Ervin CM, Reasner DS, Hanlon JT, Fehnel SE. Exploring the diabetic gastroparesis patient experience: patient exit interviews. Adv Ther. 2017 Dec;34(12):2680-92. doi: 10.1007/s12325-017-0632-6

INTRODUCTION: To improve understanding of the diabetic gastroparesis (DGP) patient experience and inform the patient-reported outcome measurement strategy for future trials in DGP, qualitative interviews were conducted with participants in a phase 2 clinical trial of a novel DGP treatment.

METHODS: Trial participants were invited to participate in interviews at both the pretreatment visit (PTV) and the end-of-treatment visit (EOTV). The interviews were conducted by experienced qualitative researchers and followed a semistructured interview guide. The PTV interviews focused on patients' DGP symptoms and the impact of DGP on their lives, and the EOTV interviews focused on any symptom changes patients experienced during the trial.

RESULTS: Of 90 enrolled trial participants, 78 (86.7%) opted to participate in the interview study. Bloating, stomach fullness, upper abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, and heartburn or reflux were each reported spontaneously by a majority of the 73 PTV interview participants with evaluable data. These patients commonly reported bloating (n = 20), upper abdominal pain (n = 12), and nausea (n = 11) as their most bothersome DGP symptom. Of 51 EOTV interview participants, 44 (86.3%) reported improvement in at least one DGP symptom either spontaneously or when asked about specific symptoms reported during their PTV interview.

Bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, stomach fullness, vomiting, and heartburn were frequently reported by patients as the most bothersome and important-to-treat symptoms. These results support the assessment of these symptoms in future DGP clinical trials, whether for symptom improvement or worsening.

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