• cancer;
  • psychosocial care;
  • quality of care;
  • consumer;
  • physician

Measuring psychosocial outcomes: is the consumer or the professional the best judge?

In this review, we explore professionally-driven and consumer-driven paradigms in measuring psychosocial outcomes for cancer care. Early measures of psychosocial well-being focussed on clinically-derived concepts of dysfunction. Recent literature reflects a paradigm shift toward a consumer-driven approach to the conceptualisation and measurement of psychosocial well-being. The key distinction between the two approaches rests on whether the professional or consumer retains judgement authority and raises the question of whether it is necessary to include both perspectives in research and practice. Research is proposed to clarify our interpretation of these approaches with a view to devising novel interventions to benefit patient well-being.