McBurney C, Coombs J, Hsu M, Abetz L, Keininger D, Copley-Merriman K. An appraisal of treatment satisfaction and patient preference assessments in patients diagnosed with cancer. Poster presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research; 2003. [abstract] Value Health. 5(3):201.

OBJECTIVES: Various disease specific instruments exist to measure treatment satisfaction and patient preference. Subsequently, data from these instruments have been used to differentiate treatment options. Several measurements exist to assess satisfaction with oncology care, but few tools exist to measure satisfaction with or preferences for oncology treatments. As the paradigm in oncology shifts from treating and managing cancer as a terminal disease to a chronic disease and with an increasing number of treatment options, the need to assess patients’ perceptions and preferences regarding treatment becomes more evident. The purpose of this study was to review and compare characteristics of instruments within oncology studies that assessed aspects of treatment satisfaction and patient preference.


METHODS: Publications involving oncology patients, treatment satisfaction, and patient preference were identified through the search of available literature within MEDLINE and CANCERLIT.


RESULTS: The search did not identify a comprehensive patient treatment satisfaction instrument. Selected findings included the preference for: oral rather than intravenous medication; treatment at home over outpatient clinic care; and follow-up care with primary physicians rather than oncologists. Findings with respect to patient preference for using chemotherapy revealed that survival and toxicity trade-off differed between patients with different tumor types. Breast cancer patients are more willing to accept aggressive treatment with severe side effects in exchange for minimal to no increase in survival rates. Non-small cell lung cancer patients, on the other hand, are not as willing to undergo chemotherapy and prefer a significant increase in survival duration with minimal toxicity.


CONCLUSIONS: Various techniques have been used to assess aspects of patient satisfaction and preference with treatment. However, the application of these instruments in oncology is not yet widespread. The availability of a tool that combines these measurements into one instrument would be valuable when evaluating new therapies compared to standard of care regimens.

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