The National Person-Centered Assessment Resource (PCAR)

Project: Research project


With its five subcontract sites, Northwestern University proposes to refine and sustain a research resource infrastructure that will educate and enable researchers and other interested health professionals on the use and interpretation of person-centered health outcomes. Person-centered health outcomes are those that are reported or performed by an individual research participant or patient, and that have importance to the quality of life of that participant. We refer to this resource as The National Person-Centered Assessment Resource, or PCAR. Specifically, PCAR will support the use and enhancement of four measurement information systems, currently funded as separate NIH programs: The Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System® (PROMIS®); The NIH Toolbox for Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function (NIH Toolbox); The Neurology Quality of Life Measurement System (Neuro-QOL); and The Adult Sickle Cell Quality of Life Measurement Information System (ASCQ-Me). Across our six performance sites (Northwestern University, University of California at Los Angeles, University of California at San Diego; University of North Carolina, University of Pittsburgh, and American Institutes of Research), we possess all of the necessary capabilities to perform the tasks designated in RFA CA-13-008. These capabilities include psychometrics, survey research, biostatistics, population statistics, software design and maintenance, electronic data capture and secure storage, technical support, health information technology integration, educational methods, website design, dissemination and implementation methods, marketing and communication, and business development. PCAR will provide an integrated platform for automated use of these four measurement information systems. The PCAR platform is already compatible with various modes of information collection (including web/mobile-based entry, non-digital paper source data, and others). During the funded period, we will move to sustain this platform and the educational and statistical services around them, under a fee-for-service model that will support free and open distribution of static, downloadable measures as well as administration, scoring, and interpretation tools. PCAR will also be designed to allow resource users (i.e., external researchers and clinicians unaffiliated with the resource) to access and use any of the four systems together or in isolation and tailor use to meet the specific study needs, while capturing and transmitting participant data securely.
Effective start/end date9/1/148/31/18


  • Northwestern University


human being
information system
quality of life
population statistics
data capture
information collection
survey research
health information
health professionals
social isolation
information technology