Different perspectives on meaningful interpretation of change in patient-reported outcomes: Meaningful (Clinically) Important Differences


This webinar will provide the audience with an understanding of the history of interpretation thresholds as well as an appreciation for how the adoption of a “one-size-fits-all” perspective may impair the ability to understanding relevant change over time in HRQL and PRO measures at the individual patient level.

The webinar will provide a didactic introduction on the motivation, need, and the resulting methodological approaches for deriving interpretation thresholds of change, such as minimal clinically important differences (MCIDs), minimal important differences (MIDs) and responder definitions (RDs). With these understandings established, the limitations and critiques of these interpretation thresholds will be discussed. These limitations include:

  1. The resulting restrictions on interpretation
  2. The potential for distortion of the individual patient’s voice, a key element deserving continued respect in HRQoL research and the use of HRQL clinical practice


The development and increasing utilization of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and patient-reported outcomes (PRO) measures to better understand the important aspects of health and disease from the patient’s perspective has created the need to better understand the magnitude of important HRQoL change. The corresponding development of interpretation thresholds has been influenced, in part, by large population-based research and clinical trials focused on evaluating the magnitude of change over time in HRQL and PROs.

Learning Outcomes/Objectives

After the webinar, the learner will be able to:

  • To describe the history, motivation, need for interpretation thresholds of change over time
  • To compare different interpretation thresholds, including minimal clinically important differences (MCIDs), minimal important differences (MIDs) and responder definitions (RDs)
  • To critically consider the strengths and limitations of using interpretation thresholds in evaluating individual differences of change


  • Kathleen W. Wyrwich, Senior Research Advisor, Patient-Focused Outcomes Center of Expertise, Eli Lilly and Company, Lily Corporate Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • Jose M. Valderas, Professor of Health Services and Policy, University of Exeter, Essex, United Kingdom

Richard Sawatzky, RN, Trinity Western University & Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences

Organized By:
The Psychometrics, Health Preferences Research, QOL in Clinical Practice and Industry SIGs








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