Boeri M, Myers K, Ervin C, Marren A, DiBonaventura M, Cappelleri JC, Hauber B, Rubin DT. Patient and physician preferences for ulcerative colitis treatments in the United States. Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 2019 Jun 11;12:263-78.

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to elicit patient and physician preferences for ulcerative colitis (UC) treatments in the United States (US).

The following UC treatment attributes included in the discrete-choice experiment (DCE) were identified during qualitative interviews with both patients and physicians: time to symptom improvement, chance of long-term symptom control, risks of serious infection and malignancy, mode and frequency of administration, and need for steroids. The DCE survey instruments were developed and administered to patients and physicians. A random-parameters logit model was used to estimate preference weights and conditional relative importance for these attributes.

RESULTS: 200 patients with moderate to severe UC (status determined using self-reported medication history) and 200 gastroenterologists completed the survey. Patients’ average age was 42 years; most (59%) were female. Patients considered symptom control 2.5 times as important as time to symptom improvement and 5-year risk of malignancy almost as important as long-term symptom control (relative importance, 0.79 vs. 0.96 for long-term symptom control); they preferred oral to subcutaneous or intravenous administration (relative importance, 0.47 vs. 0.11 and 0.18, respectively). For physicians, symptom control was the most important attribute and was five times as important as risk of malignancy.

CONCLUSIONS: Both patients and physicians considered long-term symptom control the most important attribute relative to others; however, risk of malignancy was of almost-equal importance to patients but not physicians. Differences between patients’ and physicians’ preferences highlight the need for improved communication about the relevant benefits and risks of different UC treatments to improve therapeutic decision making.

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