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Patient Preferences in the Treatment of Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Discrete Choice Experiment

, : Patient Preferences in the Treatment of Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Discrete Choice Experiment. Ophthalmology 123(4): 876-883

The objective of our study was to investigate preferences of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) for different anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment schemes. We used a discrete choice experiment (DCE) design as part of a telephone interview. Patients with nAMD aged at least 50 years were included in the study. Telephone interviews were done between November 2012 and October 2013. In our DCE survey, we measured patient preferences toward specific levels of attributes that describe different options in the everyday intravitreal injection treatment setting: (1) treatment scheme; (2) change of visual acuity (VA); and (3) time the patient needs for each visit to the eye specialist. A total of 284 patients with nAMD with a mean age of 77.4±7.1 years (women: 59.9%) completed the DCE interviews. Of them, 22.9% had poor VA at study inclusion, 54.9% had moderate VA, and 14.1% had good VA; VA was not available for 8.1% of the patients. Generally, patients preferred the attribute levels "improvement in VA" and "short time per specialist visit." The results for the attribute "treatment scheme" were inconclusive because none of the attribute levels (injections every 4 weeks, every 8 weeks, and pro re nata) were associated with statistically significant utility differences. This also mirrors the relative importance of the different attributes in patient decisions: "Change of VA" influenced decision making for a treatment option in 73.6% of cases; "waiting, treatment, and travel time" influenced decision making in 21.0% of cases; and "treatment scheme" influenced decision making for a treatment option in 5.4% of cases. To obtain improved VA instead of a worsening VA, patients in our study stated to be willing to accept a very long time needed per physician visit of 21.2 hours (8.5 hours for improved rather than stable VA and 12.7 hours for stable VA rather than worsening VA). To prevent deterioration of VA, patients with nAMD seem to be willing to accept a high treatment burden with regular intravitreal injections at short intervals and long periods of waiting, treatment, and traveling for their consultations.


PMID: 26778346

DOI: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.12.001

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