Hauber B, Penrod JR, Gebben D, Musallam L. The value of hope: patients' and physicians' preferences for survival in advanced non–small cell lung cancer. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2020 Oct 30;14:2093-104. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S248295.

PURPOSE: Immuno-oncology treatments offer patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment options with greater probability of durable survival and a different toxicity profile compared with traditional chemotherapy. The objective of this study was to explore the importance of increases in the probability of long-term survival versus changes in expected (median) survival and treatment toxicities among patients with advanced NSCLC and physicians.

In a discrete-choice experiment, oncologists and patients diagnosed with NSCLC chose between profiles of treatments for advanced NSCLC offering different combinations of benefits (expected, best-case, and worst-case survival) and risks. We analyzed preference data from each sample using a random-parameters logit model that controls for preference heterogeneity and the panel nature of the data.

RESULTS: Both patients and physicians expressed a strong preference for improving the probability of best-case survival; however, patients viewed increases in the probability of long-term survival as more important than increases in expected survival, while the opposite was true for physicians. Both patients and physicians weighted survival to be more important than toxicities.

CONCLUSIONS: This study identified a potentially important divergence between physician and patient perspectives on survival statistics. Physicians placed more importance on increases in expected survival than did patients with NSCLC. The importance patients placed on long-term survival reinforces previous research identifying the primacy of hope as a value among seriously ill patients. The findings underscore the importance of considering patients’ priorities and in shared decision making when choosing treatment.

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