New Research Resources

New NIH resources promote standardization of study outcome measures

Relying on these new tools can help to increase the speed of scientific advances.

By Kelly Dunn, PhD

NIH has developed several resources (Assessment Center, NIH Toolbox, PROMIS®, Neuro- QOL) to provide researchers with evidenced-based outcome measures for a variety of psychological domains. The measures are designed to be brief, easy to adminster, and comprehensive. The measures will enrich study outcomes and provide a method for comparing across studies in a manner that will facilitate systematic and meta-analytic reviews of important research topics. By relying on common outcome measures, these tools can ultimately increase the speed with which we advance the science of these important research areas.

Assessment Center

  • Free website that can be used to create study-specific websites for capturing participant data securely. The majority of instruments listed below are available within the Assessment Center.

NIH Toolbox 

  • Features: Multidimensional. The majority of supplies and equipment required are available through multiple vendors and may overlap across different test batteries. 

  • Target ages: 3-85 

  • Language: English and Spanish 

  • Availability: Assessment Center or PDFs 

  •  Domains covered: Cognition, Emotion, Motor, and Sensory function 

  •  Cost: All measures are available royalty free, however there are costs associated with user and technical support.

PROMIS® (Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System) 

  • Features: Have corresponding manuals and psychometric data available. Available as individual scales with subscales, individual items, or profiles that incorporate multiple
    measures to evaluate a concept area.

  • Target ages: Adult, pediatric, and parent proxy forms for pediatric populations available 

  • Language: English and Spanish 

  • Availability: Assessment Center or PDFs 

  • Domains covered: Emotional Distress; Applied Cognition; Psychosocial Illness Impact; Alcohol; Fatigue; Pain; Physical Function; Sleep; Sexual Function and Satisfaction; Satisfaction; Companionship; Informational Support; Emotional Support; Instrumental Support; Social Isolation; Peer Relationships; Asthma Impact; Global Health

  • Cost: Free