. You will get an email when the status of your request changes with information about next steps and to further assess your needs.
    6. Once your request is approved, you will receive a user agreement for signature.
  • Yes. To find out about electronic versions of our COA measures, please visit the COA measures page on this site or submit a request