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Health outcome measures
  1. Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Social Medicine, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2PR, UK.

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    A well known joke among surgeons is that “the operation was a success but the patient died”. This encapsulates a generalised clinical phenomenon; doctors tend to focus on a unidimensional outcome measure, either the presenting symptom or the success of a specific intervention. However, we all accept that health is a multidimensional experience, incorporating physical, psychological, and social components. Over recent years, a growing industry of health outcome measures has developed for use in randomised trials and observational studies. Some of these measures are generic and can be used both in healthy as well as patient populations, whereas others are …

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