Can patients diagnosed with schizophrenia complete choice-based conjoint analysis tasks?

Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
The patient (Impact Factor: 1.96). 01/2011; 4(4):267-75. DOI: 10.2165/11589190-000000000-00000
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness associated with hallucinations, delusions, apathy, poor social functioning, and impaired cognition. Researchers and funders have been hesitant to focus efforts on treatment preferences of patients with schizophrenia because of the perceived cognitive burden that research methods, such as conjoint analysis, place on them.
The objective of this study was to test if patients diagnosed with schizophrenia were able to complete a choice-based conjoint analysis (often referred to as discrete-choice experiments) and to test if meaningful trade-offs were being made.
German outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia were eligible to participate in this study if they were aged 18-65 years, had received treatment for at least 1 year and were not experiencing acute symptoms. Conjoint analysis tasks were based on six attributes, each with two levels, which were identified via a literature review and focus groups. A psychologist in a professional interview facility presented each respondent with the eight tasks with little explanation. All interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed to verify that respondents understood the tasks. Preferences were assessed using logistic regression, with a correction for clustering.
We found evidence that the 21 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia participating in the study could complete conjoint analysis tasks in a meaningful way. Patients not only related to the scenarios presented in conjoint tasks, but explicitly stated that they used their own preferences to judge which scenarios were better. Statistical analysis confirmed all hypotheses about the attributes (i.e. all attributes had the expected sign). Having a supportive physician, not feeling slowed, and improvements in stressful situations (p < 0.01) were the most important attributes.
We found that patients diagnosed with schizophrenia can complete conjoint analysis tasks, that they base their decisions on their own preferences, and that patients make trade-offs between attributes.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background There is growing agreement that regulators performing benefit–risk evaluations should take patients’ and caregivers’ preferences into consideration. The Patient-Focused Drug Development Initiative at the US Food and Drug Administration offers patients and caregivers an enhanced opportunity to contribute to regulatory processes by offering direct testimonials. This process may be advanced by providing scientific evidence regarding treatment preferences through engagement of a broad community of patients and caregivers. Objective In this article, we demonstrate a community-engaged approach to measure caregiver preferences for potential benefits and risks of emerging therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Methods An advocacy oversight team led the community-engaged study. Caregivers’ treatment preferences were measured by using best–worst scaling (BWS). Six relevant and understandable attributes describing potential benefits and risks of emerging DMD therapies were identified through engagement with advocates (n = 5), clinicians (n = 9), drug developers from pharmaceutical companies and academic centers (n = 11), and other stakeholders (n = 5). The attributes, each defined across 3 levels, included muscle function, life span, knowledge about the drug, nausea, risk of bleeds, and risk of arrhythmia. Cognitive interviewing with caregivers (n = 7) was used to refine terminology and assess acceptability of the BWS instrument. The study was implemented through an online survey of DMD caregivers, who were recruited in the United States through an advocacy group and snowball sampling. Caregivers were presented with 18 treatment profiles, identified via a main-effect orthogonal experimental design, in which the dependent variable was the respondents’ judgment as to the best and worst feature in each profile. Preference weights were estimated by calculating the relative number of times a feature was chosen as best and as worst, which were then used to estimate relative attribute importance. Results A total of 119 DMD caregivers completed the BWS instrument; they were predominately biological mothers (67.2%), married (89.9%), and white (91.6%). Treatment effect on muscle function was the most important among experimental attributes (28.7%), followed by risk of heart arrhythmia (22.4%) and risk of bleeding (21.2%). Having additional postapproval data was relatively the least important attribute (2.3%). Conclusions We present a model process for advocacy organizations aiming to promote patient-centered drug development. The community-engaged approach was successfully used to develop and implement a survey to measure caregiver preferences. Caregivers were willing to accept a serious risk when balanced with a noncurative treatment, even absent improvement in life span. These preferences should inform the Food and Drug Administration’s benefit–risk assessment of emerging DMD therapies. This study highlights the synergistic integration of traditional advocacy methods and scientific approach to quantify benefit–risk preferences.
    Clinical Therapeutics 05/2014; 36(5):624–637. · 2.59 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE The objectives were to quantify psychiatrists' judgments of the benefits and risks of antipsychotic treatments of patients with schizophrenia and to evaluate how patient adherence history affects these judgments. METHODS Weights assigned by respondents to risks, benefits, and alternative drug formulations in the treatment of schizophrenia were assessed via a Web-based survey by using a discrete-choice experiment. Respondents in the United States and the United Kingdom chose among alternative scenarios characterized by various levels of improvement in positive symptoms, negative symptoms, social functioning, weight gain, extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), hyperprolactinemia, and hyperglycemia and by formulation. The effect of patient adherence history on respondents' judgments was also assessed. Random-parameters logit and bivariate probit models were estimated. RESULTS The sample included 394 psychiatrists. Improvement in positive symptoms from "no improvement" to "very much improved" was the most preferred outcome over the range of improvements included and was assigned a relative importance score of 10. Other outcomes, in decreasing order of importance, were improvement in negative symptoms from "no improvement" to "very much improved" (5.2; 95% confidence interval [CI]=4.2-6.2), social functioning from "severe problems" to "mild problems" (4.6, CI=3.8-5.4), no hyperglycemia (1.9, CI=1.5-2.4), <15% weight gain (1.5, CI=.9-2.0), no hyperprolactinemia (1.3, CI=.8-1.6), and no EPS (1.1, CI=.7-1.5). As adherence decreased, formulation became more important than modest efficacy changes and injections were preferred to daily pills (p<.05). CONCLUSIONS Psychiatrists favored treatments that primarily improve positive symptoms. Choice of formulation became more important as likely adherence declined.
    Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 05/2014; · 2.81 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) are increasingly used in health economics to address a wide range of health policy-related concerns.
    PharmacoEconomics 07/2014; · 3.34 Impact Factor